BongoBeat Ian Ferrier: What Is This Place?

To Order This CD:

Ralph Alfonso
Bongo Beat Records
2049 Melrose Ave.
Montreal, Quebec
H4A 2R6

Canada: 12.00. Please pay in Canadian funds (postage included).
USA: $12. Please pay in US funds (postage included). International money order, cash, cheque, or Paypal.
INTL orders: $15. Please pay in US funds. International money order, cash, cheque, or Paypal.

If paying via PAYPAL, send funds to:

Ian Ferrier: What Is This Place? Available in stores:
Canada: Oct 30th, 2007
USA: Sept 12th, 2007
UK: Dec., 2007
OTHER: tba

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UPC: 7-6700-01989-2-1
Catalog number: BB 1989-2


Canada: Outside Music
USA: Burnside Distribution
UK: Pinnacle
EUROPE: DOCK, Amazon, Pinnacle, Sonic Rendezvous
AUSTRALIA: Reverberation
OTHER: tba

EXPORT ORDERS: please contact Ralph Alfonso directly at

Note: This CD can also be ordered for export via Isotope Music, Canada.

Artist Websites:
1 What is this Place
2 Turn Back the Moment
3 Fire Hot are the Deserts of Men
4 The Nights are Bright
5 Beverly's Song (Blue Train Song)
6 Blue Train
7 No Blue Guitar
8 Giacometti
9 This Fire
10 Letters at l'X
11 Alphabet Song
12 Tequila
13 Emma's Country
14 I'll Fight For You

  • "What Is This Place is one of the most emotional and incredible things I have heard in the last three years or more. It moves me to tears." - Kinnie Starr
  • "From Montreal to Baja - Canada to Mexico - Ferrier's work is a road trip of fire and ice, passing under the desert sun and ploughing through snow storms.... Ferrier speaks to people lured by the sounds of jamming jazz musicians - the lyricist with a voice deep in sound and thought - inspiring a crowd gathered round in the smoke-filled room, all in different phases of their journeys but nodding to each other. To stay on the road is to sprout roots within yourself." - Cordite Poetry Review, Australia
  • A sophisticated blend of jazz, ambient & whispered vocals - the perfect Sunday morning soundtrack
  • One of Montreal's most prolific and influential poets teams up with all-female choir to create a CD most reminiscent of the first Leonard Cohen album
  • Musical backing from some of the key figures in the Montreal jazz and avant garde underground; Nicolas Caloia, Bryan Highbloom, Jon Stein, Kris Mah, Doug Stein, Normand Guilbeault, Jean Derome, Pierre Tanguay, Sam Shalabi, Andre Asselin, Jay Scodnick, Gordon Krieger, and the all-female Diviners
  • ENHANCED CD: includes bonus video "This Fire"


Montreal writer, poet and singer Ian Ferrier has teamed up with an all-female choir and Montreal's top avant garde jazz musicians to create a wonderfully moody masterpiece not unlike the very first Leonard Cohen album. These are quiet stories of love, night, passion and heart sung in a soothing erotic whisper. It's a work that can only come from the literary and musical fire of Montreal, channeling the nostalgic Quebec lyricism of Jack Kerouac with Cohen's inner city heart.

Ian Ferrier is one of the core writer/performers in the North American performance literature scene. His work is well-known across Canada, New York and Europe. Rooted in poetry, his live performances are a haunting blend of acoustic guitar, choir; whispered voice, and the trancelike music of a band called Pharmakon. His signature is the quiet, compelling voice at the centre of every piece.

His first CD/book, Exploding Head Man, received national acclaim. Rooted in the spellbound winters of his childhood, it took a passionate look at love, sex and death against a background of the falling snow; representing the best of three years of collaborations with musicians from Montreal and New York.

Canada's National Post called it "an insistence on the music of words that acknowledges the unique possibilities of language."

Said the Montreal Gazette: "Even without instrumentation, the poetry of Exploding Head Man—heady, impassioned, sometimes hallucinogenic stuff that regularly makes nods to the Beat work he grew up on—has sonic power. Dreamy words soothe, lusty sentences steam, and with a delivery that's often more gentle that the imagery it yields (even at its most volatile, Ferrier's vocalizations, with their warm, cushiony and almost child-like diction, scream pseudo-innocence) his spoken word is a complex song in and of itself."

What is this Place? features two collaborations with the trance/improv band PHARMAKON, two solo works, and nine collaborations between Ferrier and a starstudded list of top Quebec musicians. Recently his work featured on Australia's Going Down Slow CD and literature anthology, in Canadian Theatre Review and in the Review of the Americas special issue on Canadian Literature. He currently collaborates with sax player Bryan Highbloom, voice artist Kathy Kennedy, singer/ poet Valerie Khayat, and the musicians of Pharmakon.

Ian Ferrier also co-founded the poetry/music label Wired on Words—which won public radio's Standard Broadcasting Award in its first year. Pieces by Mr. Ferrier can be heard on CBC—Canada's national radio station, as well as on public radio stations in the USA and Canada. He resides in Montreal, where he hosts the city's monthly Words & Music literature series, and remains on the board of the Quebec Writers' Federation as their past president.

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