"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Friday, 18 February 2011

Story of O

No brainer to follow Steven Hess with On cohort Sylvain Chauveau. & while Chauveau's would still be a major body of work even without his collaborations & engagements - not least with Hess - you wouldn't want to do without them.

Besides the luminous On, Chauveau's involvement in Arca & the defunct Micro:mega, & his partnership with Felicia Atkinson, you'd be missing out on the playfully thoughtful/thoughtfully playful conceptualists O (sometimes Ensemble O, often plinkily percussive, & yes, of course, they've done versions of Cage's 4' 33). Newest from this source - which it's quite appealing to think of as a distilling step beyond On, though chronologically O seems to precede On & is as often as not macro where On is more or less always micro... - is for the black monk on Belgian netlabel etlefeucomme.

Recommended by Stephan Mathieu, a weighty endorsement round our way, these are three diverting rule-driven cut-ups. Their alternate lurking bleakness & alarm clock repetition is oddly rewarding - especially version 2.

Oh, & "for a realistic listening, please play those recordings at low volume"...

Blurb: « the black monk » is how some people used to name american painter ad reinhardt. from 1960, reinhardt had toughened his work to the point of only making black canvases in a square shape until the end of his life. those « ultimate paintings » were invariably divided in nine squares and three different but almost identical blacks. this composition by 0 is based on principles inspired by ad reinhardt's concept: nine juxtaposed fragments of 45 seconds, monolithic and dark, with three different musical colours. the three « colours » have to be created by the performers with the instruments they have chosen.

A gripping earlier piece is Passacaille, a buzzing, twangy encounter with the classical Passacaglia. Probably...

Background: 0 has started in 2004. the members currently live in bayonne (france) and brussels (belgium). the band can include new members for each project and also increase or reduce when needed: percussion ensemble, chamber music, fanzine, field recordings...we perform our own compositions as well as pieces by other musicians: from taku sugimoto to steve reich, from fritz hauser to the jackson 5.

O > version 2 / version 3 (from for the black monk, etlefeucomme) > Passacaille (Ensemble O, Idiosyncratics)

More O sounds here (trio live) & here (Morton Feldman rearrangement)...

Lots more O video here...

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

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