Sound Impression: Constellations (ou comment arrêter le temps) by Tambour


Tambour is the musical project from Simon P. Castonguay, a Montreal-based composer and self-taught multi-instrumentalist who also has a background in film studies and has done work in the world of theater.  This summer sees the release of Tambour’s third album which was written largely in the fall of 2017 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and features performances by the Mommies on the run string quartet (Mélanie Bélair, Mélanie Vaugeois, Ligia Paquin, Annie Gadbois) and Pietro Amato (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre), who also engineered the record, on french horn. Entitled Constellations (ou comment arrêter le temps), it is meant as both a reflection of the passage of time as well as a window  into Castonguay’s own recent past. The album’s subtitle translates to “or how to stop time” and that is what he does through both the format and compositions that make up the record.

“This collection of five tableaux sees Castonguay reflecting on notions of time ; its passing, the time we have and the time that we don’t, the time we take or choose not to ; time spent waiting after something or someone ; our perceptions of and relation to the world around us (and the stars beyond). Playing with these notions, Castonguay chose to play with the form of the record, configuring the listening experience as one continuous listen from start to finish. The listener is invited to lose themselves in time, and not focus on the bounds of individual tracks.” – Moderna Records

Links:  BandcampModerna Records Tambour

Indeed, while each of the five pieces can be fully enjoyed on their own, the greatest payoff really does come from listening all the way through. Perhaps the symbolism of the constellations suggests this. Each has it own pattern and and its own story, but together they make up the whole of the night sky which unfolds with an even grander beauty.  And just as the light from those stars is a reflection of a past that has taken light-years to reach our eyes, the music Castonguay and his ensemble have created is a reflection of moments and memories from a personal past distilled into resplendent melodic form and held together by an unseen magic.

Constellations (ou comment arrêter le temps) will be available in full beginning August 23, 2019 from Moderna Records.  The album was mastered by Martin Heyne at Lichte studio, Berlin and features original artwork by Sean Curtis Patrick.

Tambour Portrait V reduced