Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 26 to 38 of 38

Thread: Empreintes DIGITALes label

  1. #26
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    277
    Quote Originally Posted by walt View Post
    Seconded.
    High confidence rec for you Walt...might even be a no brainer

    best
    m
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  2. #27
    Boo! walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Oakland Gardens NY
    Posts
    4,749
    Quote Originally Posted by neuroticdog View Post
    High confidence rec for you Walt...might even be a no brainer

    best
    m
    We shall see.The samples on the ED label page for this cd interest me enough to take the plunge.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  3. #28
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Posts
    353
    Woo-hoo! I'm back online for the first time in 2 weeks. Those good old boys running things in Texas just about killed me here in Austin (no power, no water, but thankfully, no broken pipes and my old car somehow survived driving on snow and ice), but I'm back now and looking forward to hearing these new samples/pieces...

  4. #29
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    277
    Quote Originally Posted by soundsweird View Post
    Woo-hoo! I'm back online for the first time in 2 weeks. Those good old boys running things in Texas just about killed me here in Austin (no power, no water, but thankfully, no broken pipes and my old car somehow survived driving on snow and ice), but I'm back now and looking forward to hearing these new samples/pieces...
    Hey Rick,

    I was wondering why you haven't commented on the last two write-ups...but now it makes sense because you often referenced UNI in TX...I should have made the connection. I'm really glad you checked in, and hopefully you got your essentials back!!! Good news about the car, at least there was that. Amazing at the things we take for granted these days and hopefully things are only going to get better.

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  5. #30
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Posts
    353
    Natasha Barrett... I've had an album of hers for years called "Rocks and Wraiths"; she's very good and has a very distinctive style. I'd never heard this album "Isostasie" before; it's also very good. I'll listen to the Parra tomorrow...

  6. #31
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    277
    Quote Originally Posted by soundsweird View Post
    Natasha Barrett... I've had an album of hers for years called "Rocks and Wraiths"; she's very good and has a very distinctive style. I'd never heard this album "Isostasie" before; it's also very good. I'll listen to the Parra tomorrow...
    yeah, Rocks & Wraiths is good, most of pieces on that album were released on 2017's Puzzle Wood which you can find streaming on iTunes (and probably Spotify). As great as the two albums released on empreintes DIGITALES are (Isostasie and Bouteilles de Klein), my favorites are not on that label but on the Norwegian label Aurora. Those two are Kraftfelt and Trade Winds and are essential if you are going to start listening to her. FYI, I do plan on doing a write-up on Bouteilles in the next few days.

    I hold Barrett in pretty high regard because, out of the many Acousmatic records I've listened to, hers have the most spatialization to them. It's pretty much her speciality and they are a real trip to listen to, both in good phones or on a surround system in the case of Trade Winds, Kraftfelt, and Bouteilles. She's got her process down to an art.

    Her field recordings and micro climates sound sources provide phenomenal raw material for her to work her magic on. You usually know what you are listening to, but she elevates the sounds (for instance, a deep sea drilling rig) to beyond epic proportions. When she is though tweaking the sound sources, the drama quotient is magnified to bombastic proportions!

    She has re-located to Oslo from her native England several years ago, and she makes good use of her natural surrounds. She has also started a Bandcamp page and so far has two pieces up, both recorded binaurally.

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  7. #32
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    277
    Natasha Barrett – Bouteilles de Klein (2010; empreintes DIGITALes)

    This double disc set which is in DVD audio and various surround formats will give you a huge helping (over 3 hours) of Natasha Barretts sound world. Here we have large scale fixed medium pieces, shorter works of her “micro climates” installations and, as far as I’m concerned, the reason to own this set, two larger scale installation pieces. This write-up is based on stereo listening through earbuds but I have experienced these works in surround and it’s truly mind blowing.

