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Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Nakamura, Toshimaru: Map (Potlatch)

4 live duets between saxophonist and organist Jean-Luc Guionnet and lowercase master Toshimara Nakamura on the no-input mixing board, in striking and compatible contrasts.

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product information:

UPC: 3491570000625

Label: Potlatch
Catalog ID: P108
Squidco Product Code: 9712

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: France
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Tracks 1-3 recorded in Montreuil, March 17, 2007. Piece 4 recordd at Collegiale Sainte-Croix (Parthenay), July 20, 2007. Eidting and Mastering by Toshimaru Nakamura


Jean Luc Guionnet-alto sax, organ

Toshimaru Nakamura-no input mixing board

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track listing:

1. 18:38

2. 12:51

3. 16:03

4. 23:16
Related Categories of Interest:

Electro-Acoustic Improv
Improvised Music
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
Free Improvisation
Duo Recordings
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"When Toshimara Nakamura first unplugged his guitar from his mixing board, jacked the board's output into its input, and started playing the resulting feedback, he metaphorically threw his musical map out the window.

He's been defying ruled boundaries ever since. While he's proven his mastery of the instrument by shaping electronically generated resonance into placid expanses, banging loops and filament-thin lances in the company of such diversely motivated improvisers as Keith Rowe, Jason Kahn, Gene Coleman, and Axel Dörner, even his own past playing is an uncertain predictor of what he'll coax out of his no-input mixing board. In general his playing has become more austere, and such is the case on Map, but even so his playing doesn't sound much like anything else I've heard him do.

Map is a set of four duets with Frenchman Jean-Luc Guionnet, a saxophone and organ player who tends to gravitate towards electronic contexts, albeit ones with methodologies which range from laminal (Hubbub) to concrete (Phéromone). Although he plays alto, the player of whom he's most reminiscent is soprano and tenor saxophonist John Butcher. Like Butcher, he's taken modern classical and early electronic sounds and forms into the realm of instant creation. And like Butcher, he's mastered a broad range of utterances that fall outside what you're supposed to play on a sax. However, he's more reticent, less prone to melody and density, more towards lean severity.On the three unnamed pieces he and Nakamura recorded in Montreuil, he sticks to the saxophone and punches out high twitters and long, attenuated tones that seem to thin and flake like sheet metal thrust heavily against a grindstone. Nakamura's contributions gather mass and presence, moving from sparse pops to purposeful rattles to a big blank wall of hiss. Neither man makes any concessions to prettiness; the music binds an enormous and thrilling tension. Even at its emptiest, it is full of suspense; when it's full on, it's an impressive array of textures that morph and melt from one to the next with obscure yet impeccable logic.

The last piece, recorded at Collegiale Sainte-Croix in Parthenay, wrings drama from a couple drastic switches. Guionnet swaps his saxophone for a church organ, which he uses to place clusters like swollen sasquatch footprints across the chill soundscape. Nakamura inverts the relationship between the volume the instruments output and the space they displace; his portable black box sounds much more massive than Guionnet's stationary keyboard, and certainly more forceful than anything I've heard him do since the first Repeat album. He erects fuzzy screens of static that strive to block Guionnet's creeping chords, only to have the Frenchman flank them or simply slink slowly under their flickering screens. Unphased, Nakamura lets loose with a blizzard of dancing, but still pitiless noise. The organ retreats, only to creep back as soon as Nakamura's attack splinters. I've never heard anything quite like it before - how often can you say that nowadays?"-Bill Meyer, Dusted

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Artist Biographies:

"Jean-Luc Guionnet is an elusive figure. A Parisian artist active in many fields (music, visual arts, cinema), he has mostly worked in electro-acoustics but also has a career in free improvisation, playing alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, church organ, and piano. He has collaborated with Éric La Casa, Éric Cordier, and André Almuro on tape music. His main free improv and jazz projects include Hubbub, Schams, Return of the New Thing, and the Joe Rosenberg quintet.

Guionnet made scientific studies before shifting to fine arts. He studied musique concrete under Iannis Xenakis and Michel Zbar, but also pursued studies in philosophy (esthetics) with Geneviève Clancy. His first works date from the late '80s and are mostly collaborations with filmmaker André Almuro (some have been issued by Ground Fault). Then came a lasting partnership with electro-acousticians Éric Cordier and Éric La Casa. Together they wrote the series "Afflux." Guionnet also produces the Ateliers de Création Radiophoniques ("creative radio workshops") for France Culture. His eclecticism has kept him at bay of recognition -- because to the eye of the press it strips him from some credibility and because running careers in philosophy (he was co-director for the review Terre des Signes from 1993 to 1996), painting (he exhibited from 1992 to 1997), and music simultaneously tends to be time-consuming.

