release date: 03.11.2023 via Ansible Editions
Since 2008, Canadian trumpet player and composer Nicole Rampersaud has relentlessly probed the sonic boundaries of her instrument, crafting exploratory works for it alone that she montages spontaneously into riveting solo performances. On her debut LP Saudade for Toronto imprint Ansible Editions, she ventures further along this trajectory, augmenting her brilliant, individualistic playing with textural electronic treatments.
Although said electronics play a crucial role in shaping the identity of this recording, it’s her expansive lexicon as an acoustic player that drives much of the abstraction that transpires. Then Again…, for instance, sees a base of moist, guttural growls stacked with twirling high-register phrases that bubble and melt as effects are intermittently applied. Similarly, it’s her faint pan-flute-like whispers of Erasure that immediately catch the ear—even as dub-like cascades stream this primary line by way of echoes and tweaked overdubs, listeners remain transfixed by Rampersaud’s exquisite command of ultra-specific trumpet techniques. Whereas others use processing as a means to obliterate the intrinsic timbre of their instruments entirely.
Rampersaud almost deploys it like she’s making a documentary—cutting between or superimposing various camera angles, crafting transitions, adjusting the tint of the footage, and only judiciously engaging in blatant trickery. Her capacious repertoire of sounds is mirrored in the remarkably broad scope of the vignette-like compositions themselves. Eruptive cybernetic jazz splatters down right beside a digitally-botched ballad or slices through quivering ambient mists. Sandro Perri, with whom she has worked in several other scenarios, enhances the gentle unruliness of this release-wielding his keen ear for mixing and mastering.
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Photo by Kevin MacCormack
Nicole Rampersaud is recognized internationally as a singular improviser. Her adventurous versatility has led to collaborations with notable figures such as Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Ra-kalam Bob Moses, Joe Morris, Roscoe Mitchell, Nate Wooley, Sylvie Courvoisier, Anthony Coleman, Raven Chacon, and Ig Henneman. She’s been heard at key venues and festivals including the Toronto Jazz Festival, Suoni per il Popolo, the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Massey Hall, Aga Khan Museum, National Art Gallery of Canada, Guelph Jazz Festival, Cornell University’s Symposium – After Experimental Music, and Göteberg Art Sounds Festival (Sweden). Her primary groups include Brass Knuckle Sandwich (with celebrated pianist Marilyn Lerner), a duo with guitarist Joel LeBlanc, and she co-founded the trio c_RL alongside Allison Cameron and Germaine Liu. She is also a member of Brodie West’s Eucalyptus and regularly performs and records with Joseph Shabason.
Her compositional output has been commissioned by the EVERYSEEKER Festival (where she was their first composer-in-residence), Festival RE: FLUX, the Canadian Music Centre’s CMC Presents Series and presented by Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Wales, the Festival of New Trumpet Music in New York, and the Suddenly Listen series in Halifax. In 2021, she co-founded the improvisation-driven multi-disciplinary series, Understory, which uses technology to reimagine collaboration between artists across Canada. Reviewing Toronto’s Women From Space Festival for Musicworks Magazine, veteran critic Stuart Broomer said the following of her: “Trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud opened the festival with an expansive exploration of extended trumpet techniques and electronic interaction. Beginning with bird calls and muted forest cries, she employed both standard and soprano trumpet and extensive looping through multiple microphones to create a world of trumpets—lows, highs, and blips—expanding her clarion horn into its own soundworld.
artist: NICOLE RAMPERSAUD
release date: 3rd November 2023
formats: LP / CD / DL
catalogue no.: Ansible Editions 006 (LP/DL)
1. A Tourist In My Youth
2. Then Again…
3. … And Then
4. Concurrent Panoramas Pt. 1
5. Concurrent Panoramas Pt. 2
6. Concurrent Panoramas Pt. 3
8. Nor Foresaking
9. Deprogram Reprogram
Recorded by Nicole Rampersaud at home. Produced by Sandro Perri and Nicole Rampersaud. Edited, mixed, and mastered by Sandro Perri. All compositions by Nicole Rampersaud © 2022 SOCAN. Photograph by Nicole Rampersaud. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.