Forestare’s debut recording with ATMA features original works by contemporary composers including Steve Reich, Denis Gougeon and Leo Brouwer. Québec poet/singer-songwriter Richard Desjardins makes a cameo appearance with the ensemble performing two of his own songs.
« Some good advice: go and lose yourself in this forest of boreal guitars, classical ones. (…) Forestare has managed to create a sound that is distinct from that of all other contemporary ensembles on the market. The effect created by this mass of 13 guitars (…) is quite simply striking. It has the intensity of rock (…) Forestare offers a local composers a judicious choice (…) Richard Desjardins, sensitive not just to the instrumental chops but also to the critical spirit and environmental preoccupations of his young colleagues, agreed to interpret La maison est ouverte and Les Yankees. Superb! » Alain Brunet, La Presse, Saturday, March 10, **** and « Notre choix » in Cahier Arts et spectacles
« Here at last is the first CD from this unusual ensemble, which is distinctive not only for its makeup (12 classical guitars, double bass, and conductor) but also for its contents, which ranges from songs by Richard Desjardins to contemporary music by Steve Reich (the magnificent Electric Counterpoint unplugged!) … And all this makes for a marvelous mix! » Réjean Beaucage, Voir, Thursday, March 22 2007 ****
« (…) a really convincing first CD. The ingenious arrangements, even more than the individual virtuosity, give it a striking voice and dramatic power. When Richard Desjardins sings La Maison est ouverte and, especially, Les Yankees, there are intense moments that the fans appreciate. The rest of the repertoire has a contemporary flavor (Reich, Brouwer, Gougeon…), and is well balanced and well chosen. Performing live in a hall (…) turned out to be an excellent choice. » Serge Paradis, Ici, Thursday, March 22 2007 ***1/2
« (…) Forestare exists because of wood and plays for the cause of wood. We have to admit that the message is clear. Richard Desjardins has got it, and happily retransmits it during two songs, La Maison est ouverte (…), and Les Yankees, whose powerful protest rings out like thunder (…) The CD will lead you into a musical world as rich and complex as an old-growth forest. » Richard Boisvert, Le Soleil, Saturday, March 17 mars 2007 ***1/2
« (…) This eponymous disk (…) will please adventure-lovers (…) the strings are admirably well put to use. Hats off to these intrepid youngsters. »
Christophe Rodriguez, Le Journal de Montréal, Saturday, March 10 2007 ****