INSUB META ORCHESTRA archive #1

Antoine Läng mouth – Brice Catherin cello – Brooks Giger doublebass – Christian Müller contrabass clarinet – Christophe Berthet saxophone, conduction n°2 – Christoph Schiller spinet, conduction n°1 – Cyril Bondi floor tom, cymbal – d’incise objects, conduction n°3 – Denis Beuret trombone – Dragos Tara doublebass – Edmée Fleury voice – Eric Ruffing theremin, analog electronics – Fabrice Pittet ac. guitar, voice, perc. – Filippo Provenzale percussions – Frédéric Minner elec. bass – Florence Melnotte keyboard – Ganesh Geymeier saxophone – Gianluca Ruggeri function generator – Gérald Zbinden ac.& elec. guitars – Guy Bettini trumpet – Hannah Marshall cello – Heike Fiedler voice – Igor Cubrilovic acoustic resonator guitar – Ivan Verda elec. guitar, buzuki – Jamasp Jhabvala violin – Jonas Kocher accordion – Loïc Grobéty piano strings elec. bass – Marcel Chagrin elec. guitar – Nicolas Raufaste ac. guitar – Olga Kokcharova typewriter, voice – Patricia Bosshard violin, conduction n°5 – Phonotopy tennis raquet – Raphaël Ortis elec. bass – Richard Jean elec. guitar – Rodolphe Loubatière percussions, conduction n°4 – Simon Berz d.i.y. instruments, electronic – Steve Buchanan saxophone, elec. guitar – Thierry Simonot electronics – Thomas Peter laptop – Vinz Vonlanthen elec. guitar, banjo

1. Punkte und Flächen mp3
2. Et si… mp3
3. The living dust mp3
4. Miroir mp3
5. Lava underground mp3
6. Set sail, finally mp3

Download in MP3 (complete album in a zip)(41m53 / 64Mo)
Download in FLAC (complete album in a zip)(41m53 / 199Mo)

CD, digisleeve, 5eur.

Recorded at La Parfumerie / Geneva / 3-4-5.08.2011 / by Antoine Etter / Mastering by Nathan James.

The IMO is a very large improvisors ensemble, founded in september 2010, It usually gather about 35 musicians per concert, from all switzerland and beyond.
From the, expected, mess of the first concerts emerged a collective consciousness and involvement from the impressive number of musicians included in this ambitious projet. After a year – and 7 concerts – 40 of them met during 3 day during the 2011 summer, marking a sensitive step in the orchestra progression. Working deeply a certain amount of pieces – concepts and conductions – appeared a new sound quality, a opening of the space, a fragility of the volume, a more electroacoustique, minimal, « concrète » direction. The orchestra started to think as an an emsemble, with multiple components but looking to project a unique/common sound, to look for details, restraint, variable densities, breathes, drones, subbasses…
The alternation of « free » and « conducted » improvisation was from the begining a manner to test various pathes of collective operation. If this first record – first archive – contain mainly conducted pieces it’s because at one time they were crucial about etablishing a common background into the orchestra, it resulted a definitive strenght allowing us now to play autonomously with far much accuracy.
The IMO, whom will have done 16 concerts more at the end of its second season, became, beyond the manifest gathering, a solid group and a experience open on an exciting future.

reviews:

http://www.insubordinations.net/images/improjazz_IMO_w.jpg
Joël Pagier / Improjazz

