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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    by jean-luc guionnet + eric la casa + philip samartzis
    recorded at Kouz studios, 2007
    sax + field recordings + electronics
    improvised music

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about

recorded at Kouz studios, 2007
sax + field recordings + electronics
improvised music

reviews

Né en 2005 lors du festival australien Liquid Architecture, ce trio avec Jean-Luc Guionnet (saxophone alto), Eric La Casa (microphones, enregistrement, ordinateur) et Philip Samartzis (électroniques, enregistrement, ordinateur) explore la rencontre de l'enregistrement et de l'improvisation, du son fixé et du geste instrumental, de l'acoustique et de l'artifice, dans une architecture sonore à base d'enregistrements d'extérieurs, de souffle amplifié, de fréquences aiguisés dans une large échelle dynamique. Réjouira autant les amateurs de field recordings que d'électroacoustique improvisée ! Enregistré en juin 2007 à Paris. Mixé et masterisé à Melbourne en novembre 2007. Metamkine

The new French label Swarming starts with a trio that first played together in 2005 in Brisbane and Melbourne, but when Samartzis came to Europe in 2007, the collaboration he started with La Casa and Samartzis, continued. They played concerts in France, Germany and the Czech Republic. Guionnet plays 'extended saxophone', La Casa microphones, prepared recordings, laptop and Philip Samartzis electronics, field recordings and laptop. Almost forty minutes, three pieces, some liner notes in French which didn't mean much to me, and the whole thing being 'nice'. Now, I now that qualification isn't a great one, but I can't help it either. I played it and thought, yes, this is nice. I hear each player doing his specific contribution, and it all sort of fits together in a nice way, but at the same time I couldn't help also thinking: I heard it all before also. By them, by others. That's isn't a big a problem, and then the CD isn't bad at all, but it also doesn't seem to stand out of what is done. By them, by others. Just a fine but regular piece of work. Vital weekly, 675, (FdW)

Enregistré en studio, Soleil d’artifice est la trace laissée sur disque de l’association Jean-Luc Guionnet (saxophone alto) / Eric La Casa (microphones, laptop et enregistrements) / Philip Samartzis (électronique, laptop, field recordings), entendue en Europe en 2007. En compagnie de l’Australien – qui s’occupa aussi de mixer l’enregistrement –, Guionnet et La Casa réinterrogent l’espace, le temps, et la forme à donner à la dualité. Au son de sirènes, de grésillements, de chuchotements et d’aigus perçants, les trois hommes bâtissent un édifice de grisailles enfermant l’entente de sons préenregistrés et de pratiques instrumentales inventant sur l’instant. Bientôt, l’alto insiste pour se libérer de la forme jusque-là donnée à l’ensemble, se balance entre deux notes puis en répète une seule, de moins en moins inquiet d’aller voir ailleurs qu’à l’endroit indiqué : Soleil d’artifice dans lequel il finit par se fondre pour mieux en intensifier la flamme. « J’aurai vécu dans le soleil. J’ai connu dans ce monde un bonheur infini. Certains soirs, le bruit de la pluie me procurait une jouissance indicible car il était la chanson que faisait ma vie pour résonner dans les profondeurs du temps qui me donnait tout. » Joë Bousquet, Traduit du silence, extrait cité dans Le bruit de fond, texte de Jean-Luc Guionnet. Guillaume Belhomme, grisli.canalblog.com

Musique expérimentale extrêmement douce, faite d’enregistrements sur le terrain, d’électroniques discrètes, et de saxo alto amplifié approché comme un corps résonnant plutôt qu’un instrument. Statisme, tension, énigmes sonores. J’y reviendrai plus en détail lorsque j’aurai pu lui donner une écoute très attentive.
Je suis revenu sur ce disque au petit matin (pour mes premières impressions, lisez l’entrée d’hier). Moins doux qu’il n’y parassait à prime abord! Les enregistrements sur le terrain coupent brusquement, créant des changements d’atmosphère déstabilisants. Et le jeu de Guionnet (saxo) est tranché, désincarné. Ça m’interpelle. Écoute inconfortable mais stimulante. Jeux d’espace, avec ambiances souterraines et surterraines, bribes de conversation (en français) et intrusions électroniques.

Extremely quiet experimental music consisting of field recordings, discreet electronics, and amplified alto sax approached more as a resonant body than an instrument. Stasis, tension, sonic enigmas. I’ll get back to this one soon, need to give a very attentive listen.I came back to this CD at sunrise (see yesterday’s entry for my first impressions). Less quiet than it first seemed! The field recordings cut abruptly, creating unsettling atmospheric shifts. And Guionnet’s sax playing is sharp-edged and disembodied. It beckons me. An uncomfortable but stimulating listen. Spatial games with subterranean and overterranean ambiances, snippets of conversation (in French) and electronic intrusions. François Couture, blog.monsieurdelire.com

