Tortues Vapeur MUTEK, Montreal QC, August 25
Published Aug 26, 2019Doors opening just the moment their scheduled performance began, audiences arriving at 7 Doigts followed the sound of curious electroacoustic textures through the lobby, into the hall, down the stairs and along the basement corridor to find the opening performance from Susanna Hood and Martin Tétreault's Tortues Vapeur on Mutek's closing night.
As numbers accumulated and settled in for the performance, the pair escalated things, Hood working up some sputtering sound poetics, colliding half-syllables and non-verbal utterances before eventually moving on to some less abstract, theatrical vocals while Tétreault processed tones into a hypnotic swirl and punctuated moments with off-kilter percussive elements.
They worked through at least three distinct experiments over the course of their set, but the crowd held from applause between each one, perhaps unsure if the stillness was part of the composition. The sheer freeness of Hood and Tétreault's music is probably a lot to digest for a festival crowd that's mostly spent the past week bouncing from one party to the next, but they absorbed it all with patience from the floor of the venue, responding with some enthusiastic applause when the duo gestured they were done.