    Natasha Barrett is very adept at presenting “the whole” sound. You may know and recognize the various sources, whether natural, or man made, but she takes them to the limits of imagination. For example, a simple, very benign sound of water dripping, raindrops falling, a gently moving stream or a breeze are transformed into larger than life, macro events. Sometimes she’ll leave these sounds relatively unprocessed but recorded in such an isolated way that what you are hearing is not just a rain drop or a stream…but the very essence of that rain drop or stream. Other times she may start off by telling us what we are hearing by leaving the sound naked but then proceed to deconstruct and, basically tweak the hell out of it, resulting in something altogether different and very alien. Either technique succeeds greatly in transforming these pieces into a rich, drama-filled soundscape.

    Once again, the concept of sound spatialization (sounds occupying a physical space in time) is on full display here. At the risk of sounding like a broken record (if you’ve read any of my other write-ups), active, attentive listening through headphones is the best way to listen to her and other composers working in this niche. When the sound is identified in the physical space, it may stay there for a while or possibly dissipate into nothingness, or Barrett might move it around the (3D) soundstage. Whatever her artistic choices are, once your mind comes to grips with the sound location in space, the appreciation level of her music escalates skywards.

    Her non installation, fixed medium pieces on Bouteilles de Klein are excellent. Avoid Being Eaten by Mimicking Other Less Palatable Species is a fascinating riot of animal sounds (and possibly some unfortunate human cretins engaging in mimicry that the title warns against) that torpedos your head into breathless submission. It’s all fun and games till someone ends up in a cone…right? Mobilis in Mobili originally appeared on her album Trade Winds as part of a much larger scale Acousmatic concept work, but here it’s truncated down to about 6 minutes and seems to be remastered with less subsonics and clearer, crisper sound. This is one of my favorite pieces in her entire catalog and since the sea shanty seems to be a thing on social media lately, then this is timely. Violent seas, crashing waves, splintered wood, wrecked ships, massive church organ chords, the futile chants of sailors battling the elements as Father Neptune impales their helpless souls on his barnacled encrusted trident as they give up their ghosts…yeah, here are your sea shanties you poor unsuspecting Tik Tokker’s (smirk). Here is the longer Trade Winds version:



    Ok, moving on to a (relatively) kinder and gentler Barrett, we get to her four shorter installation pieces which she calls Micro Climates. These are short studies of various natural habitats in Norway with the composer distilling down to the very base elemental qualities of the region. Even though I found the liner notes for these very interesting, unfortunately they acted like a “spoiler” that led my minds eye to visualize the area as described. That's fine, but if you are inclined to make your own movies, leave the notes behind, it might make the excursion that much more trippy.

    Next, there is the Sub Terra Cycle. This consists of three short installation pieces plus one longer (16 minutes) concert piece. The Sub Terra Cycle, as the name suggests depicts the sound of the Earth. As the composer states, “Under earth, the roar, the grate and the prickling delicacy of sound resounding beneath us". As in her Micro Climates, the three short works transports and transforms the listener to something much more personal than a spectator. What you hear is presented in such a visceral manner that, for example, you are part of the elevator shaft that takes you down to the Kongsberg silver mines. You become a cog in the heavy machinery that is drilling down 32 meters in the Oslo fjord, and finally, you become a grain of sand sized conscience observer on a Norwegian holiday beach. The 16 minute concert piece simply titled Sub Terra explodes with mechanical energy and geological chaos, all beautifully manipulated to achieve maximum dramatic effect. It’s a stunning piece that needs to be heard loud! Here is a short 4 minute live extract that is provided to give you the feel of the piece, but out of context is not an optimal representation.



    Finally, there is the Barely project. Per the composer, these are meant to be listened to at “barely” perceptual volume levels in which they can trigger different physical and/or emotional reactions in different listeners. Depending on the individual, each listener at this level will pick up and/or react differently to the very highly detailed nature of these recordings. I have personally listened to these recordings numerous times at a “normal” volume and only recently listened at the “barely perceptual” volume the composer recommends. Each experience was very different and moving forward, I’ll most likely compromise somewhere between the two.