For this, the first release on Swarming label, Eric La Casa, Philip Samartzis and Jean-Luc Guionnet recorded Soleil D’Artifice in 2007 to investigate all kinds of ends in improvisation and in experimental music. Their meeting was in the interest of the possibilities in sound mechanics, some areas previously known, and some bound to be discovered (among themselves) for the first time. Listening to the disc I’ve come to appreciate it as a lab experiment played out for the ears — scientists seeking new links in dynamics more for the sake of the experience and without two shits given for the written documentation of their findings. As if just listening weren’t enough… For all the sequencing of prepared material, this is a strange recording which, on a strictly aesthetic level, will be at odds with any assumption of the music’s responsibility to “say something”. Almost immediately we find ourselves navigating Guionnet’s fragmental gestures (clean tones, brief and sporadic from the alto sax, also amplified in such a way as to intermittently “play” feedback) and La Casa’s and Samartzis’ field recordings, as if in a chaotic storm inside which is no visibility or sense of heading. The only recourse is to get lost and adrift in the proceedings, awash in the contrast and in the occasional merging of complementary sounds. Among these are glitchy patch-driven wedges of laptop noise, industrial site alarms and human voice. The first track is built primarily from field recordings, with electronics and saxophone providing occasional accents — it’s the most hyper-communicative of the three pieces, at once lacking direction but cohesive in its horizontal activity. Relentless but perfectly engaging, it is. Samartzis and Guionnet appear at the fore of the second piece, the tamest on the disc, segmental in nature with longer thematic stretches and more seamless transitions. La Casa and Samartzis are sensitive in the employment of their microphones, while rejecting nothing — even wind noise (customarily unwanted residual noise) finds perfect placement, the trio craftily incorporating the accidental within 45 minutes of music that is nearly saturated with unique source recordings. Once all three pieces are digested and considered, an abstract ghost of a theme takes shape. It’s difficult to say why or how such contrasting sounds fit so well together — and it certainly has to do with their placement against one another — but then I believe contrast was the more concrete of the goals when the trio met on a single day to make this recording. It’s barrage without bombardment, experimentation without whimsy. AL for www.bagatellen.com?p=2413



Dans le paysage contemporain des musiques improvisées, Jean-Luc Guionnet est devenu en l’espace de quelques années un musicien aussi incontournable que difficile à cerner. Rien de surprenant de la part d’un artiste caméléon (au gré des projets, il officie en tant que saxophoniste alto, organiste, essayiste, plasticien, vidéaste...) attaché à laisser derrière lui des empreintes plutôt qu’à marquer son territoire à grands coups de certitudes égotiques. Il y a chez cet iconoclaste à l’univers musical pour le moins singulier un art du questionnement et du frémissement, voire de la vacance sonore, pensé comme un dédale infini dans lequel la figure (du musicien) s’efface au profit du (bruit de) fond. Enregistré en juin 2007 à Paris, Soleil d’Artifice en témoigne admirablement. En trio, avec Eric La Casa (microphones, laptop, pré-enregistrements) et Philip Samartzis (électronique, field recordings, laptop), Guillonnet laisse libre cours à un langage sonore parfois imperceptible, presque de l’ordre du mutique, accordant généralement peu de place à la projection narrative — comme le souligne la neutralité explicite des trois plages sans titre. Dès les premières minutes de l’album, l’auditeur se retrouve face-à-face avec une blancheur sonore à perte d’ouie, traversée sporadiquement de tonalités de saxophone, d’effets d’amplification ou de résonance, de voix humaines enregistrées et de bruits divers (celui d’une sirène notamment) ; autant de signaux perçus comme des traces auditives faisant saillie dans un étrange continuum sonore qui semble par moments capable de se départir de toute présence. Aride et exigeante, l’œuvre improvisée du trio s’apparente ainsi à une musique d’ameublement, mais au sens où un meuble habite un lieu avant d’occuper une place. Du corps du musicienjoué ne demeure alors que le symptôme sonore, sa mise en suspens, son avoir-lieu. Et le Soleil d’Artifice d’être ce temps du dessaisissement. Fabrice Fuentes, in www.pinkushion.com



The most remarkable attribute of Soleil D’Artifice, four years and a half after its release as the opening act of Eric La Casa’s Swarming imprint, is that it was recorded in a day: a large-scale improvisation, one would say, on the permutation of theoretically unrelated frequencies into ingenious lateral thinking. A gestural exactitude whose empathy with stillness mistakenly suggests an extensive preparatory work of assemblage and seaming, such is the level of precision in the mix and evocativeness inside the assorted sonic layers. The latter quality — in addition to Guionnet’s biting alto saxophone (amplified) and La Casa and Samartzis’ sharp-minded use of laptop and electronics — is enhanced by field recordings spanning from faraway industrial clangor to powerfully blowing winds. Occasionally, segments may be “spiced” by human voices speaking in different idioms; at one point, a sudden salvo of gunshots follows a solitary reed squeak to introduce an erratic argument between the involved parties.

Since his teens, this writer has wondered why certain settings — inhabited by unvarying “supportive” noises or echoes — manage to transport a silent listener straight into a parallel dimension with immunity from the pain of existence, a feeling usually announced by a discernible clutch in the pit of the stomach; there are a number of spots here that caught my attention accordingly. A symbolic segment in that sense might be the couple of minutes that starts around 2:50 of the second track: I distinctly catch the undertone of a wailing spirit in the plain concurrence of a single, rather fragile sax pitch and a wobbly blend of electronic murmurs. But this CD is not unwisely stuck on that category of present-day contemplation. The trio’s main target is understanding the technicalities of interrelations that connect particular types of acoustic secretion, reacting to the respective initiatives with immediate resolution. Still, keeping silence as the starting place of everything, their respect for it is unquestionably deeper than those who contaminate the same spring for inexcusably empty fashionable statements. Massimo Ricci, November 2013, massimoriccisquid.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/jean-luc-guionnet-eric-la-casa-philip-samartzis-soleil-dartifice/

credits

released June 1, 2009

Published by Swarming (Paris-Melbourne)

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about

éric la casa Paris, France

sound artist

Through my aesthetic of recording,
my work fits equally into the fields of sound art and music.

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