Gigs, dance, art

June 22nd, 2010: La Ligne Claire / Les Coupeurs de Têtes / Emmanuelle Gibello

@instants chavirés

I had heard this one before, so I knew what was coming and my take on it just is skewed because of that knowledge. The sound was much better but I guess that comes from Emmanuelle Gibello‘s choice to rework it even though it came at the expense of Diemo Schwarz‘ contribution. It felt shorter, especially in the Korean part of the trip. Maybe that was just me expecting a longer stay with them bells; it was a different take on it but there’s no arguing from me on the overall effect. What I lost in the Korean connection was made up for by the subway rush turning into waves. That part didn’t come up as well the first time.

Speaking of Diemo and CataRT, I wasn’t all that into his performance as part of Les Coupeurs de Têtes. Jac Pochat and Cyril Touzé seemed to be doing their thing on their own, with Diemo Schwarz picking it up later, but that lacked interaction and didn’t bring much over some regular loops. When Diemo switched to drums it all got much better and shared but it was just at the end and for me that just brought into sharper relief what had been wrong so far.

Another thing that was wrong was my missing Erick D’Orion‘s set while I was playing salesman for the station out there. I can be dumb that way. I went back in for La Ligne Claire, but something was off. No fault of theirs, they sounded better than I’ve ever heard them, but the laid-back setting seemed off for them. I’m always off the mark with them for some reason, hopefully next time I’ll hear them in the right place at the right time and in the right frame of mind. It still sounded a little mundane for me, but I think they’re very close to getting great. I think they’re a little sprinkling of weirdness away from getting Chocolat Billy great.

July 3, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , | Leave a comment

May 26th, 2010: Penthotal / Sgure / Miho – Erik Minkkinen / Zaraz Wam Zagram / Emmanuelle Gibello


Those two weeks had taken a toll, I was probably too tired and burned out for another night out. But I just wanted to go back to this place, they could definitely get kicked out any day now. I ended up chatting way to much and not focusing enough on the music, my bad.

I usually like what Emmanuelle Gibello does, and this time was no exception, with those sounds of night and rain. But I was just too tired to appreciate the details, I was too busy fighting the urge to nod off. Maybe that’s why I didn’t like Zaraz Wam Zagram as much as usual too, I would have liked the tapes to be more in front but I may have missed that part. Erik Minkkinen joined Miho for my favorite set of the event, a nice sound texture from guitar and electronics that had some cycles and drones, a nice mix between static and dynamic. Sgure brushing his teeth with contact mics was a fun take on the latter, and the set was short enough not to overextend the idea. I didn’t last until the end of the Penthotal set. Turning on a radio then plugging in effects and stuff while playing it and loops of earlier sounds was nice at first, but it was just too much of the same for too long and I gave up.

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

March 4th, 2010: Diemo Schwarz / Karine Dumont / Julie Rousse

@société de curiosités

Over the past few years I’ve heard about Julie Rousse playing in different places but never got around to go there for various reasons, though I remembered liking what she did the one time I did go, a long time ago. Now I know I got it right about liking her music, and can only wonder why it took me so long. Even though it’s all laptop based, she uses field recordings with an urban feel — I like that — and managed to include noise elements with a mechanical side — I love that. And the piece evolved in a way that didn’t feel narrative as much as an experience of motion through a living landscape. The different feeling part of it as opposed to being a second-hand witness — even though I guess that’s what is really was. Here’s hoping I grow some sense and don’t wait as long to hear her again.

Overall I wasn’t as much into Karine Dumont‘s set. Most of that came from the voice. Not because I didn’t understand the words — that would have been worse. But because it blocked my way for some reason. But once I got into it I loved it. There was a whole world real enough to be touched in there, and the place was very appropriate for this kind of experience. I was pretty short, and the voice bookends didn’t help, but I’d like to hear more from her.

The event was put together by Emmanuelle Gibello — who I like — with the last set being composed by her for Diemo Schwarz. She explained she also wants to use the instruments the performers make and use, and in this case this is a Max/MSP open source software called CataRT. I usually like Emmanuelle Gibello’s work, and I could find a lot of that in the recordings going through this piece. There was some traveling involved, it started with sounds from the local subways and close to the end featured chanting that was probably from Asia though I couldn’t figure out the language — Korean could be a fit, weirdly enough I’m totally unfamiliar with Korean apart from children songs. And at times it went as if through a tunnel buffeted by a digital wind, a somewhat grainy sound that felt like the audio equivalent of pixelation. That brought an interesting twist, but I would have liked it to be more integrated into the fabric of the piece. Still a good one in my book, I’m just nitpicking at this point.

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , , | Leave a comment

June 28th, 2008: Elsie Else festival

@instants chavirés

I haven’t posted in a while for several reasons. One is the winding down of the season, with dance already done and gigs slowing down — I just don’t go to arena-like events anymore. Another is a computer meltdown that knocked me out, which also kept me in the dark about most gigs going on.

Anyway, catch up time now, starting with this festival. I don’t know anything about Elsie Else, a couple of familiar faces but I haven’t even checked out their site yet. My memories of the actual music tend to have faded by now, leaving me with shreds of words that I remember thinking then. Of course there being nine sets isn’t helping now.

YuJun Ye started  her set by layering her own voice while counting, then went on to add some beats to the less extreme layering. I do love that stuff, and it had its moments — thanks in part to her voice which I happened to like — but it seemed tentative and lacking some sense of direction somehow. Might be worth checking out in a year or so? Bird and bear used a lot of toys and toyish keyboard sounds, with almost Newsomish vocals. I didn’t like it, probably too pop and nice for me, and I’m suffering from a bad case of toy overload right now.

Toba turned out to be my favorite set of the festival, even though I missed the beginning. Maybe her playing with the lights out helped, but something enabled me to really get into her music and hear something fresh and new in there. I hope I get to hear her again, maybe I’ll be better at describing then.

Alexandre Navarro played guitar, with quite a lot of feedback at times — not that I mind. It had a SigurRosish feel to it, especially in the beginning, even though no bow was involved; maybe something lyrical to it, I just can’t remember why that name popped in my head. Nice set, I just wish it had been a bit rougher. Ecoplan was the most frustrating of all the sets. Laptop music that kept feeling as if it was on the edge of a breakthrough but never quite delivered, switching to something else instead. Too bad because this guys looks like he has a bunch of interesting ideas, but I wish he would go just a bit deeper with some, or just switch and mix them all faster; it just felt like a lukewarm middle ground to me.

Yannick Franck started with the familiar sound of bow on metal, and I felt like he was right at home in this place. Actually it was not exactly the free improv stuff I’m used to, because he had a lot of pedals and electronics as well. Quite nice, but probably too long, or more accurately lacking a more assertive trajectory, or interactions with others who could have thrown a few wrenches. Unfortunately, I draw an almost complete blank on cbaonet. That sucks, but I only have hazy memories of a somewhat interesting use of voice samples and that’s it.

Emmanuelle Gibello was the cleanest sounding of the event, and that was a good thing because her set felt to me as all about sound. Probably worth hearing in a different setting, but interesting, if a bit cold and somewhat too clean. I think that comes from the setting — a diverse festival with probably didn’t require that much focus — and by the time I switched to a better frame of mind, it was almost over. And finally Un escargot vide? who had the fine idea of using a likembe at times. I must say I was put off by his use of a child’s voice though, that was grating to me and distracted me enough to spoil the second half of the set. The first one was OK though.

So that’s all I could coax from my old brain cells. I think I want to know more about these people and Elsie Else, and probably check them out for other gigs, they do seem interesting people with — relatively — diverse musical interests.

July 5, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment