Review: O Mistress Moon: Canadian Edition | Pan M 360


The stars are once again at the heart of pianist Jennifer King's latest album. In this pendant to her previous opus O Mistress Moon (2018), acclaimed by critics, the musician takes up the theme of the night to decline it around the figures of the moon, the cosmos and nature, this time with an assembly of pieces composed exclusively of Canadian composers. To further coat the soundscape of the album, Jennifer King associated each piece with a monthly cycle of the moon linked to folk and Mi’kmaq symbolism. The listener is thus taken on the path of a vast snowy plain where we hear the cracking of icy waters in Rivers Freezing Over Moon by Richard Gibson, with these alternations of open and dissonant harmonies. It is also accompanied by sensitive and evocative nocturnes reminiscent of the aesthetics of Chopin, Satie and Schumann (Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Grammaté, Sandy Moore). As the night drops its dreamlike veil in In the Failing Dark 1 by Derek Charke, the starry vault reveals itself, mysterious with its evocations of infinite and imaginary spaces, as well as its clusters of stars evoked so much by crystalline flights ( Gliese 581c by Emily Doolittle) than by contrasting sound clusters (Astral Image by Jean Coulthard). 

The result gives an almost mystical color to this opus which plunges us into an introspective and meditative universe, both serene and lively. Contrasted both emotionally and aesthetically, this beautifully rendered new album by Jennifer King soothes and brings warmth to the cold winter. Alexandre Villemaire