Futile Spells

pour choeur__12'__2016

1ère place au Prix Collégien de musique contemporaine 2017
Sélection officielle - Journée Mondiales de la Musique de la SIMC 2019 (Estonie)


Dans mes œuvres récentes, je m'imagine d'étranges styles / techniques vocales millénaires provenant de cultures inventées. Cette pièce évoque les sortilèges qui auraient pu appartenir à des populations archaïques, entonnés à des fins magiques, surnaturelles ou ritualistes. Mais si ces civilisations n'ont pu éviter leur propre extinction, peut-on avoir confiance en leurs systèmes de croyances? Devrait-on rejeter ces sortilèges comme étant de simples futilités? Ou encore, notre cynisme nous empêche-t-il de reconnaître la magie, le miraculeux?


4 mai 2019 TALLINN (Estonie) Collegium Musicale - SIMC Journée Mondiales de la Musique 2019

17 novembre 2018 TORONTO (Canada) The Latvian Radio Choir - Soundstreams

23 novembre 2016 TORONTO (Canada) Music of the Rainbow Nation - Soundstreams CRÉATION MONDIALE
Nathaniel Dett Chorale, dirigée par David Fallis


While not showcased in terms of quantity, women and people of color put out some of the highest quality work at World Music Days 2019 Tallinn. Mirjam Tally, Gabriel Dharmoo, Lotta Wennäkoski, and Violeta Dinescu made expert use of captivating timbres and experimental textures. [...] Collegium Musicale wove a tapestry of whistling oscillations, airy flutter tonguing, guttural outbursts, palatal clicks, hard consonants, and crackling low vocal fry in Dharmoo's Futile Spells. As conductor Endrik Üksvärav explained to the audience mid-piece, these strange incantations were “futile attempts to connect with the invisible.".
Amanda Cook – World Music Days 2019 and Estonian Music Days Converge in Tallinn, I care if you listen – 22 mai 2019

Estonian chamber choir Collegium Musicale gave a superbly engaging performance of Futile Spells by Canadian Gabriel Dharmoo. The title says it all: Dharmoo's material appeared to be doing two things at once: trying to bring into existence a notional, imaginary form of ancient, ritualised spell-casting music, while at the same time questioning not just the possibility of this but the human impulse to 'need' such devices in the first place. The music directly acknowledged its own what we might call 'anthropologising effect', actively vocalising the “desperate, vain and futile attempts to connect with the invisible". Unconventional vocal techniques melded with body percussion to construct a mesmerising, bewildering spectacle that disarmingly embodied confidence and uncertainty, not unlike reading the words of a supposedly powerful spell in a language no-one understands. The piece found meaning in its very questioning of how and where we seek for meaning in our lives and actions, and whether or not we can recognise something 'magical' (however that word is defined) when it occurs, and indeed whether or not we were the cause. It was all deeply thought-provoking.
Simon Cummings – World Music Days 2019, Estonia (Part 4), 5:4 5against4 – 20 mai 2019


Centre de musique canadienne - Entrevue à propos de Futile Spells, finaliste au Prix Collégien de musique contemporaine 2017


Commande de Soundstreams, avec le soutien du Conseil des arts du Canada