Cliff of the Dawn

SALTARELLO - Nordic Trance

Inspired by the vastness of  Northwestern Québec's Abitibi region where the band is based and the deep spirituality of the Amerindian tribes living there for centuries, influenced by ancient pagan Scandinavian and Celtic rituals, the entrancing sounds of Saltarello take the listener on a musical journey filled with rhythmic frenzy and beautiful haunting melodies.

Their warm and generous vocals with vestal like polyphonic intonations blend wonderfully with the rich multi-colors of the hurdy-gurdy and other ageless exotic instruments: hammered-dulcimer, bouzouki, Armenian duduk, Appalachian dulcimer, violin, mandolin and Celtic harp. Also featured in their dynamic musical blend: keyboards, electric bass and, of course, powerful percussions such as djembe, dumbek, bendir and darbuka...

The unique Nordic musical trance of Saltarello fills the gap between traditional and contemporary, ancient and futuristic with original compositions sung in a language unknown except to them while fusing world rhythms with amazing vocals and instruments from a time long past as well as from right now thus creating a hypnotic universe with no boundaries...

After having received a most enthusiastic welcome from festival audiences at several Ontarian festivals in the summer of 2015 , Saltarello has released their sixth album, “Cliff of the Dawn”, a virtual magic flying carpet ride which we invite you to partake, enjoy and share with the ones you love.

Nordic Transe, "Cliff of the Dawn" by Saltarello. Independent release now available on iTunes and Bandcamp.
“This group from Abitibi knows how to blurr time while bringing up the sense of origin, melt it down with synths and cover it up with acoustic instruments of all eras. Their music is primitive because of the didgeridoo, chamanic due to the depths of the rhythms and airy because of the lofty vocals. "Cliff of the Dawn" is like a deep dive in the Nordic universe without any time or geographical boundaries. Sometime more Celtic or more Scandinavian and sometime geographically blurred, the disc brings out a feeling from the hereafter as well as the proximity of aboriginal roots. Compared to Saltarello's previous offering which consisted of remixes, this album gives more room to acoustic instruments and to the organic sound of the didgeridoo. This is Saltarello's sixth auto-produced venture yet, it still does not have the recognition it deserves here in Québec. It's about time people lend an ear and pay attention.”  Yves Bernard, Le Devoir, Friday November 13, 2015


NINE WORLDS - “Already a fourth album in a decade for this Abitibian group which, after having explored the profound voices heard in sacred music, the aerial sounds made by world string instruments and North African rhythms, finds on its Nordic soul on this new opus. However, the North becomes the pretext to introduce new sounds to this music which remains free of any imposed boundary of any kind. If the ensemble may ring bells akin to Dead Can Dance or Jean-Michel Jarre at his best, it definitely has its own singular and strong personality. The wind blows heavily on cave like ambiances, bells and ethereal vocals. The Middle-Age happily frays with gliding electro spaces. The sky gets torn apart by celestial vocals. The Celtic harp rises over powerful beats. The melodious hurdy-gurdy lends a dramatic accent. And what about that poem penned by Dan Behrman about Jerusalem which brings all the religious beliefs together. Through this album a door opens wide toward eternity”. (Yves Bernard, Vitrine du disque -June 3, 2011 – Le Devoir)



It was with the desire to create original music inspired from the four corners of the Earth that Saltarello (a popular Italian dance dating back to the 13th century) was born in the year 2000 in a remote Northern French Canadian region known as Abitibi. Its founders, Julie Pomerleau and Luc Lafrenière share an unusual vigor as well as a shared passion for music. Coming from very different musical backgrounds, the duo encountered a fascinating time period as well as an enchanting and enriching array of instruments in the music created during the Middle-Age. It was by studying its history and playing the repertoire of the times that they developed their acute interest for a wide variety of ethnic musical styles which allowed for the harmonious meeting between the traditional and the contemporary, a fusion of instruments from a time gone past with those of today. Saltarello actualizes its music to create its own sound through its original compositions.



