Objet abandonné en mer… Nicolas Bernier, Simon Trottier

… ambiances texturées et profondément évocatrices. Une réussite à tous points de vue. Goûte mes disques, Belgium

Six exquisite songs of crackling textures, harmonic drones and ambient extravaganza […] Purchase, baby! 12rec.net, Germany

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Le projet Objet abandonné en mer… est issu de la rencontre entre le compositeur et artiste sonore Nicolas Bernier et le guitariste-improvisateur Simon Trottier. Entre musique naïve, bruitisme, rythme hachuré et paysages sonores, c’est par le biais du collage en temps-réel que les protagonistes abordent le thème de l’eau. Faisant côtoyer tradition et technologie, on y trouve d’un côté des mélodies influencées du folk américain, et de l’autre, des ambiances feutrées sur d’hypnotisantes boucles électroacoustiques.

  • 12rec.net
  • 12REC 042 / 2007
  • Total duration: 32:48

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Objet abandonné en mer…

Nicolas Bernier, Simon Trottier

In the press

  • Simon, Goûte mes disques, September 2, 2009
    … ambiances texturées et profondément évocatrices. Une réussite à tous points de vue.
  • Sven Swift, 12rec.net, June 21, 2008
    Six exquisite songs of crackling textures, harmonic drones and ambient extravaganza […] Purchase, baby!
  • Sam Davies, The Wire, no. 289, March 1, 2008
    But this is the kind of record that shows abrasion and discord don’t have a monopoly on the sonically interesting or challenging.
  • Jos Smolders, Earlabs, November 11, 2007
    This definitely makes me curious to hear more.
  • Nilan Perera, Exclaim!, November 1, 2007
    This is a recording that engages in an almost offhand way but retains a curiously insistent identity all the same.
  • Frans de Waard, Vital, no. 595, October 2, 2007
    Quite a nice release, defying categories and make four strong points themselves.
  • Benoît Richard, Netlabels Revue, September 28, 2007
    Tout ça donne une musique que l’on pourrait appeler laptop folk et qui distille des ambiances très belles, très douces…

Chronique

Simon, Goûte mes disques, September 2, 2009

Originellement sorti sur l’excellent netlabel allemand. 12rec., Objet abandonné en mer est la première partie sortie en 2007 d’un dyptique complété deux ans plus tard par … et retrouvé en forêt. Nicolas Bernier retrouve pour la cause Simon Trottier, autre collaborant de la scène montréalaise, pour une session musicale oscillant entre electronica picturale et folk troublé. Avec un nom pareil, il me serait difficile de nier la vocation cinématographique de ce disque, c’est un fait. Mais là où la musique accompagne souvent l’image de manière carrée et extrêmement (trop parfois) collée à son sujet,Objet abandonné en mer tient à une liberté qui lui est chère en proposant une vision infiniment plus autonome, de sorte que l’image en devient plus une conséquence qu’une cause première.

Balancées entre des improvisations qui n’auraient d’aléatoire que le nom, les cinq pistes nous balancent langoureusement d’un point à l’autre de l’espace environnant au moyen de matériaux nobles et raffinés. D’une part l’électronique qui balance ses clicks, ses cuts et ses signaux avec un raffinement et une justesse de tous les instants, pétillant comme une aspirine sur la langue et percutant de manière aléatoire aux sons de pétarades timorées. De l’autre côté, Simon Trottier aime sa guitare aux accents folk lumineux, d’un blues pourpre et occasionnellement d’escapade légèrement country pour jouer la pièce manquante dans ce duo électroacoustique (au sens propre du terme). Alors, comme dans les plus grandes collaborations (on pourrait penser à la voie choisie par Fennesz et Sakamoto dans une configuration laptop/guitare), on retrouve une symbiose sonnant comme naturelle et extrêmement fusionnelle, preuve que Objet abandonné en mer est avant tout un projet qui ne pouvait se faire seul, où la guitare se serait sentie bien seule si elle n’avait pu s’appuyer sur les textures alambiquées de notre techno-monstre pour parvenir à libérer toute sa substance.

