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  • The various interlocking scenes of experimental and ambient music are geographically dispersed but nonetheless close-knit, and the effects of significant events in these genres ripple out far and wide. Such was the case with the untimely death of Mika Vainio, a founder of Pan Sonic and producer of numerous landmark recordings under his own name and the moniker Ø, in April 2017. scènes is Canadian sound artist France Jobin’s tribute to her friend, offered in her own distinctive language of minimalist ambient music.

    The album fades in with a warm breathing chord, joined later by steadier tones. The music is quiet and subdued, barely there at times, before returning with slightly more intensity. The second ‘scène’ is more present, with major key tones gently tumbling over one another. A repeating melodic motif injects more energy, though the piece remains fairly quiet. The sense of calm and peace is palpable across the first half of the album, derived from major key harmony, low volume, and an unhurried pace.

    The minor-key drone and fluttering, trembling tones of ‘scène 3’ make it the only track on the album to resemble a typical musical expression of grief. Mid-way through the piece, the drone fades almost to the point of inaudibility, then returns with stiller, more stable tones, losing some of the earlier distraught quivering. ‘scène 4’ also flutters, but rather than sounding distraught instead pulses with energy; to me, its driving rhythms feel like a positive celebration and affirmation of life. Music needn’t shy away from pain or grief, but it is also able to remind us why we struggle. scènes is able to look sorrow in the eye, but at the same time remembers the good, and holds on tightly to the light.

  • With Scènes, Montreal-based sound artist France Jobin has created an elegiac collection of drones and tones, layered with emotion. Unobtrusive enough to serve as background ambience, the album works even more effectively as music for deep listening. There is a sad stillness at the heart of these pieces, with subtle changes either amplifying or slowly altering ones experience, like shifting shadows from the setting sun.

  • ethereal and elusive (and also digital-only) is France Jobin‘s Scenes, her third album for the label: four Scènes created on the Serge and Buchla 200 modular synths as well as the Nord modular, with additional processed guitar played by Marco de Leonibus). 

    France Jobin is a ‘sound-sculpturist’ from Montreal, Canada, with a ‘minimalist approach to complex sound environments where analog and digital intersect.’
    Apart from her releases on Lineshe has previously released music on labels like Staalplaat, Room40, Baskaru etc. and is internationally renowned for her installations and screenings at museums and festivals.

    Immersive (drone) pieces, each with relatively short length (varying from 7 to 15 minutes, 42 minutes in total), wrapping around you like a warm blanket.