Following a number of thematic performances, Saltarello introduced in 2001 its first album entitled “O Pietas” which was entirely auto-produced by the duo. Although there was no label or distribution of any kind, the album was well received enough to allow the name, the talent and the sound of the duo to be known and appreciated at home and beyond... Saltarello was thus featured in several interviews, articles and television shows among which “Les choix de Sophie” broadcast by Télé-Québec.



Selected as professional artists by the Ministry of Culture in 2002 to spearhead its “Meetings for Education and Culture” program, Julie Pomerleau and Luc Lafrenière undertook their very first tour of francophone primary and secondary schools throughout the entire Province of Quebec going to remote locations as far North as Radisson in the James Bay territory. Following this first touring experience geared toward young audiences, Saltarello is hired in 2003 by Spectour to participate in the “Mystery of a People” Tour.



In the spring of 2004, Saltarello composes the music of a radio jingle which was quickly picked up and identified by listeners who noticed the evolution of the colours, the influences and other unusual musical dynamics characterizing the unique sound of the band. New pieces are composed leading to the production and recording of a second album, “Humana”, chockfull of timeless compositions oozing universality and launched in the fall of 2004 during an elaborate and far reaching concert performance. The album gets rave reviews and its success goes far beyond the expectations of Saltarello to the point that Frank-Luc Dancelme, close collaborator of Jean-Michel Jarre and founder of KD Productions decides to push “Humana” in Europe. Due to the warm reception of “Humana”, Saltarello is incorporated in the world class programming of 2005 edition of Le Festival de Musique Émergente in Rouyn-Noranda and has the honour to perform on its main stage for Canada Day.



2006 is the theater of several Moroccan concerts given by Saltarello in Merzouga and Erfoud. Their encounters with the members of various traditional groups allow them to further their knowledge of Berber music and inspire them to compose the material featured on their third album, “Forgotten Passage” which they start to produce and record as soon as they are back home in Abitibi while breaking new ground with performances in several well known festivals: Merveilles de sable in Gatineau, Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France SAQ in Québec City as well as a return engagement in Gatineau where they performed at the Museum of Civilizations during the famed Bal des Neiges American Express celebrations presented by La Commission de la Capitale Nationale. Other appearances of note was their sold out performances during the 2010 and 2011 editions of Le Festival des Guitares du Monde, a large world class festival taking place yearly in the capital of Abitibi, Rouyn-Noranda and their first introduction to Montreal where they played as a trio at Les Bobards.


Saltarello's music was also used for a feature radio series produced by Eugénie Francoeur for Radio-Canada and in collaboration with the French, Swiss and Belgian radio networks and well known producer-host Dan Behrman featured the music of Saltarello many times during his late night spacey extravaganzas aired nationally on Radio-Canada.



The year 2011 saw the birth of Saltarello's fourth album, “Nine Worlds” co-produced by famed Belgian hurdy-gurdy, accordionist and percussionist Daniel Thonon, founder of the French Canadian neo-traditional groups Advielle Que Pourra (Green Linnet/Xenophile Records) and Montcorbier who also lent his talent as a player for this new release which incorporates more Celtic elements than its predecessors while retaining the unique ethno-trance dance quality which characterizes the ethereal yet very grounded sound of Saltarello which performed the material of this new album during a much noted performance which took place in July at the Greenfield Park Centennial celebrations near Montreal. Radio producer/host/journalist Dan Behrman also wrote “Jerusalem, Yeroushalaïm, Al Q'Ouds”, a very moving spoken piece which he read on the album with the idea of sending peaceful and positive energies to this particularly troubled area of our planet. World Music for World Peace indeed! The material of this new album was presented live during "Festival International des Nuits d'Afrique" in 2012 (Montreal, Canada).  



Chosen for a showcase during the MUNDIAL 2013, Saltarello presents its last show "The Dance of the Muses". This showcase will allow the group to play in "Hamilton World Music Festival" in July, 2014 (Ontario, Canada).


« With The Dance of the Muses, Saltarello offers warm, intelligent,muscular, yet subtle remixes of eight titles on two of their previous albums, Forgotten Passage and Nine Worlds, without giving the listeners the feeling that they've heard it before which is very much to their credit. »

- Dan Behrman, radio producer & host (Magazine Son & Images Vol 15, #6)

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