Cris Derksen Making Magic on “The Collapse”

On Cris Derksen‘s sophomore album “The Collapse,” the classically-trained Métis artist continues to experiment in instrumental and electronic realms, drawing inspiration from eider ducks to pipelines, from club beats to Russian composers.

On her debut album “The Cusp” Derksen drew attention from around the globe for taking the traditionally classical instrument, the cello, onto the dance floor thanks to a loop station and a row of effects pedals. While she’s adept at playing with beats, she also builds slow, winding, melodic soundscapes, and any live audience I’ve seen her perform for has never been short of inspired. She’s collaborated with artists like Kinnie Starr and A Tribe Called Red, is often commissioned to compose for film and television, and tours across Canada and internationally.

Yup, she’s fantastic.

CBC Music described “The Collapse” as “an evocative and highly atmospheric album” (read their full Q&A with Derksen here) and recently Janet Rogers wrote for BC Musician Magazine:

The Collapse, continues to be an exploration and experimentation in the limits and limitless capacity of the voice and the instrument. On her track “In Line” Cris’ vocalization accompanies one of the more melodic compositions in the collection with crash cymbals breaking in bringing to mind a circus soundtrack while watching a high-wire act. In Dark Dance, she brings us back to the original sound that put her on the map while playing the urban club scene where her fan base was built. This is a bassy musical detail flowing over a rapid trickle of notes sending your thoughts skyward, but since this is a dark dance, we surpass the sky and enter unknown galaxies. Yes, it’s trippy, and yes, I like it.


In the meantime, Cris is making magic from thin air and offering a fresh recipe from the same old kitchen. The Collapse is appropriate music for Saturday evening porch-sitting, international jet-setting or hours long sessions of love-making. Sexy, without being sexualized. Well done.

I think you’ll agree too – get “The Collapse” on iTunes and stream “Mussorgsky’s house” now: