The Squid's Ear Magazine


Battus / Gauguet / La Casa: Chantier 1 (Another Timbre)

Three improvisers, Pascal Battus (rotating surfaces, found objects), Bertrand Gauguet (saxophones) and Eric La Casa (microphones) recorded while playing at a working building site in Paris and also in studio.
 

Price: $14.95


Quantity:

Out of Stock

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Sample The Album:





product information:

Personnel:



Pacal Battus-rotating surfaces, found objects

Bertrand Gauguet-amplified saxophone, acoustic saxophone, effects

Eric La Casa-microphones, recordings


Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.




Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at55
Squidco Product Code: 16500

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2012
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded on September 13th, 2010 on a building site in Paris and on April 28th, 2011 in studio.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"An extraordinary document of an experiment in which three improvisers - Pascal Battus (rotating surfaces and found objects), Bertrand Gauguet (saxophones) and Eric La Casa (microphones) - played at a working building site in Paris, adapting their playing to integrate the sounds and gestures of the workers at the site."-Another Timbre



"Interview with Eric La Casa and Pascal Battus

'Chantier 1' clearly isn't an ordinary music recording. Can you tell us about the background to the project, and how it worked?

ELC: What is 'an ordinary music recording'? Probably this is the heart of this project. I don't make a 'clear' distinction between all the (sound) layers within the real. This means that my listening has no predetermined focus. Of course I have a long experience of listening and recording in many contexts. And this background forms the base of every new work. But I insist on this concept again: as a researcher (in humanities) I am always refining my recording processes when on site. I rarely have the answers before the recordings session itself because a site will often only reveal its density/complexity during the listening process, my survey. Channelling all those energies from the site, questions progressively appear and change...

I would say that this project is "clearly" (using your word) linked to my personal listening. I have been working on many site specific projects for 20 years or so... and especially with musicians in everyday contexts. In France, I have already made projects in metro stations, car parks, garages, houses, etc... And I think what is important to say is that I am involved as an improviser in all these projects. I am not making a technical recording; I use my microphones to improvise a relation between the context and the musicians... maybe the musicians become part of the context. I never consider my role as a technician. This is a huge difference when I start discussing a project with musicians. I am very active when I record and so am constantly listening to all sounds as part of a music in motion... a living music. Aim/intention and intuition/instinct are mixed up in one recording...

PB: Bertrand Gauguet and I have played together since 2006. There shouldn't be any differences between acoustic and amplified instruments, but our instrumentation (alto saxophone and rotating surfaces) has led us to pay close attention to the acoustics of the places where we were playing. Out of that came the idea of playing and recording in locations which have a strong sonic identity. Eric la Casa - who's familiar with both improvisation and phonography - was our choice for handling the recording.

After looking at several possibilities, we opted for a building site in Paris. The project had two phases: first the recording at the building site, then a recording at somewhere with a neutral acoustic, where we would try to recall our experiences of the building site.

The exact way in which things unfolded escapes me, because once on location it was a process of constant displacement. About twelve years ago a group in which I was active called TOPOPHONIE used to organise events at which about 20 artists of various sorts would go to a particular place ( a forest, a museum, a piece of uncultivated land, a laundrette...) and spend up to three hours or more listening and working there as dancers, musicians etc. In this sort of location-based work, and at the building site especially, I found myself on a completely unfamiliar ground, where I had to abandon my physical and mental habits to best capture the rich potential of the situation, and where concentration on sound alone had to give way to an attentiveness towards everything that was happening in the here and now (our effect on the workers, and vice versa).

Could you say a bit more about the interaction with the workers at the building site? I'd guess from just listening to the recordings that there was a mixture of different reactions to your presence and your music.

ELC : "Interaction" is a strong concept and I wouldn't use this word to describe what happened during the recording. Our relationship with the workforce was sincere but minimal because most of them were doing their regular jobs. As one of them said to another (who was watching and listening to us): "go back to work". And probably this was because we were all working as regular workers. But our musical presence on site provoked many reactions while playing / recording, and some questions during our breaks. Thanks to the manager, who helped out by following us around and briefly explaining our project to the workers, we finally made good contact with some Kurdish workers (mostly electricians) who were very interested in music and tried to demonstrate to us what music means in Kurdistan (sorry, Turkey). For example, at midday, during the break, a few workers sang a Kurdish song to us. And on the roof another Kurdish worker played some music (from his smartphone) to show us their traditional music and compare it with our improvisation (you can hear this on the last track of the cd).

