29CD - The Inclusion Principle
Live improvised (mainly) laptop duo using field recordings as generator for much of the material.
The session for this CD was the first hour of our first meeting in the studio, and the music is a real time improvisation with minimal subsequent sound editing.
Hervé's material is layered and manipulated from natural sounds - wood, fire, metal, water, rock, wind - and their instrumental equivalents (wooden percussions, meditation bowls, strings, wind instruments, etc.) Recorded sounds are sculpted into rhythmic, harmonic or textural material intrinsic to the source. These sound sources mirror Hervé's work in the visual arts which is also principally concerned with these phenomena.
Martin's material is mainly real time played violin transformed by live software processing. Use of pre-existing sound files was kept to a minimum, with looped material being created in the course of the improvisation.
Playing a violin and using a mouse at the same time is an interesting physical process. Playing the environment has always been man's fascination. It becomes interesting and efficient when no physical trace is left but its music.
On Martin's suggestion to base the title of the album on a phrase of the research physicist Wolfgang Pauli, we found a correlation in that we both worked with a digital scalpel on fields of microsounds; a science which took both our instruments and processed field recordings a little closer to the chemistry of natural sounds, complete with harmonic DNA sequences and rhythmical fragments quantum-jumping from cell to cell. I was intrigued by the idea of the 'exclusion principle' and decided that Pauli was 'not even wrong' in his theory since Martin and Hervé successfully managed to sit together in the same room. And indeed, both improvisers and techno-freaks clashed and thrashed their laptops to come up with the present album… if there were two identical particles in the same field, they stringed a crop of pure love and tenderness, just for your ears.
For both of us, the use of geek technology is a practical decision but we remain instrumentalists before all. Our music feeds from our practice of improvisation and other contemporary approaches to musical creation and research but in the end, our main source of inspiration will always be deep listening and a fascination for the science of the natural world. Sometimes, sitting in silence for hours in the crest of birdsongs or in wafts of windy harmony is more profitable than practicing scales. And to a certain extent, our recording session in the studio 'happened' as an unspoken intense inner excitement. And we left it to rest, a little calmer, as if something had happened in the space between thoughts.
Hervé's sonic work pans from composition, film sound and installations to live performances. From his time at art school, encounters with acoustic ecology, electro-acoustic composition, psychoacoustics and related philosophy of sound production and design allowed him to merge his compositions for instruments on the one hand, and field recordings and digital work in the other hand with the fluidity of gesture of his visual work. He makes a racket with the free improvisation collective - gated community - playing guitar and various resonant objects. He collaborates with improvisers, in France and in the UK or anywhere a resistance emerges. His solo work on laptop sometimes accompanies visuals and films from the composition and design of soundtracks to improvised soundscapes. Sometimes you have to dream up your own. His laptop rattles the nerves of academia in the dark spaces of acous-mania. Some people scream. Some bleed to death. Disruption is everywhere. In the safe place of the sitting room, in the near inane, in the religious amnesia, in the lull of beta sofa and tv procurantism. Economia verbalis. Hypocritia interestus. The architecture of immobility. Frémir le silence. Every wall has a crack. Find the wave length. He is also developing his technique for soprano saxophone in a search for resolutely organic sounds for the mind and the body.
Hervé Perez - field recordings, laptop
Martin Archer - violectronics,software instruments,analogue synths
Martin Archer, a mainstay of Sheffield's experimental scene, has released electroacoustic improvisations on his own Discus label since the mid 1990s. Here he takes up his violin, processing the results at source with computer software. Perez sis at a laptop, treating field recordings of natural sounds. "Playing a violin and manipulating a mouse at the same time is an interesting physical process" reads Archer's press release, and though listeners searching for examples of conventional virtuosity will do so in vain, the sense of considered, focused interplay between the participanys is undeniable. An hour or so of abstract noise passes imperceptibly, then, suddenly, everything feels shockingly different - Stuart Lee, Sunday Times
A CD of intricate moments, steering away quite nicely from many of the clichés associated with the vague beast that is the improv genre. Both (players) do indeed seem to be on an extended nature trip, albeit a microscopic one.....It's an album of abstract micro-events, none of which help pin the improvisation down, and it feels at times that we're moving along with the musicians on a cellular level of sound.....What I hear is the deep thinking of stones and the beating hearts of young trees, the dying wishes of leaves falling to the ground and the absurdist symphony of a gently running stream.....Guaranteed to make even the most hardened sceptics want to smell new spring flowers and run naked through the fields. - Aaron Robertson, Sound Projector
Découpé en quatre parties, l’enregistrement prône à chaque fois une abstraction de principe, assurant l’auditeur que si ce qu’il s’y joue réellement peut sembler mystérieux, il ne peut en ignorer longtemps la dimension : faite de souffles, grincements et frottements, larsens insistants (jusqu’à trop en faire sur Part 4), elle s’insinue lentement, et tire une profondeur inédite des field recordings récoltés par Perez. Hululements étranges et miaulements infimes, ruissellement d’une eau désormais perdue en méandres artificiels, ou percussions de bois, divertissent les constructions menaçantes. Balançant les effets de reverses agressifs ici, de réverbérations inquiétantes ailleurs. Jusqu’à trouver une stabilité inespérée à cette combinaison d’éléments épars et d’origines contraires. - Grisli, D Mute.
What you are hearing are the results of initial meeting between the two. First hour, first day. Improvised. Minimal, detailed, immaculately recorded. As such it's natural and unforced. Perez' field recordings use natural sounds as source- wood, fire, wind, rock and so on- rooting the session to nature and its counter-balance laptops and hi-tech digitals. The thrum and movement of objects appear natural and unforced, as if these sounds are physical objects placed on the table and have come to life as soon as Archer and Perez left the room. Good thing they left the microphones on. Things unscrew themselves, strain against the little bit of rusting, click and drop. From there there's a trajectory that evolves and envelopes itself, growing and then falling back to the bare bones of the initial source. And off we go again, minor processing gives the occasional shift in understanding or perception of the familiar. Not so much a sound installation as a room in which you finally get to hear the sound that were already there, but the very elements are broken down to their basic particles forming into glitch electrics where electrons reveal themselves from within the whole. The pure resonating frequencies that lay at the heart of it all. During the final track, 'Part 4', a whispered, stuttered voice emerges from the electric field, as if these electrical charges have been given a voice. There's something of the alchemical about it as nature's music forms these things. It finally climaxes in a glorious Hallelujah of tones like car horns going berserk. According the bumf the title of the album was inspired by the work of Nobel Prize winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli's research into quantum mechanics and the 'Exclusion Principle.' Micro-research adopted by musicians interested in micro sounds. It's a productive and worthwhile collaboration between two heavily experienced instrumentalists with an impressive sense of awareness. - Hassni Malik, Irrational Arts