Tonight a CD by a very large improvisation orchestra that I rather like. Yes you did read that correctly.
I have long had mixed feeling about improv orchestras. I have seen the London Improvisers Orchestra perform live quite a number of times now, and have always found the way they work, the brilliantly communal atmosphere they exude, the lack of any showboating, to be really refreshing and inspiring. The music that the forty-odd member group inevitably produce though has always left me completely underwhelmed. I have had similar feelings about the CDs I have heard from the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, though have not yet experienced that group live. So when I heard about the Insub Meta Orchestra, a large forty-six strong ensemble based around the Insubordinations netlabel I was somewhat wary, but the difference with this group, as compared to the previous two, is that there seems to be much less of a focus on natural instrument sounds and a lean towards texture and an overall quieter, more restrained approach. Restraining forty musicians is inevitably going to be difficult and no matter how much they hold back there is always going to be a degree of layered activity going on. What makes Archive #1, as this first album by the ensemble is named of far more interest is how they seem to achieve an extra degree of restraint I don’t normally hear. The album certainly bursts into very loud and dense music at times, but really not often, and in places it is so very quiet I would never have thought so many musicians were playing. Couple this with a sense of co-ordination and compositional sense to the music and this album provides me with considerable new hope of the very large group format.
With any large group of this size, a degree of composition and conduction is essential. The six tracks here each have a very fixed character that inevitably springs out of the frameworks the group set for themselves. If you take forty musicians and tell them they can all just improvise you generally do get chaos. Some structure, however free or undemanding, is essential. The musicians here are those that revolve around the considerable orbit of the Diatribes duo from Switzerland and their Insubordinations netlabel. So alongside D’Incise and Cyril Bondi there are a number of names I am familiar with, from Christoph Schiller’s spinet to Jonas Kocher’s accordion and Hannah Marshall’s cello, but there are also a considerable number of names, the majority actually, that I am unfamiliar with. So how do you get about forty musicians that I am not that familiar with to play quietly together? This in itself is something of an achievement. Each of the pieces has its won character. the opening Punkte und Flachen is very spacious, full of earthy tones from a sax or clarinet at low volume interspersed with little bursts of percussive and laptoppish activity. It bursts into life once or twice, presumably as a conductor set it alive, but on the whole the hushed feel of searching for interesting sounds as everyone plays quietly together is a telling one. elsewhere there are drone styled pieces, with Lava underground being an aptly named piece, with some very soft, quiet playing layered many times over in real time btu with troublesome elements brewing beneath all of this, so resembling a volcano bubbling away, likely to erupt at any time, though in this case the track doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still a feel of slightly anarchic chaos here and there, but on the whole this CD seems to answer some questions about late groups of this kind that I assumed couldn’t be answered in this way. Of course the degree to which the group is actually improvising diminishes increasingly as the level of control and restraint is increased, but there is still considerable freedom here, that somehow has been channelled into a unified, communitarian way of playing that also has a particular musical goal in mind. Very well done then, work that inspires something in me as a human being as well as being an enjoyable listen. In keeping with Insubordination’s admirable commitment to making music available for free, the work can be downloaded for no cost from here or you can purchase a hard copy edition from the same page.
Richard Pinnell / the watchfulear

Après deux de recherches et de travaux communs, l’IMO publie sa première série de pièce. Un orchestre impressionnant par sa taille, qui réunie ici quarante musiciens (il y en a toujours aux alentours d’une trentaine apparemment). Je ne ferai donc pas le détail des artistes présents, et ne citerai que les plus connus: Christian Müller (clarinette contrebasse), Christoph Schiller (épinette), Cyril Bondi (percussions), d’incise (objets), Dragos Tara (contrebasse), Jonas Kocher (accordéon), Marcel Chagrin (guitare électrique), Phonotopy (raquette de tennis…), Raphaël Ortis (basse électrique). Beaucoup de musiciens suisses et de proches du très prolifique netlabel Insubordinations. On trouve également toutes sortes d’instruments classiques et électroniques comme des trombones, saxophones, violoncelles, ordinateurs, theremin, voix, trompettes, etc.
Après l’expérience traumatisante de Luna Surface, je dois dire que dorénavant, j’appréhende vraiment chaque orchestre de musique improvisée. Et pourtant, avec l’IMO, il n’y a aucun raison de s’inquiéter, les improvisations sont dirigées, et dirigées de manière à mettre en avant différentes notions d’espace. La musique de cet orchestre peut être très étonnamment calme, voire silencieuse parfois, lorsqu’elle est axée sur des textures soufflées, instables et calmes. Bien sûr, elle peut aussi prendre du volume, gonfler sa présence en produisant de gigantesques nappes électroacoustiques lisses et oppressantes. En tout cas, la notion d’espace paraît très importante pour la direction des improvisations (que l’on doit à Christoph Schiller, Christophe Berthet, d’incise, Rodolphe Loubatière, et Patricia Bosshard). Des espaces aérés, saturés, tendus, clairs, obscurs, profonds, forts, calmes, fracturés, lisses. Des directions opposées et toujours surprenantes, l’IMO parvient à produire différents espaces sonores parfois contradictoires ou opposés et à aborder des directions variés avec facilité et familiarité.
Car cette suite de six pièces, dont la dernière est collectivement improvisée, met en scène des espaces sensiblement variés, il ne s’agit pas de mettre en avant une spontanéité collective mais plutôt de se concentrer dans une direction précise. Et chaque direction, chaque création d’espace sonore, est abordée avec dévouement, inventivité et sensibilité. De par sa taille, l’IMO peut puiser dans une multitude de possibilités à travers l’utilisation de différents instruments, mais également à travers de multiples configurations et des directions variées, et l’orchestre ne s’en prive pas. Tour à tour réductionnistes, minimales, orchestrales, linéaires, ou déconstruites, ces pièces de l’IMO naviguent avec une aisance déconcertante à travers une multitude d’univers musicaux, et mettent ainsi à jour quelques unes seulement de leurs possibilités. Seulement, des possibles et des possibilités, il en reste. Et on en redemande.
Julien Hérauld / Improv-Sphere

