- Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (Direction générale de la culture, Service de la musique)
… an exciting prospect, and one which I’m happy to report broadly lived up to expectations. — Tempo, UK
While it’s possible to situate Delafontaine’s work in the traditions of musique concrète and electro-acoustic, she clearly isn’t weighed down by the baggage of history. — The Sound Projector, UK
- empreintes DIGITALes
- IMED 19156 / 2019
- UPC/EAN 771028215621
- Total duration: 63:58
- 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
- empreintes DIGITALes
- IMED 19156_NUM / 2019
- UPC/EAN 771028215683
- Total duration: 63:58
- 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
- 44,1 kHz, 24 bits
- 48 kHz, 24 bits
• MP3 • OGG • FLAC
CD 2.0IMED 19156CAD 25.00US+3.00+4.00
Download 2.0IMED 19156_NUMCAD 12.00
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In the press
Richard Barrett, Tempo, no. 75:295, January 1, 2021… an exciting prospect, and one which I’m happy to report broadly lived up to expectations.
Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, December 22, 2019While it’s possible to situate Delafontaine’s work in the traditions of musique concrète and electro-acoustic, she clearly isn’t weighed down by the baggage of history.
African Paper, October 5, 2019… exudes a strong allure of the opaque and a special focus on subtle moments of tension.
Dionisio Capuano, Blow Up, no. 257, October 1, 20197/8
Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy, no. 103, October 1, 2019
Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, September 1, 2019La plupart des propositions […] ont un effet profondément onirique…
Julian Cowley, The Wire, no. 427, September 1, 2019… fluent compositions […] characterised by agile movement and graceful transitions…
Roger Batty, Musique Machine, July 24, 2019… a very arty and focused sonic magpie, collection sound elements […] into a decidedly spell-bind sonic experience.
Richard Allen, A Closer Listen, July 1, 2019Her natural curiosity is just as great, and on Accord ouvert she translates her alliterative collections into electroacoustic studies.
Giuseppe Aiello, Blow Up, no. 253, June 1, 2019Sempre però molto, molto acusmatiche.
The Wire, June 1, 2019
Richard Allen, A Closer Listen, May 29, 2019These recycled sounds have indeed been made new; when the album ends and we reenter our own acoustic environments, we do so with new ears.
Sophie Delafontaine was born in Lausanne and studied in Belgium; a gifted child prodigy, she seems to have come into electroacoustic music through the medium of dance and movement. I’m quite taken by her refreshing, near-innocent approach to her work on Accord Ouvert, which showcases six recent compositions. The overlapping voices (speaking and singing) on Ondiesop are absolutely enchanting, and they swim in and out of a collage which involves running water and stabs of digitally reverbed sound. Respire marche pars va-t-en began life as an observation about breathing — and made me think for two seconds we’d be getting a Pauline Oliveros-like observation — but instead it’s about the forward movement of life, which sets up a kind of swing or pendulum. What I like is the way she makes it part of her personal history; did she do the right thing in leaving Lausanne so young? She reflects, honestly, on her own private impressions of what it all means for her, giving the music depth and feeling. There’s also a droney, languid reflection on the restorative powers of sleep in Dormir, aujourd’hui which uses the speaking voice of Laurent Plumhans to deliver fragments of a lecture in among compelling rise-and-fall electronic tones. The distant sound of a cock crowing at dawn in the middle of this one is about one of the most poetic moments I’ve heard in this genre of music. The three other pieces refer in turn to watchmaking and the tiny springs, the rock formations at Creux-du-van, and the work of Ovid as she tells the story of Echo’s metamorphosis. While it’s possible to situate Delafontaine’s work in the traditions of musique concrète and electroacoustics, she clearly isn’t weighed down by the baggage of history. I mean it as a compliment when I think of her as a naive, instinctive composer, one who is not afraid to source her own life in an honest, personal, diaristic fashion. Some of the stodgier buttoned-up composers on this label could learn a lot from her.
Sophie Delafontaine hat schon eine Reihe an Soundarbeiten für Tanz und Theater abgeliefert, bei denen sie mit intensiver Musik den Fokus auf andere Akteure gelenkt hat. Vielleicht hat dies ja, zusammen mit ihrem Studium der Akusmatischen Komposition, mit dazu beigetragen, dass Accord Ouvert, das erste Studioalbum der heute in Belgien lebenden Schweitzerin einen starken Reiz des Undurchsichtigen ausströhmt und einen besonderen Fokus auf hintergründige Spannungsmomente richtet.
Accord Ouvert beginnt wie ein surreales Hörspiel, bei dem hohe Sinustöne, vibrierende Dröhnung, das Geräusch von Planschen im Wasser und die Stimmen von Hühnern und anderen Vögeln den Ton angeben, ganz in Musique concrète-Manier montiert zu einer originellen Klangkollage, in die sich bald Melodieansätze und ein in Sirup eingelegter französischer Song — vielleicht ein Kinderlied — mit gedoppelter Stimme mischen.