    Gentle Sediment (Barely: Part-3) is indeed a highly detailed Acousmatic piece. Over the course of it’s nine minutes, it slowly morphs in mood and texture but retains a basic drone-like character. Sounds get introduced, manipulated and disappear, only to be reanimated later in the piece. It’s a wonderful slow moving meander though parts unknown. Rhizaria (Barely: Part-4) explores the sound world of a very close mic’ed cello which is processed in real time by Barrett. Typically, sounds like this are not noticed in a live setting, but because of the recording technique they are brought out into stark light. Last, (but definitely not least) there is the 40 minute Barely: (Part-1). This is an installation work set up in Oslo Norway, housed in a WWII German artillery factory. Without getting too far into the technical weeds of the how and why this piece was realized, (if interested, there are detailed notes on Barretts blog http://www.natashabarrett.org/barely-fulltext.html) I can say that for me, this is the high point of the entire package. The piece starts out with extrinsic noises (visitors chatting in the installation, outside noises, etc.) which eventually fade out and are eclipsed by a “barely” ambient drone like sound that also fades out only to make itself known again at various points throughout. Overlaid on top of this is a constant march of “barely” audible sonic minutiae, origin unknown. In the last month, I’ve listened to this piece about 4 or 5 times and each time is like hearing it anew. Imagine taking a slow boat ride down a still black river on a moonless, windless, arid night…around every curve lurks menace and invisible perils. Unable to avoid whats coming, you capitulate to whatever force is guiding your small craft and brave the unknowable. Barely: (Part-1) is certainly one of the most interesting Acousmatic works in my collection, at times uneasy, if not downright disturbing but ultimately fascinating.

    Bouteilles de Klein is a dense and demanding listen. This may not be for the casual/curious fan of Acousmatic music but if you are up for the challenge, it will reward you many times over. This release comes highly recommended!

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  8. #33
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    277
    Hey all,

    Not trying to intentionally bump this thread but just wanted to let any who cares know that electrocd.com has a 31% off sale (to celebrate their 31st birthday) going on till 4/2/2021. It's for physical product only, so I loaded up with some surrounds!!!

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  9. #34
    Boo! walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Oakland Gardens NY
    Posts
    4,749
    Quote Originally Posted by neuroticdog View Post
    Arturo Parra – Parr(A)cousmatique (2002; empreintes DIGITALes)

    This album was a grand experiment that went exceedingly…right! As the story goes, classical guitarist Parra (and a very accomplished one at that as this album ably shows) approached five Acousmatic composers and asked them to create a work for which he would then mix himself in creating a hybrid piece. With the exception of D'or et de lumiére where he partnered with fellow Acousmanaught Mauricio Bejarano, the partnerships with Dhomont, Gobeil and Normandeau were also recorded as stand alone pieces within their own catalog and can be heard on other records. The Stéphane Roy piece seems to have been recorded specifically for this release.

    Full disclosure, when I bought this record about 15 years ago, I didn’t bother learning about how it came into being, I just thought it was really interesting to hear (what I thought was) an electronically processed classical guitar. It was something very new and fresh sounding to me back then because it had all the qualities I was looking for in an Acousmatic record. Dramatic, mysterious sounds rushing inwards, backwards, whirling all around the sound stage that I mistakenly thought were all processed from the classical guitar as the only sound source. There is a point to me mentioning this, which I’ll get to in a second…but I had no idea he was working with some of the preeminent sound pioneers of the time.

    Well obviously I was (more than a) tad wrong here. The point of all this being…Parra inserted himself over the Acousmatic backdrop in such a natural, organic way that my ears were led to believe that everything being heard was coming from one source, his guitar. Fast forward to now…remembering how excellent this album was I decided to write about it, which lead me to the liner notes. I was completely taken off guard when I found out who his collaborators were. Stéphane Roy, Francis Dhomont, Gilles Gobeil, Robert Normandeau and the above mentioned Bejarano, well Mr. Parra sure knows how to pick em, right? The first four are very highly regarded in the Canadian corner of the field and, while I was not familiar with Bejarano, judging from his contribution I think I probably should be.