45 musiciens s’ouvrent à la menace. Approfondissent la ligne, réduisent son isolement, diffèrent le chaos, font l’éloge des choses souterraines.
Dans cet atelier, une sourde respiration ouvre les débats. La machinerie, maintenant, s’active et délivre ses vifs roulis. Un court et impressionnant crescendo surgit. La cassure intimide la ligne mais échoue à la briser totalement. Et c’est précisément, cette ligne qui fait office de lien et assure sa dense continuité aux cinq conductions de ce disque.
Fondé en septembre 2010, l’Insub Meta Orchestra signe ici son premier enregistrement. La menace est à prendre au sérieux.
Luc Bouquet / le son grisli

When I first discovered avant-garde and free jazz, I was, like many of us I’m sure, fixated on the albums and artists that made us feel alive and helped us believe that anything was possible in music. A major turning point for me was the Globe Unity Orchestra, and more specifically, the ‘Hamburg ’74′ recording. It was one of the first jazz records that I fully understood on my terms. The sheer chaos of that album made me swell up with emotion, still does actually. When the choir started, it puts me over the edge. There were no longer any rules, I could do whatever I wanted with my music and it could never be wrong.
Then this recording of the Insub Meta Orchestra fell into my lap and I was instantly hit with all of these old emotions once again. Here are 40 musicians playing instruments as traditional as guitars, saxophones, and trumpets while incorporating instruments of a non-traditional slant such as a tennis racquet, functioning generator, and mouth!
With five tracks conducted by one of five different members of the orchestra and one free piece to end the ‘Archive #1′ album I became very aware how the concept of insubordination becomes such an intricate part of both the group’s and label’s philosophy.
Track one, Punkte und Flachen, sets the tone and mood for the rest of the album. Minimalist they are. The best way I could think of to describe this first minute or so of this track is this. It is the sound of 40 instruments not being played. Picture an orchestra pit full of instruments but no musicians present. All you get is the sound of wood, brass, metal and electricity. Then over the course of the track, a spattering of percussion, single notes, and an occasional tone are played with incredible self control. Conceptually, it is very exciting, but in practice it only lasts as long as you are willing to let it.
The first five tracks follow in the same vein. With subsequent listens however, I stopped playing the recognition game of, Was that a typewriter? or When will I hear the banjo? and listened to the entire sonic picture. With this new listening attitude I got to hear more of the instruments and not just listen for them. They have an individuality of their own, an ebb and flow, all building their own structures on the gaps left behind by the others.
Track six, « Set Sail », finally, is the only track without a conductor. It is intimate yet extremely distant at the same time. You have to strain your ear to hear a trumpet or electric guitar but at the same time, pristinely hear breathing. Sometimes it feels like a single microphone was placed on the ceiling of a church for this recording, sometimes on someone’s lip. It follows the same restraint as the previous five tracks and each of the instruments get to play if sometimes only for a single note.
‘Archive # 1′ isn’t ‘Hamburg ’74′, and nor should it be, but it does pose similar questions. Do we need a massive orchestra pushing what is safe and normal? Yes! Should it be insubordinate? Absolutely!!!!
Philip Coombs / freejazz stef

