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Guionnet, Jean-Luc + Eric La Casa + Philip Samartzis: Soleil d'Artifice (Swarming)

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.

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product information:

Label: Swarming
Catalog ID: swarming001
Squidco Product Code: 17504

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: France
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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track listing:

1. Track 01 15:38

2. Track 02 14:40

3. Track 03 13:35

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic Improv
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Field Recordings
Trio Recordings

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"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

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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 (

"968: Born in Tours, France.
1987-91: Studied history of art (University of La Sorbonne, Paris).
1988: Starting sound experiments.

Since 1991: Sound artist.

(award: Festival "Soundscape before 2000")

- tape music composer
A research based on the landscape, its sound substances, its inner language, within a sensitive listening of the world.
[7 solo CDs, many CDs compilations : Japan, Germany, Taiwan, usa...]
+ Previous releases CD:
L'empreinte de l'ivresse (Digital Narcis Ltd, Japan), The Stone of the Threshold (The Ground Fault, Usa).
+ New CD (October 2000): Les Pierres du seuil part 4-7.

- "sound plastician"
(sound environments and installations: Clepsydre, Chute, mi-lieu...)
A research dedicated to the concept: the place - the sound/one place - one work.

- radio producer

(sound essays for the national radio program ACR-France Culture)
New work: Vent sur Ecoute (dedicated to the wind).
Work in progress: Ward Weis (a portrait of this sound artist).

Since 1996: Journalist for the french magazine of new musics: Revue et Corrigée.

Interviews with Pierre Marietan, Claude Schryer, Eric Cordier, Yann Paranthoën, Cédric Peyronnet, René Farabet, Slavek Kwi, Jocelyn Robert, Jean-Luc Guionnet,...
1989-1998: Director of La Légende des voix (label of experimental music).

10 releases (Arsenije Jovanovic, Jim O'Rourke, Syllyk, ...)"

-Kunstradio (

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
Gourdon, Yann / Maxime Petit / Jean-Luc Guionnet
Soli - Fanzine [3 CD + BOOK]
Fish, The
Live at Olympic Cafe & Jazz a Mulhouse [2 CDs]
Other Recommended Releases:
Guionnet, Jean-Luc + Eric La Casa
Reflected Waves [60 pages 21x25 cm + DVD video 1h48mn]
(Passage d'encres)
La Casa, Eric
Paris Quotidien [CD+60 page booklet of photos & text]
Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Dedalus
Distances Ouies Dites
La Casa, Eric with Jean-Luc Guionne
(Herbal International)
Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Thomas Bonvalet
Loges De Souffle
Lopes, Luis / Jean-Luc Guionnet
Live at Culturgest
(Clean Feed)
Angle (Gross / Guionnet)
Premier Angle
Guionnet, Jean-Luc
LAC (Lake)
(Herbal International)
La Casa, Eric
W2 (1998-2008) [2 CDs]
(Herbal International)
Guionnet, Jean-Luc
Non-Organic Bias [2 CDs]
(Herbal International)
La Casa, Eric / Cedric Peyronnet
La Creuse
(Herbal International)
La Casa, Eric / Taku Unami
Parazoan Mapping
Guionnet, Jean-Luc & Eric La Casa
Home: Handover [4 CD SET]
Murayama, Seijiro / Eric La Casa
Paris: Public Spaces
La Casa, Eric / Cedric Peyronnet
Zones Portuaires [2 CDs]
(Herbal International)
Various Artists
Magnetic Traces 2
Guionnet, Jean-Luc + Eric La Casa + Philip Samartzis
Stray Shafts of Sunlight
Battus / Gauguet / La Casa
Chantier 1
(Another Timbre)
Fish, The
Moon Fish
(Clean Feed)
Ames Room, The
Bird Dies
(Clean Feed)
Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Seijiro Murayama
Window Dressing
La Casa, Eric / Jean-Luc Guionnet
Inscape. Lille-Flandres
Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Nakamura, Toshimaru
Songbook Vol. 4
(Azul Discografica)

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