"Houle not only owns the many avant vocal styles on display here, she has something unique — sometimes stunningly brilliant — to bring to each of them."
"Intimate, eerie, electrifying, Treize is a tour de force of vocal improvisation. ...an auspicious debut recording from an attention-riveting artist."
"Houle warbles and scats like some demented cross between Yma Sumac and Slim Gaillard, but also does the Phil Minton thing of squeezing non-musical grunts and sighs from a closed larynx."
Vancouver International Jazz Festival - duet with Stefan/Al Neil Collage
This year I had two gigs at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. On June 27th I performed my duet project with Stefan Smulovtiz at the Western Front, which is one of my favourite venues to play in Vancouver. Stefan and I were performing all free improvised music. I thought I would try something different
This year I had two gigs at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. On June 27th I performed my duet project with Stefan Smulovtiz at the Western Front, which is one of my favourite venues to play in Vancouver. Stefan and I were performing all free improvised music. I thought I would try something different - I didn't bring any texts to refer to. Instead, I used whatever texts popped into my head. Some were texts that I had written previously and some were made up on the spot. This felt good. Having no music stand was liberating and allowed me to listen more deeply. We got some very positive feedback from friends who have seen our duet evolve over the years. They felt it was our strongest performance yet! I guess the touring, performing and studies over the past few months paid off.
My second Jazz Fest gig was on June 29th with Paul Plimley (piano), Gregg Simpson (drums), Stefan Smulovitz (laptop and viola), Clyde Reed (bass) and Krista Lomax (visuals). It was an homage to Al Neil. I had such a great time up there. Playing with Gregg who was an original member of the Al Neil Trio back in 1966 was a thrill, as was performing with everyone else in the sextet. There was some magic up there and the audience was incredible! I have to say that this gig was a highlight of my singing career. I realized that I wouldn't be up there singing (free improv) if it wasn't for Al Neil (who was sitting in the audience; at 85 years of age he is still vibrant and ready to roar!), Gregg, Clyde, the NOW Orchestra workshops, etc ... . It was exciting to be part of this lineage.
We all had a great time and are planning on continuing with the sextet. We will see what form it takes. For this gig we used visuals based on photographs and collages by Al Neil and I improvised using Al's poetry and prose. Perhaps we'll go on and explore Gregg's work (he is a wonderful painter as well as a superbe drummer) as part of our visuals and my poetry. We'll see where it goes... .