Reductionist to the extreme, especially for those accustomed to the distributed colors of a symphony orchestra or the rhythmic flexibility of big Jazz band, these European ensembles both take as their strategy the movement and integration of timbres. Despite the 15 members of Köln-based Ensemble X or the 35 plus [!] participants in Geneva-based INSUB META Orchestra’s initiative, the idea is for each group of improvisers to move and sound like one entity. Equally challenging, the concept is designed so that each must contribute his or her particular tonal qualities at controlled volume and within a specific dynamic range. That these discs are as striking as they are is a testament to both the ensemble members’ cooperative skills as it is to the guidance of tubaist Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Ensemble X’s initiator on one hand, and the five Insub Meta Orchestra members who lead the conduction on different tracks of that CD.
[..] Despite five of Archive #1’s six tracks being conductions by different ensemble members there’s a similar, detailed-oriented collectivity among them. This doesn’t mean that saxophonist Christophe Berthet, percussionist Rodolphe Loubatière, objects-manipulator d’incise, violinist Patricia Bosshard or spinet player Christoph Schiller – who is also featured with Ensemble X – hear things the same way, but that after only one year of concerts, a group ethos has developed.
Even more so than with the other group, the sheer number and multiples of players’ tones makes identification of individual contributions and sometimes distinctive instrumental timbres difficult to assess. Different velocities are more noticeable however, with, for instance, the Schiller-led “Punkte und Flächen” distinguished by regularized whacks from the percussionists; jittery air expelling from the horns; harsh plucks and bowing from the string players; and a wave-form undertow. Meanwhile Loubatière’s “Miroir” encompasses accordion trembles, reed squeaks and expostulations from vocalists who lip-bubble, yelp and shout intermittently. Here the kinetic electronic stasis takes the form of disconnected processing that isolates signals from one another, but eventually manages to decisively amalgamate oscillations. Sometimes as many legato as extended techniques are heard, but rubato timing and sinewy actions ensure that the distinctive friction is maintained throughout nearly every sequence.
“Set sail, finally”, which completes the program with a promise of future ensemble exploration manages to expose more polyphony and polyrhythms than the preceding tracks. With ring modulator-like clanging, signal-processed shimmies are upfront, while scuffed and angled string slicing plus horn peeps and percussion beats shrink backwards. As the vector subtly changes during the performance bel-canto warbling, gong smacking and an upward trumpet blast signal the piece’s crescendo. Then it gradually diminishes into rubs and drags.
Certainly theses discs are not CDs for anyone whose idea of large ensemble creation is defined by the Berlin Philharmonic, Duke Ellington’s orchestra or even Gil Evans palate mixing. Yet both the Insub Meta Orchestra and Ensemble X still suggest new strategies in which to fruitfully spread the ideas of utilizing pure improvisation among many players.
Ken Waxman/ jazzword

Founded in September 2010, the Insub Meta Orchestra (IMO) is an ensemble composed of several dozen improvisers from Switzerland and beyond. The group first explored its possibilities in seven separate concerts and then, in the summer of 2011, forty members hunkered down for a three-day musical marathon, which allowed it time and space to delve into a few pieces and explore the shifting line between orchestration and improvisation. The result of this group vision quest is Archive #1, a gripping electro-acoustic voyage that’s a highly successful blend of intention and spontaneity.
IMO works with a broad palette of instrumentation, an intriguing mix that’s elegantly presented and intertwined. This particular project includes traditional instruments such as saxophone, clarinet, trombone, guitar, cello, and bass; the less traditional spinet, accordion, banjo, and bouzouki; a few staples of the experimental including a theremin, laptop, and analog electronics; and the completely unexpected, namely a tennis racket and a typewriter. Although the music is produced partly by acoustic instruments, the overall sound is distinctly metallic; this is the poetry of machines, a praise song of metal and electronics.
Each of the six pieces has its own texture, but the CD works together as a whole to create an atmospheric suite. « Punkte und Flächen » starts with a breathy, sizzling sound, then moves slowly through a pregnant silence, adding slices of noise and blips of percussion and a whistling wind, gradually heating up into a clanking, furious intensity. « The Living Dust » is a deliciously eerie piece with a variety of mysterious sounds simmering just under the surface, while « Et si… » is centered around a drawn-out high pitch that provides a base for a variety of sounds that come and go. The group’s dance with the pitch is an excellent example of its ability to set off everyday sounds and allow them to be heard anew.
« Lava Underground » is a marvelous subterranean piece that grows in menace and slowly builds a burgeoning wall of sound, and « Miroir » (French for « mirror » or « glass ») incorporates bits of a human voice, as well as the aforementioned typewriter. The CD closes with « Set Sail, Finally, » an airy, eleven-minute song that simmers with potency. The sounds include isolated notes, clacking percussion, crying strings, and another visit from that underrated instrument, the typewriter. The sounds weave together throughout the piece, mostly in quick snippets, sometimes as sustained drones, and other times as shimmering fields, altogether creating a splendid meditation on space and noise.
One of the beauties of this music is how malleable it is to the imagination. The sounds are whatever you like: neurons firing, an iceberg shifting, computers talking back, a lawnmower gone rogue—anything is possible. This music is mysterious and perhaps mystical as well. Archive #1 is a remarkable achievement, a genuine sonic adventure that celebrates the pleasures of the unknown and the known, and reveals ever-deeper realms of musical possibility.
Florence Wetzel / All about jazz

