A PERSONAL KEYBOARD ARCHEOLOGY – PART 5: “LE LABYRINTHE”, 2007, LES ONDES SILENCIEUSES
October 5, 2017 § 1 Comment
Even though outwardly my music is not autobiographical at all, there is always a deep connection between what I feel or would *like* to feel and the music I end up making, and if there is one album of mine that exemplifies this connection, it has to be Les ondes silencieuses.
I recorded it in winter 2006, after learning the basics of the viola da gamba for less than a year, getting a sabbatical from my teaching job, and returning from my first Japanese tour. Prior to the sabbatical, the incompatibility between teaching and music-making on a near-professional level had become more and more glaring every day, and I felt overwhelmed most of the time. Problematically, I still felt overwhelmed even *after* the sabbatical was granted to me, since I was able to accept more offers, and was also trapped in endless administrative tasks.
The trip to Japan proved crucial to the final twist I gave the album, which I’d already half-composed earlier in the year: if my life wasn’t giving me the sense of calm I so badly needed, then I would give my music that sense of calm, in the same way that the Japanese traditional aesthetics made spaces and objects radiate with beautiful, essential simplicity.
I was obsessed with the more introspective side of Baroque music at the time, and short of being able to include a real harpsichord, I managed to locate and rent a spinet, its more modest cousin: I brought it home for a couple of weeks, learnt to get used to its rather stiff action, and recorded “Le labyrinthe” in the living-room of my Paris flat. The silence between the notes in the first section, which strikes me as extreme now, felt entirely natural then, and given the almost complete absence of electricity on that album, dominated by my bass viola da gamba, it’s only natural that the keyboard that ended up on this album should have been made only of wood and metal.
This album has been reissued on coloured and black vinyl by The Leaf Label this year (available through my Bandcamp – also available on CD) and will see its first tape release on 14th October on Beacon Sound (EU customers can order through my Bandcamp, non-EU customers please head over directly to Beacon Sound’s website here ). Both the digital and tape versions contain two unreleased bonus tracks recorded live in Japan during the aforementioned tour. The album is also available on CD.
Artwork is by Iker Spozio.
[…] On the European live front, I’m playing in my beloved ZDB in Lisbon on 7th December, and at the Notwist-curated Alien Disko festival in Munich on 16th December! And on the US side, I got the amazing news this week that Sam Prekop of The Sea and Cake will open for my show at the MCA in Chicago on 3rd November – so honoured and excited at the thought of that evening in Thrill Jockey’s adopted home! And guitarist extraordinaire Shane Parish will open in Asheville on 14th November! […]