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    Francois Bayle – Erosphere

    Francois Bayle - Erosphere

    I plumb the depths of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Eight hundred feet below the surface of planet Earth, my Discman is blasting this CD. The multiple layers of complex sound fabrics splaying out from my eardrum headphones are a perfect match for the intricate, dream-like features of the seemingly infinite chambers—some with vast ceilings looming hundreds of feet overhead. Undulating draperies, skinny soda straw stalactites, massive columns, stalagmites and spires are covered with incredibly complex, water-etched surfaces of magnificent detail—all perfectly echoed in sound for my touring pleasure by Monsieur Bayle.

    Erosphere is a collection of works from the late ’70s. “Tremblement de Terre Très Doux” (1978) is a very free-form-sounding composition of deep space bleeps, bloops, a soft vocal chant, echoey footsteps, shimmering electronic blankets and squeaky marbles rubbing and hitting each other. “The title (‘Extra Soft Earthquake’) is meant to evoke the world of auditory images colored by a fantasy of unexpected encounters. The familiar gives birth to the strange. These rolls, these murmurs, these sudden rushes, this song, these peaceful circlings, these sudden outbursts, these returns to quiescence—what do they remind us of? The subterranean properties inherent to listening gently rock our ideas.”

    “Toupie Dans Le Ciel” (1979)—the only overlap between the original LP and CD reissue of Erosphere—is my favorite piece ever by this composer. Pleasantly washing and pinging electronics shiver loosely over a slowly charring, low-pitched rhythmic pulse for the most ecstatically head-napping music ever to caress a pillow. It’s interupted occasionally by some astonishing, downwardly circling aluminum reverberations. The CD booklet contains a few photos of the man “in concert” with smoke machines and laser light shows in full effect.

    Label: INA-GRM Cycle Bayle Volume 1 Catalog Number: LP: 9108 BA, CD: INA C 3002 Format: LP, CD Packaging: LP: Gatefold jacket, CD: Jewel case Tracks: LP: 4, CD: 16 Total Time: LP: 55:25, CD: 48:17 Country: France Released: LP: 1982, CD: 1990 Related Artists: Luc Ferrari, Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Schaeffer More: Electro CD, Forced Exposure, Official, Wikipedia

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