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Battus, Pascal / Michel Doneda: Miracle (Potlatch)

Dovetailing and combining the rich harmonics of Michel Doneda's soprano and sopranino saxophone with Pascal Battus' rotating surfaces--mechanisms from small consumer electronics and their like put in motion and in contact with resonators and vibrators--this French improvising duo create fascinatingly shifting, unusual textures and sonic environments.

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product information:

UPC: 3491570003527

Label: Potlatch
Catalog ID: P121
Squidco Product Code: 31298

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: France
Recorded in Le Richoud, 8 and 9 July 2020on July 2020 by Lionel MarchettiMastering: Giuseppe Ielasi


Pascal Battus-rotating surfaces

Michel Doneda-soprano saxophone, sopranino saxophone

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Artist Biographies:

"Sound artist, improviser, composer Pascal Battus develops a practice of sound more attentive to the sound gesture, the listening and the situation which determines them than to a defined instrument: the pickup of guitar (guitar pickup without guitar) , rotating surfaces, the guitar "environnée" (electric guitar on table + micro contact + various objects + electronics), percussion (objects amplified or not), ... His work is regularly broadcast on international airwaves (France Musique, Resonance FM, ...) He has played in Europe, United States of America, Canada, Asia, Middle East, Australia, ... solo or more frequently with other musicians. he often works with dancers, visual artists (video, light, sculpture, ...). He creates Graphones (sound drawings) and co-invents Massages Sonores. His records are published by Potlatch, Corpus Hermeticum, Amor Fati, Another Stamp, Cathnor, Organized Music From Thessaloniki, Herbal International ..."

-Pascal Battus Website (Translated by Google) (

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"Michel Doneda (F) soprano saxophone, born in 1954, comes from the French South-West. He is a self-taught musician.

In 1980 he founded in Toulouse a reed trio: HIC ET NUNC, a group that toured quite a lot in France, playing mostly improvised music. At the same time he founded with musicians, dancers and actors a place called IREA (Institute for research and exchange between arts of improvisation).

In the following years, he participated in music projects with other artists and he became a regular guest of the Chantenay-Villedieu festival. Meeting other artists he developed a very personal approach with his music and his instrument in improvised music. During this period he played with Europeans musicians: Fred Van Hove, Phil Wachsmann, Max Eastley, Steve Beresford and Americans: John Zorn, Eliott Sharp, Elvin Jones

In 1985 he made his first record under his own name: TERRA (Nato record). At the same time he started playing regurlarly with Lê Quan Ninh, Daunik Lazro, Benat Achiary, Martine Altenburger, Barre Phillips, Paul Rogers, Tetsu Saitoh, Kazue Sawai. More recently he developed his work with Keith Rowe, Gunter Muller, Bhob Rainey, Giuseppe Ielasi and dancers as Masaki Iwana, Yukiko Nakamura, Valérie Métivier and poets, actors.

Since then, he has been very involved in the international improvised music scene, toured in Africa, Japan, Asia, USA, Canada, South America, Russia and with a lot of improvisers in Europe. In 1992 he founded in Toulouse with musicians, actors, poets, dancers the association: La Flibuste. As of today he recorded almost 50 records for European, Americans and Japanese labels."

-Timeart Ensemble Website (

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track listing:

1. Miracle En Pointille 11:26

2. En Derive 7:40

3. Impronocable 13:22

4. Natte 6:30

5. Hermeneutique 11:50
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Following hard on the heels of Sillons -Reflets by Patricia Bosshard, Onceim and CoÔ, the first album from the Potlatch label since its lone release in 2019, it is a pleasure to welcome the label's second release of 2021, Miracle by the duo of Pascal Battus and Michel Doneda. Each of them has a long history with Potlatch; Doneda first recorded for the label in 1998 on the solo soprano saxophone album Anatomie Des Clefs, and before this one his most recent Potlatch album was Strom in 2004, a quartet album with Doneda alongside the Italian soprano saxophonist Alessandro Bosetti; in contrast, Battus first recorded for Potlatch in 2001 in the four-guitar quartet Misere et Cordes, on the album Au Ni Kita; he last appeared on the label in 2016, on the double album Pascal Battus-Dafne Vicente-Sandoval, where he was credited with "rotating surfaces" in a duo with the bassoonist of the title.

Despite such connections, Battus and Doneda only performed together as a duo for the first time in December 2016; after that they played together a couple of times before this recording was made in July 2020. While Battus has history as a guitarist, here he is again credited with "rotating surfaces"; apparently, these are generally mechanisms from old Walkmans (remember those?) which are made up of small plates put in motion by electric motors, on which vibrators and resonators (sheets of paper, plastic, metal, wood styrofoam et cetera) come to react. Doneda has undergone no major changes to what and how he plays; his instruments are the straight soprano saxophone and its smaller cousin the sopranino saxophone; he is totally committed to improvisation. Across five tracks, ranging in length from six-and-a-half to over thirteen minutes, a total of fifty-one minutes, Battus and Doneda sound as if they have played together for far longer than five years; the sounds they make fit together well, combining into an integrated soundscape which feels like one entity rather than different sounds juxtaposed-as good a combination of instruments with electronic sounds as we are likely to hear.

As a listening experience, the album richly rewards the time invested in it and reveals ever more with repeated listening. It is in complete contrast to the compositions heard on Sillons -Reflets, which demonstrates the breadth and variety of the Potlatch catalogue."-John Eyles, All About Jazz

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Get additional information at All About Jazz
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Objects and Home-made Instruments
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Duo Recordings
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