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Saturday, January 18, 2020 General

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Saturday, January 18, 2020 In concert

Review

Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, December 22, 2020
Monday, January 6, 2020 Press

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.

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.

Review

Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, December 22, 2020
Monday, January 6, 2020 Press

English composer Annie Mahtani studied with Jonty Harrison in Birmingham, and does electronic music, electroacoustic composition, free improvisation, and installations; she expresses an interest in environmental recordings. Five very recent pieces on Racines, of which the earliest dates from 2008. The stories behind these contain her written observations about the very specific places where they were made, or where the original recordings were captured; it’s evident she’s very sensitive to the entire surrounding area, hoping to capture the truth of a locale. I like her subdued, pared-down approach on Past Links, which remains very coherent as it attempts to take on the form of a living museum in sound, using objects from a museum in Dudley to tell the story of the industrial past of the Black Country. Round Midnight derives from her time in the Amazon rainforest, working with Francisco López; having heard my fair share of recordings of frogs, insects, birds and rainfall, I can safely say Mahtani’s is one of the most interesting entries in an over-crowded field. In her hands, the locale becomes an intense, bubbling cauldron of life; the power of nature, cubed. Equally subdued and focussed is Inversions, involving a strange tale of 5000 figures carved out of ice at some open-air exhibit; she creates a minimalist humming atmosphere which may have been derived from the sounds of chiselling and melting ice. Scary; at times it seemed these icy figures were coming to life, forming an army and preparing for an invasion. There’s also Aeolian made from wind recordings in Northumberland, and the very touching (and personal) Racines tordues, about a family tragedy which has evidently deepened her and made her stronger. A most excellent set by Mahtani.

… she’s very sensitive to the entire surrounding area, hoping to capture the truth of a locale.

Critique

Roland Torres, SilenceAndSound, January 5, 2020
Monday, January 6, 2020 Press

Le son est un matériau que les musiciens traitent et maltraitent, pour en extraire des substances aux variations multi-directionnelles, en fonction de là où ils veulent l’entrainer.

C’est sur les territoires des l’expérimental et de l’électroacoustique que Stéphane Roy opère, regroupant les sources sonores et les field recordings, pour les coller et offrir des géographies accidentées, éprises de science-fiction et d’aridité spatiale.

L’inaudible rassemble des œuvres composées entre 2008 et 2014, le tout formant un ensemble à la cohérence forte, de par les atmosphères développées tournant définitivement le dos à la détermination et la délimitation, pour se laisser porter par le seul flux créatif.

L’artiste offre des œuvres aux contours sculptés dans l’énergie de notre époque, grossissant l’infiniment petit, pour le mettre en exergue aux cotés d’un quotidien harassant, devenu sourd à nos oreilles. Un concentré de textures ordinaires pour une plongée dans l’extraordinaire.

Un concentré de textures ordinaires pour une plongée dans l’extraordinaire.

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