The Squid's Ear Magazine

  Rapid SSL





  American Express

© 2002-2020, Squidco LLC

Surruralist(e)s, The/Le: Sortablue (Tour de Bras)

The duo of Arthur Bull on guitars & harmoia and Eric Normand on electric bass and tenor banjo, and both on voice, taking on American rural songs--delta blues, cajun music, and Quebecois laments, &c--with a modern eye and a good sense of humor.

Price: $14.95


In Stock

Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
product information:

Limited edition of 100 copies.

Label: Tour de Bras
Catalog ID: None
Squidco Product Code: 19956

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: Canada
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold


Arthur Bull-acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, voice

Eric Normand-electronic bass, tenor banjo, voice

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

Highlight an instrument above
and click here to Search for albums with that instrument.

Artist Biographies:

"Arthur Bull. Born Residence: Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada. Composer, Performer (semi-acoustic guitar).

Arthur Bull is a veteran musician of the improvising music scene. Formerly the guitarist with The Bill Smith Ensemble, Bull has also played extensively with Paul Dutton, David Prentice, Michael Snow, John Oswald and John Heward, and he has performed in concert with Derek Bailey, Roscoe Mitchell and Roger Turner. He is also a poet, with three books published, and a translator from the Chinese. Originally from Ontario, Bull now lives in Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia, with his artist and musician wife, Ruth Bull."

-ActuelleCD (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Eric Normand is an improviser, bassist, instrument designer, composer, songwriter, singer and record and concert producer. He defines himself as an epidisciplinary musician, a free electron driven by its yearning for meetings. As an improviser, he develop a personal and radical playing on a homemade electric bass equipped with mics and objects feedbacking and vibrating in small electronic devices, creating electric flux interrupted by the instrumental gesture. With this set, he prefer to play duets, with Jim Denley (flute and sax), Philippe Lauzier (bass clarinet and sax), Sébastien Cirotteau (trumpet), Pierre-Yves Martel (viola de gamba and electronic), Jean-Luc Guionnet (saxophone), in addition of several spontaneous encounters.

He also play in bands involved in a more specific musical genre as danced poetry with BABABA, instrumental theatre with Le Veau/ The Veal, songs with Les Pitounes and Éric Normand Chante and folk music with The Surruralits and RRRRoyal Canadian Free Form Folk Experience. Interested in collective creation and orchestral improvisation, he lead for seven years the GGRIL, a 15 pieces band that have worked with composers such as Evan Parker, Jean Derome, Robert Marcel Lepage and Michael Fischer. His music has been programmed by or performed in several festivals in Canada , Australia and Europe. It have also been broadcasted by Radio-Canada, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, Radio-Grenouille, and several college radio stations."

-Eric Normand 2/19/2020

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. DREAM (Arthur Bull)

2. LA FEMME DU SOLDAT (folklore)

3. The Ballad Of Stagger Lee (traditional)

4. LULU (Arthur Bull)

5. UN MACAQUE SUR MON DOS (cajun version of "Monkey On My Back (J.I. Dupin, Jr., E. Shuler))

6. DISTANT FIELD (Juke Boy Bonner)

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Arthur Bull and Éric Normand are both very active on the improvised music scene, but here they indulge in a side trip through Americana, wide spaces, and the oral tradition. The Surruralists have a new take on rural life and how to reclaim America's traditional folk songs. Armed with guitars, banjos, basses, harmonicas, and their voices, they revisit styles like delta blues, cajun music, and Québécois laments, while inserting nods, winks, skids, and deliberate omissions, all to let the good times roll.

Both improvisers, Bull and Normand live in Canadian non-urban environments: Lake Midway (NS) in Bull's case, Rimouski (QC) in Normand's. This project is a fun mix of irony toward urban life and "Canadian unity" on one hand, and genuine devotion to the oral tradition on the other.


Guitarist Arthur Bull has been active sporadically on the Canadian free improvisation scene since the '70s. Much like his compatriot, pianist Al Neil, or the British guitarist Roger Smith, he has kept a low profile and has remained cruelly underdocumented. His playing draws inspiration in Derek Bailey's musical vocabulary, with maybe a hint of folk or American roots music in the phrasing. Bull is also a poet, with three collections published in Canada and a translator from Chinese to English. In the early 2000s he was earning a living developing local resource management programs for fishing communities in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Bull's music career starts in Toronto where he was living when American free jazz and European Free Improvisation began to stir interest in Canadian musicians. He took an active part in the communities of artists active in the '70s and '80s, playing with the CCMC -- Toronto's longest-running free improv group -- Michael Snow, the Bill Smith Ensemble, the Paul Cram Ensemble, David Prentice, John Oswald, and Paul Dutton. He occasionally accompanied the spoken word/sound poetry quartet the Four Horsemen (Dutton, Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Steve McCaffery, and BP Nichol) and shared the stage with such luminaries as Derek Bailey and Roscoe Mitchell when they were in town.

