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    Francois Bayle + Bernard Parmegiani – Divine Comedie

    July 12th, 2008

    Francois Bayle + Bernard Parmegiani - Divine Comedie

    This is a collaborative 2-CD set with Bernard Parmegiani on one disc and François Bayle on the other. The effort here is to shove Dante’s work into your noggin via electro-acoustic means. Parm’s side is heavily laden with spoken French text (which tends to kind of bum out my day) while Bayle’s is less so. This is the only François Bayle CD I haven’t shelled out for yet, but maybe soon. (Translation: Probably never, as it’s been out of print for many years.)

    Label: Magison Cycle Bayle Volume 7 Catalog Number: MG CB 0795 Format: 2-CD Packaging: Double jewel case Tracks: CD 1: 9, CD 2: 11 Total Time: CD 1: 61:20, CD 2: 71:28 Country: France Released: 1995 Related Artists: Luc Ferrari, Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Schaeffer More: Electro CD, Forced Exposure, Official, Wikipedia

    Francois Bayle – L’Experience Acoustique

    July 12th, 2008

    Francois Bayle - L'Experience Acoustique S

    Ping-ponging back and forth between decades, we once again journey back to the early ’70s. The noisy, recognizable sounds on disc one are in pretty marked contrast to more recent, lighter efforts like Théatre d’Ombres and Fabulae. The first piece, “L’Aventure du Cri,” opens with an empty realm of intense, buzzing static; incessant bird cries and electronic groans and growls. Part two adds in a frog and water splashes with the sound of a milling crowd. The final section contrasts greatly with the first two by way of some turbulent concrète collage: guitar stabs, sirens, whistles, crowds, electronic noise bursts and a pop song snippet.

    “Le Language des Fleurs” starts off quiet and brooding, occasionally interrupted by electronic squeaks, chatters, groans, whistles and bird calls. The second section contains a half-minute blast of synth noise, while the third returns to the very austere atmospherics of far-off bird cries, somber synth tones, and distant beeping all over deep space. Very nice. Part four continues with lone whistles and distant, metallic voices occasionally overshadowed by rod, cymbal and electronic outbursts. The closing section busts out again with another chaotic collage full of bustling crowds, classical music, pop-song fragments, electronic noise bursts, wailing sirens, splashing water, exploding hand grenades, etc.

    Disc two is divided up into three pieces. “La Preuve le Sens” contains a half-hour-plus suite of various electronic drones—high-pitched, low-pitched, fast-paced or pulsing slow—and is periodically overlaid with more bird calls; spare, percussive knocks; indecipherable vocal shards and other mysterious low-end interruptions and curtain shimmers. The final section reprises sounds from disc one and continues its concrète collage-like nature—even with decipherable spoken English vocals from Soft Machine’s Robert Wyatt plus more buzzing and rasping.

    “L’Epreuve par les Son” is a shimmering, 25-minute drone work marked by rising and falling amplitude—the most minimal Bayle music so far, with potential for full-on, dream-sky transport. Plys of warm, glowing electronic veils float you as far away from your body as you could ever want to go. “La Philosophie du Non” closes out the set with some pristine bell tones and high-pitched feelings, interrupted by more collage-noise elements. The thick-ass booklet of notes contains vintage photos of the composer and newspaper clips from the era. Pretty much perfect.

    Label: Magison Cycle Bayle Volumes 5-6 Catalog Number: MG CB 5694 Format: 2-CD Packaging: Double jewel case Tracks: CD 1: 8, CD 2: 7 Total Time: CD 1: 53:55, CD 2: 65:56 Country: France Released: 1994 Related Artists: Luc Ferrari, Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Schaeffer More: Electro CD, Forced Exposure, Official, Wikipedia

    Francois Bayle – Fabulae

    July 12th, 2008

    Francois Bayle - Fabulae

    Volume 4 jumps forward two decades with four shorter compositions (in the 10 to 16-minute range) from 1990-92. “Fabula” contains some of the composer’s most lightweight images to date—vaguely as if some new age sound sources have gone hideously awry with low-end rumbles and disruptive outbursts. Bubbling water, organ and even some recognizable(!) classical guitar lines chase each other around within the folds of “Onoma.” Occasional fields of percussion, children’s voices and other transformed sounds then finally climax to “a polyphony of impacts—a broad, sparkling, iridescent fabric, such as are often to be found in François Bayle’s works.”

