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Lussier, Rene  : Quintette (Circum-Disc)

Canadian guitarist Rene Lussier formed this quintette in 2016, with Julie Houle on tuba & euphonium, Luzio Altobelli on accordion, and drummers Marton Maderspach & Robbie Kuster, to play the intricate and lyrical pieces he developed, where up to five parts are overlaid at any given time, though the listener only hears the wonderful interplay and exultation of the resulting music.

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product information:

Label: Circum-Disc
Catalog ID: microcidi012
Squidco Product Code: 26632

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: France
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at studio PM in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from February 19th to 23rd, 2018 by Pierre Girard.


Rene Lussier-guitar, daxophone

Julie Houle-tuba, euphonium

Luzio Altobelli-accordion

Marton Maderspach-drums

Robbie Kuster-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"René Lussier (born April 15, 1957) is a musician based in Quebec, Canada. He is a composer, guitarist, bass guitarist, percussionist, bass clarinetist, and singer. Lussier has collaborated with such figures as Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Jean Derome and Robert M. Lepage. His work, which combines elements from all major genres, is often referred to within the discourse of New Music, or Musiques Actuelles, in French.

Born in Montreal, Lussier began his musical career in 1973 in Chambly as part of the progressive rock group Arpège. From 1976 to 1980, he was a member of the Montreal folk-progressive group Conventum, led by André Duchesne. Lussier was also a member of the groups Quatour de l'Emmieux and les Reins, Nébu and La G.U.M in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1986 he joined Duchesne's Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar.

He began doing soundtrack work in 1979, via a collaboration with Duchesne on the music for a short film called Tanobe. Lussier has written or co-written the scores to more than 35 films, including Chronique d'un génocide annoncé, a documentary by Danièle Lacourse and Yvan Patry about the Rwandan genocide.

Lussier played guitar for the popular singer Pauline Julien between 1982 and 1984, though he also worked on esoteric music that blurred distinctions between progressive rock, jazz, improvisation, modern composition, and circus music. His first solo album, Fin du travail (version I), was released in 1983 and consolidated his reputation as a quirky, humorous and talented guitarist-composer. He has collaborated extensively with Derome and Lepage and has recorded as a member of the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet. Lussier is featured prominently in Step Across the Border (1990), a documentary feature film by Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel about the work and travels of Frith. Lussier was also a member of Frith's band Keep the Dog (1989-1991).

In 1983, Lussier co-founded the Ambiances Magnétiques record label and recording collective with Derome, Lepage and Duchesne, and produced an extensive body of work in this environment. His best known work, Le trésor de la langue (1989), was created during this period. The album interspersed music with taped recordings of Quebec residents discussing the importance of the French language. It won the Grand Prix Paul-Gilson award in 1989.

In the late 1990s, Lussier recorded two albums for solo guitar and a pair of collaborations with Martin Tétreault which reflected an interest in the history of musique concrète and electroacoustic music composition and theory."

-Wikipedia (

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"A native of central Quebec, Julie Houle has been a tuba player for 15 years. She has a classical university education. She is also an interpreter-composer-arranger. Since 2007, she has devoted herself to different styles (gypsies, fanfare, pop, jazz, improvisation, etc.). In 2007 she will follow a master class with Michel Godard in Villeurbane in France. The meeting of this mentor was also repeated in France, in January 2013 for a series of courses in private.

Julie swells, by her desire to make her tuba heard, worked with artists such as; David Brunet, Marco Calliari, The Gypsies of Sarajevo, Catherine Major, Fred Pellerin, Benoit Rocheleau, Brigitte Ste-Aubin, Bernard Adamus, the Fanfarniente de la Strada, the Jarry fanfare, the Severni fanfare, Sophie Vaillancourt, etc. In addition, she now has in hand her own DJU project that offers instrumental music where the tuba is put forward."

-Fanfare Jarry (Translated by Google) (

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"The grandson of an accordion player, Luzio Altobelli was given his first accordion at the tender age of eight. A few years later, after percussion studies at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (1997-2001), he resumed his learning of the accordion. Around the same time, he formed Manouche, a group that has been active on the Montréal scene for eight years. In 2002, they recorded their first album Apprenti Moustachu, followed by St-Urbain Café three years later. A third album will follow in Spring 2009.

In 2004, Luzio Altobelli started the accordion sextet Fiszarmonia and Ironico Orkestra, a bass clarinet/accordion duo that has released its debut album in November 2007. In 2001, he jumped aboard Fanfare Pourpour, with whom he recorded Le Bal two years later. He also participated to the recording of Fanfare's third album Karousell Musik. In 2002-2003 he also played accordion in Jeszcze Raz, while working on arrangements and recordings for Che la vita with Marco Calliari. Since 2006, he is a member of the traditional folk group Bon Débarras, for whom he also arranges and writes.

With all these bands, Luzio is exercising his composition and arrangement muscles. With his trusty accordion, he loves to back singers, journeying that way through traditional music from here and abroad, ever since the last few years of the Cafe Sarajevo. His experiences have brought him to appear on several projects, if only for one song, including collaborations with Mara Tremblay, Tomas Jensen et les Faux-Monnayeurs, and many others.

Luzio has also recorded music for documentaries, TV series, movies and plays, often for Concordia University film students."

-AcutelleCD (

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Marton Maderspach is a Canadian drummer, percussionist and violinist known for the groups Misses Satchmo, Sagapool, and his work with Adam Hopkins.

-Squidco 9/28/2022

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"Born in Switzerland, Robbie Kuster moved to Canada in 1990 and adopted Montréal in 2000. He now performs in many Montréal based projects such as the Patrick Watson group, the Large Ensemble, the Philippe Lauzier Trio/Quartet, Gods of Taste and the Yannick Rieu Non Acoustic Project. His musical direction has modern tendencies as he likes to experiment with sounds both acoustically and electronically. However, his drumming remains organic and is essentially jazz influenced."

-ActuelleCD (

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track listing:

1. Eau Forte 5:34

2. Groove D'enfer 6:26

3. Triomini 1:26

4. Cephalopodes 10:10

5. Les Cavites Du Coeur 5:26

6. L'effort Du Vent 3:27

7. La Tete Dans Les Rouages 5:56

8. Migrations 8:08

9. Cephalodrum 2:52

10. La Vie Est Fumee 2:31
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"I was able - what a chance! - to bring together these exceptional musicians in December 2016. Since then, I have been writing for this group, and we have been rehearsing on a regular basis. This is a work-in-progress where everyone's a soloist. Exploring their multiple talents, pushing back their limits and mine is thrilling, uplifting, and inspiring.

The project revolves around densely written modular pieces where up to five parts are overlaid. Roles are permutable in a variable geometry of functions, so that each part can be shared by the whole band. An interactive, participatory process that borrows from all the types of experimental music I have played in my career. It requires a lot of time-sharing.

The challenge is to make written music and improvised music live together naturally by granting performers a lot of freedom while preserving the characters of the original compositions. The result is a series of shapeshifting, playful, pointillist instrumental pieces, simultaneously precise, frantic, and wild. The stars have aligned. This project is a new milestone in my career, both as a composer and a performer. It embodies a breath of fresh air, and there's nothing more I would like than to share it with you!"-Rene Lussier

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Musique Actuelle
Quintet Recordings
Lussier, Rene
Canadian Composition & Improvisation
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
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