L’IMO, è un’insieme di ricerca orchestrale svizzero, formato da una quarantina di improvvisatori. Fondato nel 2010, viaggia intorno ad un concetto di suono/fucina, libero da ogni costrizione di genere. “Archive #1”, è la prima uscita per l’ensemble elvetico. Che lungo sei composizioni (cinque condotte da un membro dell’orchestra, una, di libera battuta), tira le fila di un’espressione ondeggiante e tumultuosa Minimalismo e slavine metallico/rimbombanti. Drones sfrigolanti e spaziose zone d’elettroacustica pigolante e organica (legni, metalli e cocci). Tra frammentate divagazioni orchestrali, e strumentazioni non ortodosse (racchette da tennis e generatori, non scherzo, giuro…). “Archive #1”, rappresenta ben più, di una semplice volontà documentaristica. Da queste parti, dubbi e ipotesi, prendon forma. Senza compromesso alcuno.
Marco Carcasi / Kathodik

Nicht nur der Wahnsinn, auch die Improvisationskunst hat ihre Methoden. Das INSUB META ORCHESTRA organisiert sich und seine Klangwelten, ähnlich wie das London Improvisers Orchestra, nach der Conductionmethode. 31 Mann, Weib und Maus stark, malt es, wie man nun auf Archive #1 (insubcd04) hören kann, nach Vorgaben von Christoph Schiller ‘Punkte und Flächen’, liest Christophe Berthet ‘Et si…’ von den Händen, wird nach Anleitung von D’incise zu ‘The living dust’, reflektiert im ‘Miroir’, den Rodolphe Loubatière hochhält, verflüssigt sich Patricia Bosshard gemäß zum ‘Lava underground’. Mit ‘Set Sail, Finally’ sticht es zuletzt dann ohne Lotsen ins Offene. Der elektroakustisch bestückte Klangkörper ist zu gewaltig, um alle zu nennen, daher picke ich, unfairerweise, nur einige BA-einschlägige Namen heraus: den Akkordeonisten Jonas Kocher, Gérald Zbinden an Gitarren, Hannah Marshall am Cello, Christian Müller (von Strøm) an der Kontrabassklarinette, Vinz Vonlanthen an E-Gitarre & Banjo, Cyril Bondi (von Diatribes und Plaistow) an Percussion, Antoine Läng (von dQtç und Atomic Paracelze) mit seinem Mundwerk. Statt abwechselnder Personalstile steht ein unbestimmt bestimmter Gruppenklang, ein geteiltes Insubordinations-Klangideal, kurz, eine geräusch-, fast möchte ich sagen: naturnahe ‘Ästhetik des Flachen’ zur Debatte. Keine direkte Programmmusik, das sicher nicht, aber doch weht, bläst, haucht hier Wind, Insekten reiben ihre Gliedmaßen, Tropfen tröpfeln Punkte… Es tönt, zuckt, dröhnt, und alle gehen in diesem ‘Es’ auf. Berthet fordert gegen Ende seiner 3:50 ein mächtiges Crescendo, aber gleich geht es staubig rieselnd, knisternd, knirschend, knarzend und rumorend weiter und alle rücken zusammen wie Engel auf der Nadelspitze. ‘Miroir’ ist ‘expressiv’ gepollockt, voller schneller Graffititags, in seinem Geflipper von Stimmlauten, Bläserimpulsen und perkussiven Klicks am wenigsten ambient. Bossard lässt es dann wieder brodeln, die Bläser schweben über dem anschwellenden Klangfluss, der zunehmend bebend und erruptiv sich breit dahin wälzt. Der freie ‘Segeltrip’ beginnt pointillistisch und mikroperkussiv, mit verhuschten, gedämpften, unruhigen Lautgesten, die nach 6 1/2 Min. kurz auffrischen, wieder abflauen und piano pianissimo die Segel streichen… al niente. Der Konsens und die Selbstdisziplin des Orchesters sind bemerkenswert.
Rigobert Dittmann / bad alchemy