Of course we needed permission to record in the building. So we'd met the manager and visited the site several weeks before recording. She agreed to allow us into any areas so long as we complied with the safety regulations (wearing a hard hat, for example). Her permission was given on the basis of her understanding of the project (she's a great fan of improvised music) and her personal choice. So the workers themselves didn't know about our project and recording. They only found out during the recording itself. As you probably know, there are so many different jobs on a building site that it wasn't possible to meet up with all the workers before the recording. Once on site, our relation with the workers wasn't an interaction, but a friction of different people with different aims: the music created a zone of influences. But this is a very interesting question: from where or what can I consider my work or my life as being in interaction with my surroundings?

PB: The workers are the heart of the building site, but the site is a Tower of Babel with different and distinct communities (Africans, Arabs, Turks...), and communicating with them wasn't always easy. The pressure to get on with their jobs was palpable, but didn't prevent some extraordinary exchanges. Beyond an apparent indifference, or the need to focus on the job at hand, some of the workers showed a curiosity that could be either mistrustful or amused. One worker (perhaps a plumber) while passing Bertrand, who was making breathy noises into his sax, said 'watch out, something's leaking'. And, as Eric said, later when we were playing on the roof, one of the workers asked what we were doing, and when we explained and carried on, he took out his phone and made us listen to the music of his people: a Kurdish shepherd playing a kaval flute.

I like the fact that although we were all focused on what we were doing, there was a mutual respect and from time to time there were interruptions and communications.

Yes, I really like that moment you both refer to - in fact I really like the whole of that long last track. I didn't realise till now that you were out on the roof at that point, but it makes sense because the track feels like an overview (metaphorically and literally) of the whole project. I find it quite magical the way that the 'musical' sounds Pascal and Bertrand are making now seem thoroughly integrated into the overall environment, one element amongst others. Does it feel different from the other tracks to you too?

ELC : There were two major differences. As you say, the first one was the position in the building; we were on the roof, and this made a big change in our perception of the whole site. The second difference was the workers themselves, who are directly interacting with us during the first minutes... they were also around us, looking at and listening to us. If I remember correctly, this was one of our last recordings, and it was mid-afternoon. Most of workers wanted to have a break (as we did). It was sunny and quite warm. On the roof, 6/8 men (no women) were moving around all the time at the beginning of the recording: some of them around us and others working on the roof and at the top of facade. The acoustics were very different from inside the building : no walls, a flat roof and a large courtyard... and wind. It was clearly an open space and a new context (in relation to the city, and its sounds) as compared to all the other recordings which were done inside the building (from the car park to offices and the atrium at the centre). This was the only recording we did outside the building. So there are a number of reasons why this recording was different, and why these differences renew our listening to the building and modify our understanding of the project.

PB: This track was the last recording on our journey. We were coming from a take inside the building which was rather trying both because of its length and the amount of energy used, and also because of the level of surrounding noise. So to come out onto the roof was in itself a welcome breath of fresh air. Sounds were no longer confined by four - or rather six - walls or surfaces, but seemed to be swallowed up into the sky from where they'd return as part of the general hubbub of the city. This is what gives the impression of the track being an overview of the whole, but is in fact just a real depth of sound which is perfectly captured by Eric: from the closeness of our sounds (and those of the workers around us), the voice of the Turkish labourer who spoke to me, to the cries of those working further away, and the distant crashes which came to us with a strong reverberation, along with the surrounding sounds of the city.

So let's go to the studio tracks. Although they're placed at the start of the disc, they were recorded later, and you said that you wanted 'a neutral acoustic where you could recall your experiences of the building site'. Could you explain how this 'remembering' worked in practice, and why did you choose to put these later 'memory' tracks at the beginning of the disc?

ELC: How to briefly speak about memory and its role in music? ...

Firstly it's important to say again that the Gauguet /Battus duo was formed years before these recordings. So they already had a history of working together both in the studio and in concerts, so in fact their main issue was how to record with me and with the workers on the building site! This changes your question. For a musician a studio is more "natural". He can control all parameters and has no disturbance. In this case they'd had a strong sound experience on site and probably had a "score" in their memory... some of their gestures, sound situations, and feelings. You are probably right when you speak about a recall of a previous experience but it's mixed in with their way of playing together in studio and live. The studio recordings were made after a period of a few months; they had to focus on just this experience, and to "forget" all the other ones. In my own mind I can still feel this experience, but I also realise that my memory of it is disturbed by many other experiences I've had both since and from before it. Improvisation was used as a trigger to reach across this lapse of time.