Aucune faille à dénoncer, le travail de nos compères est parfait de bout en bout et se révèle comme une bouffée d’un air frais et revigorant, une ballade bucolique aux accents de nostalgie consumée qui plaira aux amateurs d’ambiances texturées et profondément évocatrices. Une réussite à tous points de vue.

… ambiances texturées et profondément évocatrices. Une réussite à tous points de vue.

Just Another Genius: Nicolas Bernier

Sven Swift, 12rec.net, June 21, 2008

In concert with Simon Trottier, Nicolas Bernier provided one of the most astonishing, most beautiful, most adventurous 12rec.net-releases. Probably many of you remember Objet abandonné en mer. The guys were quite active during the last year, working hard to bring Objet to stages around Montréal. But Bernier’s musical output is far more versatile. In close cooperation with his own Ekumen collective and No Type Netlabel, several records had been published before. Now, two new records are available for download and CD-purchase.

First of all, there’s a fine EP of collective improvisation music to fetch at No Type. Alongside Alexis Bellavance and Érick d’Orion, Nicolas Bernier provides expanded electroacoustic collages, field-recordings and subtle ambient textures. Especially the first two tracks Le duel and Paysage made me listen up. The art of this Montréal triple is to bring their academic sonic research to musical forms. Fresh!

Second — and here we need a drum roll!Nicolas Bernier published his first real solo record. The album is entitled Les arbres and comes off as a CD with six fine poster cards by graphic designer Urban9 (who also did the art for Objet). Six exquisite songs of crackling textures, harmonic drones and ambient extravaganza. Les arbres is released at No Type but no free download. This is what the label says about it:

“Sonic landscapes and slow textures meet with precise articulations, all this resting on a minimal orchestration made of guitars, brass instruments, vibes, accordions and strings. In short: a stimulating record, a remarkable attention to detail and excellent production quality, making for an unfailingly rewarding listening experience.”

Purchase, baby!

Six exquisite songs of crackling textures, harmonic drones and ambient extravaganza […] Purchase, baby!

Soundcheck Review

Sam Davies, The Wire, no. 289, March 1, 2008

After ten seconds of a pitter-pattering loop, opener Harmattan blossoms into warm, bustling groove of fingerpicked guitar, slide, and a cluster of little chimes and tones. Rather like Jim O’Rourke’s songwriter albums for Drag City, or much of The Sea and Cake’s output, its inoffensiveness, its ambient warmth, could be easily misread as lack of adventure or blandness. But this is the kind of record that shows abrasion and discord don’t have a monopoly on the sonically interesting or challenging. Simon Trottier, an improvising folk guitarist from Montréal, provides most of the melodic direction here, taking unfussy figures and shifting them into new shapes whenever the need arises. Nicolas Bernier marshals a miniature orchestra in accompaniment: kalimba, glockenspiel, toy piano, cymbals, contact mic, laptop. Bernier’s manipulations come to the fore on the album’s centerpiece, the 12-minute, three part title track. Trottier’s guitars are set adrift amongst field recordings and ebbing, flowing sonic clutter to create a mournful Mari Celeste of a piece, which eventually finds a resolution in a mass of multiplied and overlaid guitar. The judicious splicing of lyrical folk guitar with digital musique concrète pays off throughout, and Objet abandonné en mer could almost be imagined as one direction John Fahey might have taking had he got into laptops as well as turntable manipulation.

But this is the kind of record that shows abrasion and discord don’t have a monopoly on the sonically interesting or challenging.

Review

Jos Smolders, Earlabs, November 11, 2007

And they call it: new electroacoustic folk. One has all kinds of associations with that. When Bob Dylan went electric in the 60s Pete Seeger tried to stop him from performing. So real folk music should not be electronic, according to the old die-hards. Still, Dylan has produced interesting works since his employment of electronics in his song. So, the decision can not have been too mistaken. I guess.

Now we have electroacoustic folk at our hands. A new move? Does that mean that electroacoustics is getting folky? Or is folk getting a step deeper into electronic country?

