Choices & Melodies
A. Two choices 16’12
B. Autonomous melodies 16’26
Alexis Degrenier (hurdy-gurdy) – Anna-Kaisa Meklin (viola da gamba) – Angelika Sheridan (flutes) – Antoine Läng (voice) – Anouck Genthon (violin) – Bertrand Gauguet (saxophone) – Brice Catherin (cello) – Bruno Crochet (laptop) – Christophe Berthet (saxophone) – Cyril Bondi (conduction, harmonium) – d’incise (laptop, harmonium) – Daniel Tyrrell (acoustic guitar) – Dorothea Schürch (voice) – Eric Ruffing (analog synthesizer) – Gerald Perera (electric doublebass) – Hans Koch (clarinet) – Heike Fiedler (voice) – Ivan Verda (electric guitar) – Jamasp Jhabvala (violin) – Luc Müller (floortom, melodica) – Maxime Hänsenberger (percussion, melodica) – Raphaël Ortis (laptop) – Regula Gerber (doublebass) – Rodolphe Loubatière (snare drum, melodica) – Sébastien Branche (saxophone) – Sandra Weiss (bassoon) – Steve Buchanan (saxophone) – Thierry Simonot (laptop) – Violeta Motta (flutes) – Vinz Vonlanthen (electric guitar) – Wanda Obertova (voice) – Yann Leguay (electronic)
Direction and compositions by Cyril Bondi and d’incise.
Price: LP 14€
LP, EU Shipping, 22€
LP, Rest of the world Shipping, 24€
Flac only 7€
(A Flac link comes with the LP orders)
« Choices & Melodies » regroup two pieces, composed by Cyril Bondi and d’incise and echoing in a different aspects the « 13 & 27″ cd recently released by Another Timbre, as both were recorded at the same time in the summer 2016.
With « Two choices » the Insub Meta Orchestra exposes its richness of sonic production and variety of sources, acoustic and electronic, with simple instruction of producing two noises per person and the possibility of a change every five seconds. From this rigid structure emerges in fact an endless, subtle and dynamic soundscape.
One the other hand, and LP side, « Autonomous melodies » is a kind of alien piece in the orchestra’s esthetic as it rely on a loud volume, and a free melody of three and four note. But here again it’s the global result produce by the amount of musician that is made audible, it become an hybrid form, a sort of agited drone with a unique new timbre.
Both propositions here are timeless, and sometime dizzyning, they immediately surround the hears with a steady momentum, an own dimension where the music reveal itself in the details and micro-changes in the apparent constance.
Recorded in july 2016, at Studio Ernest Ansermet, Geneva, by Jean Guillaume Teheux.
Mixed by d’incise. LP mastering by Adi Flück. Artwork by d’incise.
This is surely an orchestra, with twenty-five musicians playing the two sidelong compositions by Cyril
Bondi and D’incise and performed by all these people and all these instruments. Too many to list them
all, so I list none. Quite a number of saxophone players, but also laptops, analogue synths, snare drum,
bassoon, flutes, electric guitar, violin voice and so on. On each side there is a single piece and they are
quite different. For the A-side it is ‘Two Choices’, which has the “simple instruction of producing two
noises per person and the possibility of a change every five seconds”. So that should be about fifty
different sounds in always different patterns playing together, and perhaps a recipe for chaos, but
that doesn’t happen. On the contrary, this is a beautiful piece that upon first hearing sounded rather
soft, but when I turned up the volume a bit a whole world of sound opened up. Almost like a bunch of
sea sounds/tape hiss, but with lots of detailed variations in the entire rumble they produce. It is a
very mysterious sounding piece, in which one has a hard time recognizing any of the instruments, I
would think, but it is a thoroughly intense piece of music that I liked a lot.
Instruments on ‘Autonomous Melodies’, on the other side, are easier recognized, I should think.
Not per se as individual instruments, but the Orchestra’s many strings and wind instruments seems
to prevail here. It is, I am told, one of the louder pieces they have played so far and it’s all about volume
and “a free melody of three and four note”. Here too I have no idea how a diverse group interprets that,
but they play a powerful almost acoustic drone music here, with short movements, repeating on and on
and it gives the piece a most interesting cadence, going up and down in perfect rhythm, almost like
everybody is playing one bar, with either three or four notes, on and on. This piece is a total contrast
with ‘Two Choices’ when it comes to approach and execution, but in terms of beauty and intensity, it
is very much the same thing: excellent stuff. Where and when can I see the Orchestra perform?
FdW / Vital Weekly
It’s impressive to keep a large ensemble with 50 permanent members going for eight years and running. It is particularly impressive when that ensemble focusses on the collective intersection of composition, improvisation and electro-acoustic practice. Founded by Swiss musicians Cyril Bondi and d’incise on the ideas the two describe as “experimentation, of immoderation, of exploring and pushing the limits,” somehow this group of international collaborators has not only managed to keep this project a going concern, they have managed to get together on a regular basis to perform and record. Choices & Melodies is their fifth release, recorded at the same session as their Another Timbre CD from last year (reviewed here by Justin Cober-Lake) and like that one, this LP/digital download is comprised of two pieces credited as “direction and compositions by Cyril Bondi and d’incise.” This iteration of the group is 32-strong, with eight woodwinds, five string players, three guitarists, six utilizing electronics, laptops, and synths, three percussionists, four vocalists, along with hurdy gurdy, viola da gamba and harmonium, forming a rich timbral depth.
First up is “two choices” using the simple instructions of producing two noises per person and the possibility of a change every five seconds. What transpires over the course of the 16-and-a-half-minute piece is a beguiling, dynamic mix of subtly shifting hiss, abrasions, quavers, crackles and low-end rumbles. Eschewing any sense of tonality, the immersive layers of frictive textures engulf the listener, with constantly evolving fields of subtle nuanced vacillations and densities. One gets the sense of listening in the midst of a giant engine or the groaning hull of a ship and the recording does a great job of capturing the spatial distribution of sounds across the ensemble. The second piece, “autonomous melodies,” takes a quite different tack, utilizing kernels of three or four note free melodies which are distributed across the orchestra. Over the course of 16 minutes, it relies on a relatively loud volume to let the various threads accrue in to mercurially morphing chords and drones. Here, the music benefits from the intrinsic underpinnings of woodwinds, strings, electronics, percussion and elusive scrims of vocalizations which commingle and fragment into changeable pulses and currents. In both pieces, the collective, considered intensity of the full ensemble comes through with gripping results.
Michael Rosenstein / Dusted Magazine