    “‘Nota’ is like a great symphonic organ—remember the 19th century organ that wanted to become an orchestra—but each key is associated with a different periodicity, each note a world in itself. Music makes games of illusion possible: the infinitely small and the infinitely large can be identified at the same moment. As if the listener had, at the same time, a microscope and a telescope to examine and contemplate the life of the sounds.”

    “From ‘Nota’ onward, the naive nature of the Fabulae has become less clear. Yet in ‘Sonora’ we once again find an organ motif which punctuates and marks out the whole piece—a motif in descending runs which slows itself down. This motif recurs five times—each time more solemn and deeper in the musical and psychological sense, each time more restrained. The five refrains are interrupted by couplets: the guitar returns once and in the middle of the piece a break (a nursery rhyme played on an imaginary xylophone whose bars are horse’s hooves) interrupts the flow of the narrative. The end of the piece is no longer bathed in naivety. Wisdom has become somber, the tone serious. A long chord with duplications on the octaves brings the fable to a close with iridescent rending toward the high notes. All is said.”—François Bayle

    Label: Magison Cycle Bayle Volume 4 Catalog Number: MG CB 0498 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 15 Total Time: 56:45 Country: France Released: 1993 Related Artists: Luc Ferrari, Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Schaeffer More: Electro CD, Forced Exposure, Official, Wikipedia

    Francois Bayle – Vibrations Composees + Grande Polyphonie

    July 12th, 2008

    Francois Bayle - Vibrations Composees + Grande Polyphonie

    After visiting the late ’70s and late ’80s on Volumes 1 and 2 respectively, we jump clear back to the early ’70s on Volume 3. The sounds on these two pieces are largely derived from small acoustic, percussive and wind instruments along with Bayle’s typically accomplished electronic stitchery. “Vibrations Compsées” (1973) starts off quiet, spare and dark, then delves into more damaged electronic quirkiness for much of it’s 36 minutes. The instrumental sound sources become more apparent in “Grande Polyphonie” (1974), although a generous amount of electronics are still employed for some air-disturbing mayhem. While these may be some of Bayle’s most inaccessible compositions, that doesn’t give you any excuse to be afraid, because they’re still interesting to hear many more times than once.

    Label: Magison Cycle Bayle Volume 3 Catalog Number: MG CB 0392 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 20 Total Time: 72:49 Country: France Released: 1992 Related Artists: Luc Ferrari, Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Schaeffer More: Electro CD, Forced Exposure, Official, Wikipedia

    Francois Bayle – Theatre d’Ombres + Mimameta

    July 12th, 2008

    Francois Bayle - Theatre d'Ombres + Mimameta

    Even more complex and detailed than Erosphere, this rare, out-of-print CD contains two pieces from the late ’80s that are the most shining displays of virtuosic electro-acoustic sound manipulation from the master. “Théatre d’Ombres” (1987-89) is a 39-minute piece in two sections. A single note blown into an acoustic wind instrument takes us into a quivering dream world of echoing, reverberating and skittering sound fabrics. “This story is about sound-characters at grips with space—beneficient or maleficient space, spaces which resist, rough spaces or smoothly harmonious spaces. One of the sound characters acts as the hero. Will the listener identify with him? Probably. And for the hero to remain as he often is in stories, he will have to undergo trials and crossings, transformations and combats, metamorphoses related to magic objects. So I searched among the magic peculiar to image-sounds—i-sounds—for new methods of micro-editing, moulds or sieves applied to different kinds of materials, creating internal implicit relations. The victory, if it is one, will require the listener-hero to move ‘behind the image’ into the region of ‘white shadows,’ i.e. that place of serenity where the human shadow becomes transparent. Let us call that transparency silence—the moment when the energy contours, no longer acting on the phonic materials, seem to have a hold on attention itself. A moment’s thought, whereupon: silence. An angel passes by. But could it be the shadow of a doubt?”—François Bayle. “Mimaméta” (1989) is a much shorter 11-minute workout full of very resonant bell-like timbres, synth drones, reverberated knocks and much more chiming freedom—all sustained for maximum cortex-massaging pleasure.

    Label: Magison Cycle Bayle Volume 2 Catalog Number: MG CB 0291 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 2 Total Time: 50:48 Country: France Released: 1991 Related Artists: Luc Ferrari, Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Schaeffer More: Electro CD, Forced Exposure, Official, Wikipedia

    Francois Bayle – Erosphere

    July 11th, 2008

    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