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Guionnet, Jean-Luc: LAC (Lake) (Herbal International)

Jean-Luc Guionnet creates a portrayal of Lake Annecy near his home as described through its geographical location, and heard in a series of snapshot field recording compositions that describe the environment, fauna, people and civilization that abound around it.

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product information:

Label: Herbal International
Catalog ID: 1501
Squidco Product Code: 21205

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: Malaysia
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Composed in Annecy, France, between 2004 and 2007.


Jean Luc Guionnet

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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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track listing:

1. LAC (Lake) 1:13:54
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"On the other end of the spectrum, we find the interest Herbal International has in the use of field recordings, with 'the subjective portrait of a geographic entity', and Jean-Luc Guionnet doesn't tell us where this entity in simple layman's terms, but rather via the long latitude and longitude codes, which I believe is Lake Annecy, close where Guionnet lives. He made recordings at the lake between 2004 and 2007 and dedicates the work to fellow field recording artist, Eric LaCasa (see how that 'Lac' fits in there too?).

I can't say I know the lake of Annecy as I hardly celebrate holidays, but then, this is also a 'subjective portrait', as Guionnet says on the cover and having a look on the map it must be a beautiful area, surrounded by mountains and with 38 kilometres of coast line (love live google) I'm sure there is lots of sound to record. Guionnet not just taped a bunch of water, but mostly has water in relation with human activity, so we hear people speaking, cars passing, insects, birds and all such like and it's stuck together like a long collage (seventy-three minutes).

Some of the changes appear to be a bit abrupt I was thinking; they cut out, just like that, and continue with something much more crude. It happens on a few places and I am not sure why Guionnet made these choices. Maybe he feels there is enough carefully constructed releases of field recordings? Maybe this reflects some of the areas more rough paths along the lake? Whatever the reasons might be it makes this release a bit different than your usual field recordings release. It's a more like a bunch of snapshots, small and large stuck together and some of these with rough edges (recording glitches were left in by intent).

Strange release, but one that is quite beautiful."-Frans De Waard, Vital Weekly

Related Categories of Interest:

Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
Solo Artist Recordings
Field Recordings
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
New in Experimental & Electronic Music

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