The Squid's Ear Magazine

Lila Bazooka (Sophie Bernado / Celine Grangey): Arashiyama (Ayler)

The French duo of bassoonist Sophie Bernado and sound artist Céline Grangey expand on the rich timbre of Bernado's bassoon, starting solo in beautiful etude improvisations only to have Grangey's sound designs expand around her playing, developing rich environments through electronics, field recording & voice, a beautiful intersection of experimental, composed and improvised music.

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product information:

UPC: 3473351400404

Label: Ayler
Catalog ID: aylCD-177
Squidco Product Code: 32258

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: France
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in Lamaguere, France, in February, 2021.


Sophie Bernado-bassoon, voice, electronics

Celine Grangey-field recording, sound design, electronics

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Behind the nickname 'Lila Bazooka' stand Sophie Bernado and Celine Grangey, two artists in search of new frontiers to overcome. With Arashiyama, they combine jazz and a certain form of classicism, both in love with free experimentation and bubbling sounds. Difficult to classify, the universe of the duo roams the Japanese lands, a society torn between tradition and modernity, where they first found their inspiration while traveling there. Sophisticated and 'carnal', the breath serves as the backbone of this first album with vaporous and meditative contours, erecting a world crossed by a thousand lights and neat poetry, freedom and subtlety, by movements and displacements, softness and energy."-Ayler

"I am a sucker for bassoon music. Bassoon is one of the core components of Lila Bazooka, the duo of Sophie Bernado and Céline Grangey; the narrative spaces they create push well beyond what I imagine when I think of the instrument. Using the rich, organic timbre of Bernado's bassoon playing as a jumping-off point, the electronics, sound design, and more cast intricate shapes against an ever-expanding timbral background. With an expansive, unfolding story, Arashiyama is beautiful and otherworldly.

To enter this enchanted world, Bernado opens Arashiyama with a whimsical five-minute solo bassoon piece, "Nouka." Quick runs sidle up against somber, reflective moments with ease, as though we're reliving countless past lives to find a way into the maze of Arashiyama. The title track begins similarly before blooming into a futuristic orchestra. Electronics come down in emotive, whirring sheets, like some kind of harmonic birdsong that gently expands into a lustrous sonic chrysalis. Bernado's voice hovers, a calming lullaby amidst the spectral fray.

One of Lila Bazooka's biggest strengths is not just how much ground they cover but also how well they do it. Songs like the title track mentioned above and "Todai-ji" have an abstract pop quality with surprising hooks and liminal melodies. "Perpetuum" glides with weightlessness, the bassoon and electronics lapping against a crystal beach where Bernado's spoken word inhabits the waves. Noisier elements filter through at sharp angles on the expansive "Hyoshi Taisha," veering between ethereal and horror in an enticing, shifting soundscape filled with metallic embellishments and discordant drones. The duo somehow manages to create a dense but effervescent universe.

When the duo is joined by Ko Ishikawa for "Aishite Imasu" and closer "Ducks and Boats," a wistful feeling washes across the tonal sheen. The latter, written by Ishikawa, is one of the standout moments of Arashiyama. Voices flutter in a playful ballet, twisting through the aural clouds in choreographed balladry. The music moves forward with a slow, considered purpose. We are held close in its gossamer embrace, unencumbered by outside gravity, levitating within the pure sonic bliss. Arashiyama is a heady and restorative trip that sounds like nothing else."-Brad Rose, Foxy Digitalis

Get additional information at Foxy Digitalis

Artist Biographies

"Since September 2016, Sophie [Bernado, bassoon] plays alongside Hugues Mayot, Valentin Ceccaldi, Theo Ceccaldi, Joachim Florent in the new group of Hugues Mayot l'Arbre Rouge inscribed in the small forms of the ONJ Jazz Fabric and alongside Rafael Rinaudo and Hugues Mayot in the improvised trio Ikui doki , winners of Jazz Migration and tour JMF 2018.

She also accompanies Emily Loizeau on her latest album and tour Eaux SombresSophie also performs with: Art Sonic wind quintet by Joce Mienniel and Sylvain Rifflet White Desert Orchestra by Eve Risser ,Manuel Delgado flamenco sextet, dance and singing.She is a co-writer, composer, musician and singer of children's tale (book) Les Symphonies Subaquatiques accompanied by Dominique A, Agnès Jaoui and Jacques Gamblin.

She is author and co-composer of 2 new current music projects:Belleville indus pop and L.A from Paris Electro hiphop with Marion Faure.Born in 1978, she grew up in southwestern France where she started playing piano at the age of 9. She joined the bassoon class of the Conservatoire de Toulouse at 16 years old.From the age of 17, she played in several orchestras including the Toulouse Chamber Orchestra.

She joined the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris in 2000.It is there that she learns Indian music from Patrick Moutal and jazz from Glenn Ferris. She graduated in 2003.

She then participated in first projects as an improviser with Gabriel Mirabassi and Ricardo Zegna. During her advanced studies in classical music at Konservatorium Richard Strauss of Munich, she participated in groups Johan von Brossa with Wanja Slavin, as well as Métisse Absynthe with Paolo Cardoso.

She takes part in such projects as the Jazz Orchestra of Sardinia and the project of Massimo Nunzi (Italian Composer). She is also following several seminars led by David Friedman, Paolo Fresu, Vito Maria Pia, Dave Liebman, Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay.Sophie settles in Berlin and meets underground actors with whom she multiplies the projects as well as a singer / rapper as improvising bassoonist. She becomes co-leader of Nimpkeity with the artist ToyzRme (Rolax Label), Andromeda Mega Express (in collaboration with Notwist), The Fat Bertha, Das Rote Gras, flamenco project Flam'n Co and finally creates his first band Sir Chac Bulay Quartet.

Returning to France in June 2010, she performed with the Surnatural Orchestra, Filigrane by Edouard Ferlet, the Dark Horns (Daniel Casimir), Nosfell and recorded the album Rendez-nous les lumières by Dominique A with whom she went on tour."

-Sophie Bernado Website (

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

Céline Grangey is a French sound engineer and electronics artist. She has worked extensively with Eve Risser, and is known for her duo with bassoonist Sophie Bernado, "Lila Bazooka".

-Squidco 9/20/2023

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

Track Listing:

1. Nouka 5:10

2. Arashiyama 4:31

3. Perpetuum 4:35

4. Thanks To The Hill 4:36

5. Hyoshi Taisha 8:45

6. Todai-ji 3:09

7. Kome To Me 4:50

8. Altai 5:56

9. Aishite Imasu 5:07

10. I Keep Lifting My Head 6:13

11. Ducks and Boats 6:34

Related Categories of Interest:

Ayler Records
Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic Improv
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Duo Recordings
Unusual Vocal Forms
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
New in Improvised Music
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