    Knowing now the “truth” of this album, my regard for it has GREATLY increased. I’m now listening to it in a different light, with a different mindset. First of all, I’m amazed at how Parra must have composed his part over the tape. Careful listening reveals how he must have storyboarded everything out. I now hear the naked, unprocessed, Spanish tinged acoustic guitar having a dialog with the manipulated taped sounds. Not only is his playing reactive, but it’s also proactive. It belongs there. He never overpowers the Acousmatic sounds, instead the tape and guitar are very equal partners. I think the whole is equal, if not greater than the parts here. Given that some of these composers also used these pieces as stand alone tracks on their own records, I realize I’m giving Parra very high praise. Deservedly so in my opinion.

    Additionally, Parra’s playing skills are exemplary. Speed demon flamenco runs are everywhere, extended techniques like scraping, general guitar neck torture and “sick” notes are just where they need to be and totally compliment the taped portion. Everything he does is in service to his partners, and visa versa…the whole thing just works perfectly.

    Kicking off the album is La basilique fantome (The phantom basilica) which is the combo with Stéphane Roy. Roy spins up some ghostly textures that queues some elegantly played Spanish guitar figures. Nothing to dark and foreboding here, but just enough quiet unease and tension to create the mood the title suggests. The piece ends with Roy ratcheting up the intensity quite a bit with a nearly overpowering drone prompting some dynamically equal guitar work from Parra, brilliant all the way though!

    The second piece, D'or et de lumiére (Gold and light) is a pairing with Mauricio Bejarano. Bejarano’s taped input is probably the most abstract of all the works on this album, the sounds he uses are varied and random. Parra’s ability to seamlessly meld his playing into this tapestry is quite the testament to not only his playing talent, but his imagination as well. This piece is full of clicks, scrapes, extended guitar techniques and micro sounds. Parts are quite pastoral and very melodic only to be subsumed into a maelstrom of avant-noise. Close, and numerous listens will pay off immensely.

    Next we have the dazzling Sol y sombra…L’espace des spectres (Sun and shadow…Ghosts over the ring) with Francis Dhomont. As if things weren’t’ interesting enough, a new level is reached here. I find it difficult to dissect each composers contribution in isolation, instead, taken as a whole…this piece just soars on wings of pure energy. I hate to resort to cheesy metaphors but every time I hear this it’s like holding on for dear life as your magic carpet takes flight over a technicolor infused psychotropic Catalonian landscape. Strap in, close your eyes and try not to freak out…sorry, no refunds.

    Soledad (Solitude) with Gilles Gobeil allows you to catch your breath, but only for a little while because you soon realize that you are in a darker realm. A possible soundtrack for Willian Hope Hodgson’s weird fiction novel The Night Land may be a good analog here. Silence is used to good effect on this piece, and when Gobeil breaks it with his “ opening of the crypt” sonics, images of a haunted landscape are unavoidable. At points, the silence gives way to passages of pure pandemonium which Parra wildly solo’s over creating a seemingly unstoppable wall of dark energy.

    All this is a great segue to the final tour de force, L’envers du temps (The other side of time) with Robert Normandeau. The dread filled silence in the previous piece gives way to a veritable tornado of studio processed sonorities and inventive guitar heroics from Parra. This piece also appears on Normandeau’s own album Figures (under the original name Ellipse) of which you can see my previous review here: https://avantmusicnews.com/2021/01/2...tes-digitales/ L’envers du temps acts as an all out sprint to the finish line for this excellent album and always leaves a smile on my face. High energy doesn’t even begin to describe it as Parra seems to be reaching outside of himself to muster every ounce of energy he has to keep pace with the tape. I have to mention the final 15 seconds of this piece acts as a bolded exclamation mark just to drive it all home.