PB: The concept of 'remembering the building site' was left deliberately imprecise and offered a wide range of interpretations. Memory could be a point of departure or a driver, or it could be a modulator of our playing. And of course we'd already listened to the recordings, so they were also superimposed over our memories and might have denaturalised or even supplanted our sonic memories of the lived experience. At any rate for my part I regarded my own memories as being stretched synaesthetically to include my visual and tactile impressions of the building site. There the sounds a worker was making stopped whenever his task was finished, so I tried to find different logics for playing...something closer to making gestures than sound-production. And I have to say that for me it was relatively easy to consider the rotating surfaces that I was using - which can be really messy - as an activity in a workshop.

As to your second question, I think that the decision to put the studio tracks first allowed us to foreground the nature of the overall project, and perhaps to defy the expectations of the listener - which seems to have worked for you!

I find your project a particularly fruitful way of combining environmental sounds with music, and I notice that it's called 'Chantier 1'. Does this mean that you're already planning other projects in different environments along the same lines?

PB Yes, we're looking for other sites where we can further deepen the experience, and we're also thinking about ways of realising such a project in concert... And I'm currently working on another piece which combines pure field recording with on site sonic gestures/playing, using trees as the common ground or meeting point.

ELC This is a very important question. When we start a project we don't think of all its consequences or its endpoint.; working on a project has no predetermined aim ... And during any particular process we are constantly inventing new paths or questions, which stretch our listening and test our tastes. The end result will take place within these collective- and self-explorations ... all these drifts into life. We experience our own capacity to travel together in one direction, maybe without any compass - improvisation as a social act. This is why we are all actively involved in improvisation: to find ways in which to surpass ourselves. I try to multiply my connections with the world and so with the people around me... to enlarge my little self. And when you find people with whom this is possible, you start a dialogue. With Chantier we touched on something that we had all ignored... something we are still trying to explain and to experience again. Because our trio is based on this site-specific sound experience in real time."-Another Timbre



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Artist Biographies

"Bertrand Gauguet is a musician trudging through a practice without hierarchy involving sound and music: as an improvising saxophonist, electronic music composer and as a sounds collector.

He plays since the early 2000s the alto saxophone in contexts of solo and group improvisation. His approach takes part in research on the technical areas of the instrument by which precise exploration of a sound language consists of materials produced by the breath, multiphonics and microphony.

Collaborations with John Tilbury, Robin Hayward, Franz Hautzinger, Xavier Charles, Sophie Agnel, Pascal Battus, Eric La Casa, Michel Doneda, Insub Meta Orchestra, Seijiro Murayama Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, John Butcher, Axel Dörner, Isabelle Duthoit... Many festivals about new and experimental music (Europe, USA, Japan ...).

As an electronic music composer, he composes original music and original soundtracks with dance, movies and radio broadcast. He produced the LP The Torn Map in 2013.

In 2011, he was a resident of the villa Kujoyama in Kyoto. He studied the shakuhachi while learning to Honkyoku directory with Mr Yoshio Kurahashi.

Since 2004, he taught at the Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin in the Sonic research program he co-founded in 2007. He leads the generative improvisation workshop at CFMI in Sélestat since 2012 and conducted educational workshops at the Cité de la Musique in Paris from 2002 to 2012."

-Bertrand Gauguet Website (http://www.bertrandgauguet.com/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"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 (http://kunstradio.at/BIOS/lacasabio.html)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Track 01 9:14

2. Track 02 10:25

3. Track 03 5:58

4. Track 04 6:01

5. Track 05 5:35

6. Track 06 9:21

7. Track 07 15:36

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
Trio Recordings
Objects and Home-made Instruments

Search for other titles on the label:
Another Timbre.


