The first 2009 release for French The Swarming label is the trio of saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet, and electronic artists Eric La Casa and Philip Samartzis, using unusual procedures and investigations to create impressive and dynamic sonic journeys.
Guionnet, Jean-Luc + Eric La Casa + Philip Samartzis
Released in: France
"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, Bagatallen
• Show Bio for Jean Luc Guionnet
"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 (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jean-luc-guionnet-mn0000231714)
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Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
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Shipping Weight: 1.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Catalog ID: swarming001
Squidco Product Code: 17504
Packaging: Cardstock foldover
Recorded on June 22nd, 2007 at Studio-Kouz, Paris.
Jean Luc Guionnet-amplified alto saxophone
Eric La Casa-microphones, preapred recordings, laptop
Philip Samartzis-electronics, field recordings, laptop
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1. Track 01 15:38
2. Track 02 14:40
3. Track 03 13:35