Click here to return to the main site.

Classical Music Review

Cover Image



Composer: Gina Biver
Poetry: Colette Inez
Performed by: Fuse Ensemble
Label: Neuma Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 19 February 2021

Nimbus is an artistic collaboration between composer Gina Biver and poet Colette Inez that allows the listener a glance into the early life of Ms. Inez, the lovechild of a Roman Catholic priest and the young French scholar assigned to assist him. The music of Nimbus - an E.P. length album - is a set of seven miniatures for electroacoustic chamber ensemble, spoken word and soprano voice...

Gina Biver's Nimbus represents an engaging and diverse collection of pieces using the poetry of Colette Inez as inspiration and the driving force that unites everything. The album uses several audio recordings made by the composer at Ms. Inez’s apartment in New York, where the poet reads her own works. At other times some of her poetry is sung by soprano Tula Pisano or read by Biver.

The album also incorporates ambient audio recordings of church bells, children, city sounds and the interiors of churches, which were captured live in the town of Nérac, France and its environs in August 2018 by the composer.

Ms. Inez was the lovechild of a Roman Catholic priest and the young French scholar assigned to assist him. The poems chosen by Ms. Inez for this project include the poet’s contemplations on her parents’ lusty, hidden affair in warm southwest France: thoughts of her father as he cast aside his priestly vows, the aftermath of her mother’s pregnancy in 1930s Nérac, France, and their abandonment of the baby Colette to an orphanage in Belgium.

The commingling of forbidden sex, lust and religion are laid bare in these unapologetic poems that become richer as they subtly manifest the poet’s young life spent longing for the lost embrace of her family. Colette Inez (1931-2018) was a celebrated poet and longtime faculty member at Columbia University.

I'm no lover of poetry but there was something about this album that really hit home for me. I think it's partly the wonderful ambient settings that Biver presents us with, that makes it feel like we're abroad, visiting the streets and religious buildings, but more importantly it's Biver's wonderfully engaging music that sweeps us up and transports us to another world. Quite frankly, this is breathtaking work.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

Digital album