Powerlines

“…she created both an exquisite acoustic-electronic soundtrack (as composer) and visuals (as filmmaker). ”  – “Blue Gene” Tyranny, All Music Guide

“…her music for the film, which takes up most of the CD that accompanies the magazine is…gorgeous…its simple archaisms, reminiscent of Arvo Pärt, mark a new (to me) and welcome phase in Hall’s artistic development.” – Tamara Bernstein, National Post

“Helen Hall describes the sound for her film Powerlines as drone music, based on the sixty-cycle hum.  Her soundtrack ingeniously combines instrumental minimalism and soundscape composition.”  – Gayle Young, Musicworks Magazine

Distributed by Montreal’s Domino Film, Powerlines is a 35-minute experimental film about the effects of electromagnetic pollution on the human body, illustrated in part through modern dance. Okay, before you get completely put off, this film is actually an intriguingly presented dance sequence, performed by local dance whiz Jocelyne Montpetit. Director Helen Hall has light projections cast over Montpetit’s body, as her interpretive number is captured beautifully by cinematographer Marielle Nitoslawska. Interspersed throughout are news clips and shots of – you guessed it – power lines. It’s an obscure 35 minutes, one which may leave viewers pining for the possibility of accompanying Coles Notes. But my take is that audiences shouldn’t necessarily look for some deep ulterior meaning. This is primarily a film about movement and the senses, and though Hall is clearly concerned about the effects of electromagnetic waves (that much is obvious), she’s also presenting a haunting, evocative piece of dance in film form – no easy task, for sure.

Matthew Hays, Montreal Mirror, Montreal, Canada August 12 1999

Rites of Decimation

” Helen Hall’s Rites of Decimation, given its world première, was this concert’s hit, a dramatic, sprawling piece that went from gallop to lurch as it displayed the composer’s confidence in handling the band’s many resources on a grand scale.  Many a Hemispheres commissionee has grown timid or turned uncomprehending in face of the proferred stylistic carte blanche.  Hall, however, was happy to duke it out boldly with the 15 musicians.  So happy, that she hardly knew when or where to stop.  There’s a lot of fun to be had with a band like this, and Hall certainly had hers…”  Mark Miller, The Globe and Mail

Circuits

“On the otherworldly Circuits, composed by Helen Hall, La Barbara produced a constant hum of audible, pitched breathing”  – Jordan Levin, The Miami Herald

“Helen Hall’s Circuits asked Ms. La Barbara to execute circular singing, essentially pitched breathing, with taped vocal tracks lending euphonious support.” – Alex Ross, New York Times

” Soprano Helen Pridmore achieved a tour de force in Helen Hall’s difficult Circuits. Her interpretation…was quite beautiful.” — Stephen Pedersen, Chronicle Herald

” Notable among the concerts involving scored music was New Brunswick soprano Helen Pridmore’s performance of Montreal composer Helen Hall’s ‘Circuits‘…. Pridmore’s measured exploration of the cyclical process of breathing contained an extraordinary resonance of endurance and renewal.” — Tim Dallett, Arts Atlantic

Winter Trees

” …Winter Trees is based on the Sylvia Plath poem of the same name,  using its vowel sounds only.  The composer uses the poem’s assonances and dissonances to morph the syntax into striking ululations and jaw trills…”   – From Continuo’s weblog, review of Musicworks #38 ‘Bridging Language’

Of Radiant Streams

” The most complex work was Of Radiant Streams (1985) by Helen Hall, whose score calls on four very busy percussionists, one of whom eventually produced a heavy-duty chain and scraped it over surfaces in an exploration of timbre.” – Carl Urquart, The Gazette (Montreal)


 

Advertisements