Trilogie Janus

Elizabeth Anderson

(8) + (8) Blow Up, Italy

… la jonction entre émotion et abstraction, viscéralité et cérébralité. SilenceAndSound, France

  • Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (Direction générale de la culture, Service de la musique)

Download (IMED 17146_NUM)


About Trilogie Janus

As the Roman god of time (cyclic and evolving) who possessed a double nature, Janus is perhaps best known for his perceived capacity to see into the future and the past and preside over sets of opposite events such as beginnings and endings, be they cosmic, agrarian, societal or personal. However, Janus had other functions for he was also known as the Roman god of change and transition and he symbolized progress from one state to another, for example young people’s development into adulthood. Further, he represented the middle ground between such opposite conditions as barbarism and civilization.

While inexhaustive, it is this set of qualities, replete with different proportions, that renders Janus as an apt name for a trilogy of acousmatic works that is inspired by the book Owning Your Own Shadow – Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche by Jungian analyst and author, Robert A Johnson. The trilogy explores through sound the creation and evolution of psychological opposites and the quest for spiritual wholeness on a human scale, at times relating such activity to the environment, the context for human life.

Elizabeth Anderson, Brussels (Belgium) [x-17]

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In the press


Roland Torres, SilenceAndSound, January 31, 2018

Je dois avouer que j’ai une certaine fascination pour le travail d’Elizabeth Anderson, tant son travail acousmatique fait la jonction entre émotion et abstraction, viscéralité et cérébralité. Avec Trilogie Janus, la compositrice continue d’œuvrer sur des territoires où l’on retrouve son esprit sci-fi, fait de bruissements et de sonorités éparses qui viennent titiller les tympans de l’auditeur.

Inspirée du livre Owning Your Own Shadow — Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche, de l’analyste jungien Robert A Johnson, Elizabeth Anderson oppose les forces et les modes de perception, jouant sur des formes d’abstraction qui ne sont pas pour autant dénuées de chair, enrobant son minimalisme d’épure formelle et de densité aérienne, nous tirant irrésistiblement vers un ailleurs décharné et tiraillé entre attractions antinomiques, s’attirant vers une dimension en constante évolution, bien qu’enchevêtré dans un espace-temps figé. Trilogie Janus s’inscrit comme une pièce envoutante de laquelle on ne ressort pas forcément indemne. Labyrinthique.

… la jonction entre émotion et abstraction, viscéralité et cérébralité.


Stuart Bruce, Chain DLK, January 27, 2018

Trilogue Janus is a collection of three sonic compilations, each almost exactly ten minutes, and each made up of shorter sonic vignettes collated and contrasted into a soundtrack that’s mostly frenetic — there are fleeting moments of calm due to a reduction in elements but the pace never really lets up fully.

It’s all about the electroacoustics here, with sound structures made out of organic found sounds, electric sparkles, and various shades of noise. Pitches shift and bend across the stereo field, at times almost comically squeaky, at other times almost impenetrably rumbling and deep. It’s rough-hewn at times and definitely reminiscent of some of the more energetic and sinister-sounding moments of the Radiophonic Workshop’s back catalogue, to the extent that with the possible exception of the mastering and the breadth of the EQ, it would be possible to believe that this was recorded over 20 years ago, but it wasn’t.

While each of the three pieces have more than a few elements in common, opener L’éveil ends up feeling the most sinister, spending a lot of time in the lower registers, whereas there’s something a little quirker about Chat noir and its twisting of higher-pitched bell tones. Of the three pieces, Neon has the most sedate sections, with flittering noises that sound like digital birdsong opening up into a bizarre alien parody of an idyllic countryside-meets-beachside environment, though this shatters and rebuilds in a manner more akin to the other tracks after the three minute mark.

Trilogie Janus is also, notably, the first empreintes DIGITALes digital-only release. Format purists will slate me for saying so but a release with such dynamics and use of pure tone notes was never ideally suited to analogue formats anyway so personally I welcome the shift.

… organic found sounds, electric sparkles, and various shades of noise.