The release of an eponymous CD by Dan Warburton's free jazz quartet Return of the New Thing in 1999 on the respected label Leo Records introduced Guionnet to a wider audience. Since then his activities as an improviser have constantly stretched toward the fringes of experimentalism. His participation in the French-Swiss group Hubbub and his duo with guitarist Olivier Benoit (&Un, 2002) follow the school of Berlin reductionism."

-All Music, François Couture (

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"Toshimaru Nakamura is a Japanese musician, active in free improvisation and Japanese onkyo.

He began his career playing rock and roll guitar, but gradually explored other types of music, even abandoning guitar, and started working on circuit bending. He uses a mixing console as a live, interactive musical instrument: "Nakamura plays the 'no-input mixing board', connecting the input of the board to the output, then manipulating the resultant audio feedback."

Nakamura's music has been described as "sounds ranging from piercing high tones and shimmering whistles to galumphing, crackle-spattered bass patterns."

Nakamura founded the ensemble A Paragon of Beauty in 1992. He has recorded solo albums, worked as a session musician, and collaborated with artists including Sachiko M ("a kindred spirit"), Otomo Yoshihide, Keith Rowe, John Butcher, Nicholas Bussmann, Taku Sugimoto, Tetuzi Akiyama, dancer Kim Ito, and drummer Jason Kahn."

-Wikipedia (

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Other Releases With These Artists:
Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Daichi Yoshikawa
Intervivos [VINYL]
(Empty Editions)
Kerbaj, Mazen / Toshimaru Nakamura
East of Where?
Guionnet, Jean-Luc
LAC (Lake)
(Herbal International)
Nakamura, Toshimaru / Jun Numata
The First Album
Skogen / Magnus Granberg
'Ist gefallen in den Schnee' (2010) and 'Despairs had Governed Me Too Long' (2012) [double CD reissue]
(Another Timbre)
Guionnet, Jean-Luc + Eric La Casa
Reflected Waves [60 pages 21x25 cm + DVD video 1h48mn]
(Passage d'encres)
Akiyama, Tetuzi / Jason Kahn / Toshimaru Nakamura
IHJ / Ftarri
(Winds Measure)
Gourdon, Yann / Maxime Petit / Jean-Luc Guionnet
Soli - Fanzine [3 CD + BOOK]
Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Dedalus
Distances Ouies Dites
La Casa, Eric with Jean-Luc Guionne
(Herbal International)
Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Thomas Bonvalet
Loges De Souffle
Nakamura, Toshimaru / Martin Taxt
Pan On Fire
Angle (Gross / Guionnet)
Premier Angle
Guionnet, Jean-Luc
LAC (Lake)
(Herbal International)
Murayama, Seijiro / Jean-Luc Guionnet
Mishima, Day & Night
Guionnet, Jean-Luc
Non-Organic Bias [2 CDs]
(Herbal International)
Akiyama, Tetuzi / Jason Kahn / Toshimaru Nakamura
Between Two
Order From Noise [2 CDs & a DVD]
(Mikroton Recordings)
Guionnet, Jean-Luc & Eric La Casa
Home: Handover [4 CD SET]
Various Artists
Magnetic Traces 2
Dahl, Anders & Skogen
(Another Timbre)
Guionnet, Jean-Luc + Eric La Casa + Philip Samartzis
Soleil d'Artifice
Fish, The
Moon Fish
(Clean Feed)
Nakamura, Toshimaru / John Butcher
Dusted Machinery
Ames Room, The
Bird Dies
(Clean Feed)
Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Seijiro Murayama
Window Dressing
Volden, Havarad & Toshi Nakamura
Crepuscular Rays
(Another Timbre)
Rowe, Keith / Toshimaru Nakamura
ErstLive 008
Nakamura, Toshimaru
La Casa, Eric / Jean-Luc Guionnet
Inscape. Lille-Flandres
Akiyama / Nakamura / Sugimoto / Wastell
Guionnet / Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Murayama
(Creative Sources)
Nakamura / Trayle
(Creative Sources)
Nakamura, Toshimaru / English (Foster, Joe / Jones, Bonnie)
One Day
Return Of The New Thing
Baron / Denzler / Guionnet / Rives
Fish, The
Live at Olympic Cafe & Jazz a Mulhouse [2 CDs]
AVVA (Nakamura, Toshimaru / Roisz, Billy)
Gdansk Queen [DVD]
Denzler / Guionnet / Kinoshita / Unami
(Creative Sources)
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