… I found the experience of listening to this record to be extremely engaging and rewarding… highly recommended. — Incursion Music Review, Canada
… the three tracks build to a evocative un)set(tling of pieces. — Ampersand Etcetera, Australia
- Composer(s): Michèle Bokanowski
Not in catalogue
This item is not available through our web site. We have catalogued it for information purposes only. You might find more details about this item on the Elevator Bath website.
- Label: Elevator Bath
- EEAOA 07 / 2001
- Total duration: 27:00
In the press
Trois chambres d’inquiétude (Three Rooms of Unrest) is a three-part composition originally performed in 1976 at the 6th International Festival of Experimental Music in Bourges. At that time Michèle Bokanowski, who had been experimenting with electronic composition, was composing primarily for live performances and for film (for examples of her more recent work, please consult her other two releases on Metamkine and empreintes DIGITALes respectively). The fact that this composition dates back to 1976 is a source of some amazement for me; had I not been given this information I never would have guessed it. This is a piece of history which seems like it’s only minutes old, let alone 25 years. The three “rooms” of this composition are each structured in complex arrangements, a montage of manipulations, samples, loops and effects. Loops are layered incongruously, sometimes meeting in time, but never for long. A dark undercurrent appears for a minute, and then regresses into silence. The second piece is the longest of the three (it occupies 13 of the composition’s 27 minutes). It begins with microscopic sounds, soft clusters of clicks and pops, and then a dark drone loop introduces an uneasy mood, a heavy sound like breathing carries you through a dark passage… The piece goes through many transitions, each of them surprising, compelling and mysterious. There is an undeniable sense of unease throughout the entire composition (witness the short breaths in the third piece, for example), which befits the title’s reference to inquietude or unrest, and yet despite this unease (or more likely, because of it), I found the experience of listening to this record to be extremely engaging and rewarding. Limited to a press run of 1000 copies, Trois chambres d’inquiétude comes highly recommended.
Back in the first 2001 edition I looked at three vinyl releases from Elevator Bath, and with this cd-ep they are demonstrating their variety — from powerpop through coloured site recordings to musique concrète. This minialbum was recoded in 1976 and features 3 tracks, emcased in a textured cardsleeve (like the vinyl) featuring an evocative colour photo by Patrick Bokanowski. The first room opens tentatively with looping resonant bongs over a drifting wind scrape, gradually building in more percussive taps and density, and then a sharp electropulse backed by a pair of soft sirens. There then comes a section which tries my patience — a strong beat, pulsing drone and chime like tones, but all surrounding a loop of a baby laughing — the worst bit of the Teletubbies is the giggling sun, it is just a sound that doesn’t work for me. However it is a mercifully short segment, soon processed out to a cycling pulse, a mood which is common across the disk: looped and cycled pops whcih are shifted in and out of phase, modulated and played with — sonic equivalence of unrest (and of the more poetic possibilities of ‘unquietness’ in English). The second room is longer (13 over 9) and works the same style but with more restraint, a slowly cycling buzz drone loop with banging echoed over, steathily changing while seemingly static: a whipporwill enters at 5 minutes, developing into a range of smooth squeeks and blips, subdued sonar (we could be in some control room); a heavy drone builds up behind and takes the forground briefly, and when things settle back there is a new balance between a stony scraping and thud, which eventually go, leaving a sustain to fade out. The short third room is built from a voiced fragment cycled with other loops — piano notes, pulsed sustains, a machine — in a simple but effective structure. And together the three tracks build to a evocative un)set(tling of pieces.