In 1990 he moved to Sandy Cove, a small village of fishermen in Nova Scotia. Momentarily disheartened with music, he focused on his writing, publishing Hawthorn and Key to the Highway. In 1996 he hooked up with Daniel Heïkalo, another experimental guitarist -- this one from Montreal -- who had moved to the Maritime province a decade earlier and lived nearby. The duo has been playing regularly since 1999. The release of the CD Dérapages à Cordes on the label Ambiances Magnétiques in 2000 marked Bull's "comeback" to public music. A solo disc, Guitar Solo, followed in 2001 on his friend's imprint Heïkalo Sound Productions. In May of that year, the group appeared at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville. In 2002 they performed at the Guelph Jazz Festival and Guitarévolution (Montréal).


Éric Normand is a composer, improviser, bassist, instrument designer, and record and concert producer, all in one. He defines himself as an epidisciplinary musician, a free electron driven by its yearning for meetings. In his book, composition cannot exist without exchange, since composition consists in setting up a territory that will facilitate improvisation.The interlocutors who have taken part to his numerous composition and production projects are sound engineers, radio producers, musicians, and sound artists. Living in a remote location (Rimouski), he ponders the concept of distance. He builds portable instruments and involves musicians in projects designed with very basic or high-tech communication tools. When he wanders around, he likes to improvises. His latest such meetings have featured Pierre-Yves Martel, Danielle Palardy Roger, Magali Babin and Anne-Françoise Jacques. His music has been programmed by or performed in several festivals in Canada (Festival de Musiques de Création - Jonquière, Reflux - Moncton, Productions SuperMusique - Montréal, Mois Multi - Québec, etc.) and Europe (Festival Rue du Nord - Switzerland, Festival des Musiques Insolentes - France, Les Rencontres à l'Échelle - France, etc). They have also been broadcasted by Radio-Canada, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, Radio-Grenouille, and several college radio stations."-Tour de Bras

Limited edition of 100 copies.
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Musique Actuelle
Duo Recordings
Song Based Music
Canadian Composition & Improvisation

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
Butcher, John / Philippe Lauzier / Eric Normand
How Does This Happen?
(Ambiances Magnetiques)
Other Recommended Releases:
Charles, Xavier / Eric Normand
Avis Aux Reacteurs
(Inexhaustible Editions)
GGRIL [feat John Butcher / Isaiah Ceccarelli / Xavier Charles]
Facon [2 CDs]
Plant (Jim Denley / Eric Normand)
(Tour de Bras)
Insect-ions (Pascal Landry / Mick Barr)
(Tour de Bras)
Surruralists, Les (Bull / Normand / Grossman / Jacques / Berirau)
La Way Qu'a Do
(Tour de Bras)
Beaudoin-de-la-Sablonniere, Louis / Eric Normand / Louis-Vincent Hamel
Brulez les Meubles
(Tour de Bras)
Acda, Chantal / Bill Frisell
Live at Jazz Middelheim
Shed Metal (Daniel Kernohan / Dan Lander)
Equivalent Insecurity
Mayas, Magda / Pierre-Yves Martel / Eric Normand
(Tour de Bras)
Charles, Xavier / Michel F Cote / Franz Hautzinger / Philippe Lauzier / Eric Normand
(Tour de Bras)
Naphtali, Dafna / Gordon Beeferman
Pulsing Dot
Bull, Arthur / John Heward / Adam Linson
(Ambiances Magnetiques)
Blouin, Hugo / Claude Bourque / Paul Gregoire
L' Ossuaire [2 CDs]
(Tour de Bras)
Normand, Eric
(Tour de Bras)
GGRIL (Grand Groupe Regional d'Improvisation Liberee)
(Tour de Bras)
Eguiluz, Geraldine / Stephane Diamantakiou
Paso Doble
(Tour de Bras)
Lauzier, Philippe / Eric Normand
Not the Music / do
(Tour de Bras)
Prevost, Helene
A La Plage
(Tour de Bras)
Chenard, Sylvie / Alexandre Dubuc / Cathy Heyden / Remi Leclerc
(Tour de Bras)
Mecha Fixes Clock
Beau Comme un Aeroport
(Tour de Bras)
GGRIL (Grand Groupe Regional d'Improvisation Liberee)
Combines [VINYL]
(Tour de Bras)
Parker, Evan & GGRIL (Grand Groupe Regional d'Improvisation Liberee)
(Tour de Bras)
Normand 5, Eric
Sur Un Fil
(Setola Di Maiale)
Normand, Eric
Data (Low-Fi Duets)
Denley / Lauzier / Martel / Myhr / Normand
Transition de Phase
(Tour de Bras)

Search for other titles on the Tour de Bras label.