Nicolas Bernier and Simon Trottier are two Canadians with their roots in electronics (especially Bernier) music and folk and improv guitarism (Trottier). Their cooperation results in a 4 track ep with beautiful, maybe a bit romantic, electronic scapes and melodies. This kind of music can tip over one direction or the other. The first is the electronic and eletroacoustic domain that is fitted with folk furniture. So the basic structure and sound approach is that of the electronics, abstractism. The other direction is where folk music and its correspondent context is the basis over which electronic gadgetisms are sprinkled to give it ‘that modern touch’. This ep offers a bit of both.

The second composition (or should I say song?) for instance starts out with a wonderful bass tune (which reminds me vaguely of the Eno/Wobble coop…), then evolves into guitar picking and violin and a nice cadenza, with water, the guitar reclining into the verb, a second keyboard melody as a counterpoint to the guitar, slight distortion of the sounds, a hesitation, water, flute, crackle (glitch…), something sliding over a metal string, hesitative percussion. Then, after almost two minutes, the train starts a rolling again with the original guitar picking, bass kicking in. Guitar solo which finishes after a few minutes. But the composition is not over and a repeating sample kicks in, soon accompanied by the tunes we heard earlier; flute, cymbals, kalimba, toy piano, et cetera. This only to show that the overall structure of the compositions is not your typical folk song, but on the other hand the basics of what you hear is typically folk, furnished with glitches, crackles, field recordings.

I think this is a fine mixture of electroacoustics (overall structure, treatment of recorded material) with ingredients out of the folk context. The result is electroacoustic music that you can whistle to. Very funny experience. You don’t hear that very often. This definitely makes me curious to hear more.

This definitely makes me curious to hear more.

Review

Nilan Perera, Exclaim!, November 1, 2007

The one regional “sound” that’s immediately recognisable in Canada is the one coming out of Québec. Not so much in its Anglo pop vocal context but most definitely in the instrumental side of the music. This CD is definitely in the glitch pop vein and very much lives in the universe populated by the likes of Akron/Family and Pink Floyd. However, Trottier and Bernier retain the memory of Harmonium and the whole folk/prog movement that entranced Québec in the ’70s and ’80s. Record pops and glitchy samples provide a filmic ambience to acoustic guitar chants, and the music sometimes drifts into the electro acoustic space, which is also a salient feature to the identity of our Francophone friends. This is a recording that engages in an almost offhand way but retains a curiously insistent identity all the same.

This is a recording that engages in an almost offhand way but retains a curiously insistent identity all the same.

Review

Frans de Waard, Vital, no. 595, October 2, 2007

‘Objects left behind in the sea’ is the translation of the title, and that evokes images here, of driftwood, sunken ships, beaches with found objects and such like. However it’s not that Nicolas Bernier and Simon Trottier stood by the beach to tape all of this. Bernier plays laptop and is known from his work on No Type and Ekumen and Trottier is a guitarist from ‘white noise ensemble’ and together they created the four songs on this album, using computers, field recordings (no sea insight however) and guitars. This is not an unusual combination these days, even when Trottier likes folk melodies. Things tinkle nicely away here on the acoustic guitar while they are put to a hot bed of electroacoustic sounds. The latter takes care of making things not too soft, or downright ambient, but in stead there is some urgency about these pieces which makes them much more experimental than would expect. Not really songs, still soundscapes, but a lot more musical than pure field recordings. Quite a nice release, defying categories and make four strong points themselves.

Quite a nice release, defying categories and make four strong points themselves.

Critique

Benoît Richard, Netlabels Revue, September 28, 2007

Nicolas Bernier que j’avais présenté avec le ep Ail et l’eau faille, revient en duo en compagnie du guitariste Simon Trottier, pour un album de guitares improvisées, préparées, arrangées autour de diverses sonorités, field recordings.

Tout ça donne une musique que l’on pourrait appeler laptop folk et qui distille des ambiances très belles, très douces, avec ces guitares qui vont en viennent, au fil des titres, avec le son de l’eau, des mouetttes…

Quatre titres qui évoquent la mer, mais aussi la campagne, pour un ep qui rappelera sans doute à certains les musiques de Jim O’Rourke.

Tout ça donne une musique que l’on pourrait appeler laptop folk et qui distille des ambiances très belles, très douces…

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