Viele dieser und ähnlicher Sounds — Dröhnen und Kratzen, koloritreiche Regenschauer, skurriles Plastikblubbern, lamentierende Vögel, tickende Uhren und vieles mehr — kehren im Verlauf der sechs Tracks wieder und bilden zusammen mit obskuren Instrumentalbeiträgen ein Referenzsystem, dass stets vage genug bleibt, um das wie auch immer geartete Geheimnis zu wahren. Wer bei der humorigen Seite des ganzen, den Tierstimmen und dem elektrifizierten Planschen und Blubbern, nicht an Nurse With Wound denkt, der hat letztere wahrscheinlich nie gehört.
Natürlich stechen bei soliden Französischkenntnissen gerade die textlastigeren Abschnitte heraus und lassen eine gesellschftskritische Seite erahnen — so z.B. Dormir, aujourd’hui, eines der weniger wusseligen Stücke, das sich weniträumig um einen klaren Monolog, gesprochen von Gastmusiker Laurent Plumhans, legt, in dem sich das lyrische Ich als “oiseau migrateur”, als Zugvogel beschreibt. Flüsternde Stimmen schwirren durch den Raum und ähneln sicher nicht ganz zufällig den Vogelstimmen in den anderen Stücken.
Accord ouvert is the debut album from Belgium based electroacoustic / acousmatic / musique concrète composer Sophie Delafontaine. The CD album/digital download servers up six tracks that dart between mysteriously unsettling, playful & bizarre, and inventive & daring — all to create a real sonic roller-coaster ride of a release.
Sophie Delafontaine was born in Switzerland in the late 1980s. At the age of twenty she decided to leave her home to move to Belgium where she studied acousmatic composition at the Conservatoire royal de Mons, she gained her master’s degree in 2014- and since she has been composing work that follows links / connections between acousmatic music and contemporary dance.
The six pieces come from between 2013 & 2018 — and each lasts between the seven and fourteen-minute mark, with an album total runtime of sixty-three minutes. Things begin in wonderful dizzying and unbalancing manner with 2015’s Ondiésop — which moves between hovering drone rises created by reverberant bell, creepily bounced & modified voices, and field recording of seagulls, waves and water. Later on, we have the decidedly unsettling & un-nerving Ressort spiral — this 2014 piece brings together winding down & up music boxes, ticking & tocking clocks/ machinery, with sheared & stretched French chatter — all to create a wonderful nightmarish & surreal atmosphere.
Though-out the release Delafontaine highlights both her flair for creating both unbalancing moodiness and sonic playfulness- with each of the six works showing these two talents in a fairly even balance. I guess as not been a French speaker myself, some of the more dialogue-heavy moments here are lost a little on me, but these never last too long — and when they are present she adds in other elements to the mix to create — uneasy, playful-ness or a mixture of the two.
Accord ouvert is a brave and decidedly varied debut release where you really don’t know where you’ll spin off, or dip into next. It shows Delafontaine as a very arty and focused sonic magpie, collection sound elements — be it field recordings, modified instruments / tones, or voices — into a decidedly spell-bind sonic experience.
Crickets and clocks, seagulls and strings ~ one could be forgiven for thinking Sophie Delafontaine is writing a Dr. Suess book. Her natural curiosity is just as great, and on Accord ouvert she translates her alliterative collections into electroacoustic studies.
Electroacoustic music is an acquired taste, falling under the same banner as musique concrète and the lesser-used acousmatics. For 20 years, Montréal’s empreintes DIGITALis has been releasing a steady stream of this intricate, fascinating music, bringing award-winning compositions to the attention of larger audiences. But when we write larger, we still don’t mean large. There’s little of the mainstream in this brand of music, not even the hint of a hit.
So who exactly listens to this electroacoustic music? (Reviewer raises hand.). Okay, who else? The answer is simple: those who enjoy textures as much as melodies. Consider for example Ondiésop, the opening track on Sophie Delafontaine’s Accord ouvert. The sources include a reverberant bell, modified voice, seagulls, waves, and snatches of French song. The Swiss composer “likes to recover, recycle and renew her sonic materials.” Call her a collector of sound. Delafontaine is also a dancer, and her music relates well to contemporary choreography, inundated with impression and allusion. But while Ondiésop prefers sound to instrument, Respire marche pars va-t-en introduces a thrill of strings followed by a narrow electronic mirror of military drums. At 4:50 (approximately midway) a surging chord is toppled with dissonance, and then dialogue. An ice cream truck passes quickly before the rain begins to fall. Yet even the rain is subject to the artist’s manipulation; she uses it as instrument, unleashing it only for moments at a time like a benevolent goddess taking the clouds for a walk.
In order to appreciate electroacoustics, one must lay aside all preconceptions. These albums unfold like books whose jackets lack descriptions. One turns the next page, unaware of what one will encounter. But it’s not just the thrill of discovery; when Delafontaine begins to wind children’s toys on Ressort spiral, she exposes the fun side of acousmatics. A clock ticks, doubles, stops, and finally, at 6:33, rings. It’s time to get up! No, wait ~ she is up. Where others hear only the sounds of everyday life, blending into the blasé, she hears symphonies. In Creux-du-Van, she enters the soft night, repurposing the cries of crickets and even taming the wind. The sixth minute sounds like the spring thaw, fragments of ice jostling each other, growing more agitated as they melt. An in the end, all dissolves into lonely whistles of air. These recycled sounds have indeed been made new; when the album ends and we reenter our own acoustic environments, we do so with new ears.