Am Ende kommt Bondy wieder ins Spiel, und zwar als Leiter des 38(!)-köpfigen Insub Meta Orchestra, kurz IMO. Mit dieser Großformation, bestehend aus Klangartistinnen aus der gesamten Schweiz und darüber hinaus, legt er die Debütplatte unter dem Titel archive #1 vor. An Bord des IMO befinden sich, von den auch hierorts bekannteren Namen, der Akkordeonist Jonas Kocher, die Londoner Cellistin Hannah Marshall – und der oben erwähnte Phonotopy, hier originellerweise am Tennisracket. Gemeinsam balanciert man zwischen freier und dirigierter Bigbandarbeit, wobei zweitere die Mehrheit in Stücken bilden, die mit sprechenden Titeln „Punkte und Flächen“, „Miroir“, The living dust“ oder „Lava underground“ versehen werden. Wir hören, angesichts der Dimension des Orchesters, erstaunlich wenig. An der unteren Wahrnehmungsschwelle vermuten wir einen Bigband-Reduktionismus aus der Gegenwart, der zugleich die Gegenwarte mitdenkt. – Ein Debüt, das auf Fortsetzung hoffen lässt.
Andreas Fellinger / freistill

Det är helt otrolig. Ett trettiotal musiker samlade i Lausanne för att göra så litet väsen som möjligt tillsammans utan att vara tysta. Det är inte många namn jag känner igen. Cyril Bondi, Denis Beuret. Instrumenten är av de mest skilda slag, från bas och cello till tomtom, gitarrer och tennisracket.
Anslaget är färgat av elektronik och moderna improsound i blåsarna. Tonerna hålls ut monotont, enstaka pip och brus visslar från någons elförstärkning.På det hela rör sig styckena långsamt ringlande, det lönar sig att lyssna efter småljud som bryter av. Plötsligt kommer en skärande störning, som river med sig alla spelarna. Men snart lugnar de ner sig för att lyssna till en ensam sinuston.
Det är som ljuddamm som virvlar runt i ett rum så pass att det är svårt att se ljuset, även om det bryter igenom ibland. Naturligtvis är det tillbakadraget, återhållet och oavbrutet fängslande, samtidigt som jag tycker att de kunde ha släppt ännu mer. Då menar jag inte spräcka upp, men de kunde ha släppt de konventionella tankarna på låtar, följder, tid, skede, process, som jag tycker mig märka hela tiden.
Kontentan blir en böljande ljudgröt som är ganska charmigt kornig men den har sin givna koktid och den har sin absoluta tid att förtäras. Det låter litet som ett slags pedagogiskt allaktivitetsprojekt med ljud. Ungefär ”alla kan och alla ska vara med”. Tänk om de vågat spela glömska av att skapa musik. Då hade kanske mycket hänt. Men trots allt: en nyttig kost och instruktiv resa i improvisationens grynnor och skär. Sjökort är nödvändigt, trots att många påstår motsatsen.
Thomas Millroth / sound of music

This recordings are under Creative Commons license. Copy, share, burn, P2P, offer, thank you for that, but please keep the whole record complete with all its elements.