Recommended & Related Releases:
Other Recommended Releases:
Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Dan Warburton / Eric La Casa
Metro Pre saint-Gervais
(Swarming)
A reissue of the 2002 Chloe label album, where Jean Luc Guionnet on alto saxophone, Dan Warburton on violin, and Eric La Casa on microphones use the ambiance of the Paris Pre Saint-Gervais metro station as the starting point for free improvisations, using their surrounding as inspiration while they record a most unusual album of urban sound and discourse.
Battus / Gauguet / La Casa
Chantier 4
(Swarming)
Using the building site of the Paris Philharmonie as their source location and inspiration, the trio of Pascal Battus using found objects, Bertrand Gauget on saxophone, and Eric La Casa on microphones, improvise and record the background sounds, machines, and environmental influences, using those recordings to create these three fascinating compositions.
Insub Meta Orchestra
13 & 27
(Another Timbre)
Coordinated and composed by d'incise and Cyril Bondi, this incredible Swiss-based collective of 30 to 40 experimental musicians was founded in 2010 and has presented concerts and recordings since; this CD presents two works, "13 unissons" splitting the orchestra into 13 subgroups; and "27 times" where each musician plays 27 times in 30 minutes; phenomenal.
La Casa, Eric
Paris Quotidien [CD+60 page booklet of photos & text]
(Swarming)
Eric La Casa documents his home environment in Paris through audio investigation and field recordings, creating 3 large works that reveal the properties, singularities, banalities and features of his audio environment in perspective to his status as a citizen of the city, presented in a gatefold CD package with a color 60-page booklet of photos and text.
La Casa, Eric with Jean-Luc Guionne
Soundtracks
(Herbal International)
Three soundtracks to movies from sound artist Eric La Casa, developed for directors Luke Fowler, Christian Jaccard and Marie-Christine Navarro, organizing sounds from field recordings, with Navarro's soundtrack complemented by organ recordings from Jean-Luc Guionnet.
La Casa, Eric
W2 (1998-2008) [2 CDs]
(Herbal International)
A journey in sound from composer Eric La Casa, who organized these recordings of water and wind captured over 12 years as a sonic journal of the various geographic locations he visited, transforming them into an absorbing story about the living world.
La Casa, Eric / Cedric Peyronnet
La Creuse
(Herbal International)
Eric La Casa and Cedric Peyronnet collected sounds in a triangular area in the north of the Creuse departement, France, giving the landscape a sonic corporeality by each initiating a sound work based on a specific site, which the other composer expanded upon.
Guionnet, Jean-Luc & Eric La Casa
Home: Handover [4 CD SET]
(Potlatch)
Jean-Luc Guionnet and Eric La Casa in a work for the Uninstal Festival interviewing inhabitants of Glasgow in their home spaces, the results organized into compositions blending spoken word, music, improvisation and field recordings; each CD unveils the process of the composition.
Murayama, Seijiro / Eric La Casa
Paris: Public Spaces
(Ftarri/Swarming)
Twelve recordings constructed from 2012 field recordings of public locations in Paris by Eric La Casa and Seijiro Murayama, including subway stations, parks, open gardens, tunnels and fountains; a fascinating portrait of communal sound in this great city.
Various Artists
Magnetic Traces 2
(Swarming)
A survey of French and Australian Sound Art recorded in 2011 at Les Instants Chavires, Montreuil during Parisonic, with artists including Eric La Casa, Philip Samartzis, Marc Baron, Jean-Luc Guionnet, &c. &c.
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.
Guionnet, Jean-Luc / Eric La Casa / Philip Samartzis
Stray Shafts of Sunlight
(Swarming)
Using extended saxophone (Guionnet), microphones, prepared recordings & laptop (La Casa) and electronics, field recordings & laptop (Samartzis) this release comprises various live recordings made in 2007 while on tour in France, Germany and Italy.
Taus (Klaus Filip & Tim Blechmann)
Pinna
(Another Timbre)
An improvisation for two laptop computers performed by Tim Blechmann and Klaus Filip, recorded live in Vienna at "neue musik in st ruprecht", 2010, contrasting minimal tones with massive bass rumble and frothing frequencies.



Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Granberg, Magnus / Skogen
Nun, es wird nicht weit mehr gehn
(Another Timbre)
Composer Magnus Granberg took influences from Schubert's song cycle "Die Winterreise", extracting tonal material, which he merged with rhythmic influences from medieval English folk music and a song by Dowland, merging them into a temporal framework for this large and subtle composition, executed by a setpet including Angharad Davies, Erik Carlsson, Henrik Olsson, d'incise, &c.
Eastman, Julius / Apartment House
Femenine
(Another Timbre)
A live recording of Julius Eastman's 1974 work "Femenine" performed by Apartment House led by cellist Anton Lukoszevieze, with Simon Limbrick on vibraphone, Kerry Yong on piano, Mark Knoop on keyboard, Mira Benjamin on violin, and Gavin Morrison and Emma Williams on flute, an ecstatic and intricate work using a repeating figure contrasted with both asynchronous and complementing backgrounds.
Davies, Angharad / Rie Nakajima / Alice Purton
Dethick
(Another Timbre)
Three free improvising women--Angharad Davies, Rie Nakajima, and Alice Purton--met in the church in the tiny hamlet of Dethick, near Matlock, Derbyshire, over the course of two days developing the ten pieces of this album using an impressive set of stringed and percussive instruments, objects, and mysterious sources to create these fascinating sonic evocations.
Fages, Ferran
Un lloc entre dos records
(Another Timbre)
Submerging the listener into the immediacy of pure perception through the economy of materials and atemporality, Catalan guitarist Ferran Fages presents the 3rd piece of his trilogy for guitar and sinteones, referencing Feldman, Lucier and Szlavnics as he specifies tunings for the guitar accompanied by pure resonating sinetones used as memory vehicles or shadows.
Smith, Linda Catlin
Wanderer
(Another Timbre)
Eight sophisticated chamber pieces composed by Linda Catlin Smith and realized by the Canadian Apartment House ensemble, including a solo piano performed by Philip Thomas, a piano duo with Thomas and Mark Knoop, and works for percussion & cello, 2 quintet pieces for strings, percussion and winds, and two 7-piece conducted works with two percussionists, strings and brass.
Granberg, Magnus
Es Schwindelt Mir, Es Brennt Mein Eingweide
(Another Timbre)
An hour-long work for an ensemble of six musicians by Swedish composer Magnus Granberg performed by Anna Lindal on baroque violin, d incise on vibraphonen electronics, Cyril Bondi on percussion, Anna Kaisa Meklin on viola da gamba, Christoph Schiller on spinet, and Magnus Granberg himself on prepared piano, transforming material from a song by Franz Schubert.
Frey, Jurg / Magnus Granberg
Early to Late
(Another Timbre)
New ensemble pieces by Jurg Frey and Magnus Granberg played by Ensemble Grizzana, commissioned by Another Timbre with the request that both start from the same two fragments of early music, one by Johannes Ockeghem, the other by William Byrd, each composer producing fascinatingly different pieces that both contain echoes of the source material.
Cage, John
Winter Music
(Another Timbre)
John Cage's 1957 composition in a visceral realisation for four pianos, played by John Tilbury, Philip Thomas, Mark Knoop and Catherine Laws, using chance procedures to assign each of the pianist's five of the twenty pages of the score, the pianists agreeing on an overall duration of 40 minutes and preparing their parts independently, performed without rehearsal.
Frey, Jurg
Collection Gustave Roud [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)
A double CD with five beautiful pieces that engage with the work of the extraordinary French-Swiss poet Gustave Roud, with performers including Dante Boon, Stefan Thut, Andrew McIntosh and Jurg Frey himself, 10 compositions that Frey wrote in the manner that Roud would, roaming with a sketchbook and developing the pieces based on impressions of his surroundings.
Platform (Xavier Charles / Katrine Schiott / Jan Martin Gismervik / Jonas Cambien)
Flux Reflux
(Clean Feed)
The 2nd recorded outing of this Oslo based improvising quartet, comprised of 3 young Norwegian players -- Katrine Shiott (cello), Jan Martin Gismervik (drums), and Jonas Cambien (piano & keys) -- with French clarinetist Xavier Charles, performing subtle collective improvisation using extended techniques, eclectic percussion, and piano preparations.
Feldman, Morton
Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
(Another Timbre)
Morton Feldman's final composition, originally premiered in 1987, here performed by pianist Mark Knoop, violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, violist Bridget Carey, and cellist Anton Lukoszevieze, recording a year after their successful performance at London's Cafe Oto, maintaining focus and concentration on this large, unhurried work of micro-variations.
Szlavnics, Chiyoko
During a Lifetime
(Another Timbre)
Three works from Canadian composer Chiyoko Szlavnics, two electroacoustic compositions incorporating sinewaves, one with a saxophone quartet and the other with two accordions, two flutes and two percussionists; and a string trio of long sustained tones and slow glissandi.
d'incise / Cristian Alvear
Appalachian Anatolia (14th Century)
(Another Timbre)
A composition for solo 'modified guitar' from Swiss composer d'incise peformed by guitarist Cristian Alvear, music "at the confluence of sound, melody and rhythm. Something quiet but somehow driven by a pulse, existing somewhere between the electroacoustic and the tonal conceptions of music."



The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

© 2002-, Squidco LLC