    Parr(A)cousmatique works for me on all levels. In this age of collaboration, I would love to see empreintes DIGITALes organize more partnerships like this culled from their huge roster of artists. Unfortunately I was unable to find any suitable links to hear the full versions of these pieces but one can hear samples at the electrocd site. https://electrocd.com/en/album/2324/...arrcousmatique This album receives a table pounding recommendation from me, not just for Acousmatic music fans but lovers of guitar as well.

    Best
    Michael
    Played it with quiet and concentration, on headphones and dug it big time.It's "human" and approachable music and it more than merits further listening to unveil more of itself, as challenging and wonderful music as this often does.

    Thanks for turning me on to this and the Paul Dolden.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  10. #35
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    277
    Quote Originally Posted by walt View Post
    Played it with quiet and concentration, on headphones and dug it big time.It's "human" and approachable music and it more than merits further listening to unveil more of itself, as challenging and wonderful music as this often does.

    Thanks for turning me on to this and the Paul Dolden.
    That is high praise...thanks for taking the chance on it. Also, glad you used the words "Human" and "Approachable" too because even though this field is sort of mired in academia (which is something that I for one would love to see change and I know there are others...composers even feel the same way) the end result is really just a personal listening experience like any other kind of music. It either works or it doesn't..but sometimes the theories and concepts that prop this music up tend to get a little ivory tower-ish and techno-geek-esqe.

    Honestly, all that crap can be ignored, the point of it is to listen without caring how it was created and just surrendering to it, letting your mind do the rest. I just listened to a Zoom presentation with Francis Dhomont and when asked about if technology somehow informs his composition process...he plays it down saying it's secondary and just a means to an end to realize other bigger themes or ideas in his head that he wants to bring forth in a sonic or musical fashion.

    thanks again Walt!

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  11. #36
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Frownland
    Posts
    1,371
    Quote Originally Posted by neuroticdog View Post
    Hey all,

    Not trying to intentionally bump this thread but just wanted to let any who cares know that electrocd.com has a 31% off sale (to celebrate their 31st birthday) going on till 4/2/2021. It's for physical product only, so I loaded up with some surrounds!!!

    best
    Michael
    Well, thanks to you and this sale I've now purchased the Arturo Parra, two Dolden's, and Ake Parmerud's Necropolis.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  12. #37
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    277
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobo Chang Ba View Post
    Well, thanks to you and this sale I've now purchased the Arturo Parra, two Dolden's, and Ake Parmerud's Necropolis.
    Awesome HCB!! I really hope you'll enjoy them...I think you will.

    Interested to know what you think...especially about the Parmerud, which I have very little of.

    I've taken a slight detour from reviewing releases from this label because there has been newer stuff I wanted to get to...but I'll be back shortly with a Gilles Gobeil write up

    (I can hear the collective gasp of "oh NOOOOOOO" from here)

    best
    Michael
    Last edited by neuroticdog; 1 Week Ago at 11:27 AM.
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  13. #38
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Frownland
    Posts
    1,371
    Quote Originally Posted by neuroticdog View Post
    Awesome HCB!! I really hope you'll enjoy them...I think you will.

    Interested to know what you think...especially about the Parmerud, which I have very little of.

    I've taken a slight detour from reviewing releases from this label because there has been newer stuff I wanted to get to...but I'll be back shortly with a Gilles Gobeil write up

    (I can hear the collective gasp of "oh NOOOOOOO" from here)

    best
    Michael
    I really like the Parra samples, so this was an easy choice. I was a little bit more on the fence with Dolden, but with the sale I figured it was worth the risk. I only listened to the samples from Parmerud because I like the word Necropolis. But they drew me in, so again, with the sale it was worth it. And will do, re: Necropolis.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •