1201 Pascal Battus | Lionel Marchetti | Emmanuel Petit "La Vie Dans Les Bois"
Pascal Battus : electric guitar
Lionel Marchetti : electricity
Emmanuel Petit : electric guitar
The music was recorded in the forest in Le Richoux castle in France (July 2003) during a Butô danse performance with Yôko Higashi.
Recording, mastering : Lionel Marchetti/CFMI de Lyon
Cover painting: Terre d'ombre brûlée ; bleu de Ceruleum ; Jaune de Naples ; Blanc de Titane" - 2010
Artist: Dominique Lechec
Audio CD, 6 panels digipak
Release date: April 2012
12 Euros + shipping order
Also by Pascal Battus
Pascal Battus "Simbol / L'Unique Trait D' Pinceau"
Jean Luc-Guionnet | Pascal Battus "Toc Sine"
Bertrand Gauguet "Shiro"
Rodolphe Alexis | Stéphane Rives "Winds Doors Poplars"
Eric La Casa | Cédric Peyronnet "Zones Portuaires"
Eric Cordier | Seijiro Murayama "Nuit"
Eric La Casa "W2 [1998-2008]"
Jean-Luc Guionnet "Non Organic Bias"
Eric La Casa | Cédric Peyronnet "La Creuse"
Eric Cordier "Osorezan"
murmer "framework 1 - 4"
Lasse-Marc Riek "Harbour"
The Sound Projector
La Vie Dans Les Bois is a document of a musical performance recorded in the open air near a castle in France. The players were Pascal Bathus and Emmanuel Petit with their electric guitars, Lionel Marchetti credited with “electricity”, and Yôko Higashi who performed a butoh dance during their music performance. Higashi has appeared on many records with Lionel Marchetti, but I didn’t know she was also an exponent of this post-war avant-garde Japanese dance artform which involves very slow movements and is, according to many of its practitioners, very elusive when it comes to definitions and meanings. Readers who enjoy improvised music may recall that Derek Bailey released a 1996 album Music and Dance, where he performed his guitar improvisations alongside Min Tanaka, a very prominent butoh dancer. Very coincidentally, Tanaka is the developer of a form of butoh he calls “Body Weather”, of which Sam Pettigrew above is also a subscriber. This isn’t to imply any relations between this CD and Pettigrew’s music, but La Vie Dans Les Bois is a compellingly mysterious piece of delicate interplay where for 50% of the time the guitars are barely recognisable as such, and all the performers only make an utterance when the occasion demands it. The recording also blends nicely with the distant sound of birdsong in the air. As with the Derek Bailey record, you may not be able to “hear” the sound of the dancer participating on the record, but Higashi’s work is still perceptible somehow, as it were appearing in the interstices of the music, shaping its contours. The creators clearly felt moved enough to include a landscape painting by Dominique Lechec as part of the package, and a few lines from a poem.
- Ed Pinsent -
The Watchful Ear
Tonight’s CD is an interesting one, a release by the French trio of Pascal Battus, (Electric guitar) Lionel Marchetti (Electricity) and Emmanuel Petit (Electric guitar). Titled La Vie Dans Les Bois (Life in the wood/forest?) the disc captures a live recording of a concert made alongside the Buto dancer Yoko Higashi as long ago as 2003. Why the recording has only appeared now, some nine years later I am not sure.
This is a curious piece of music. The structure of the improvisation is an unusual one, and its interesting to hear Marchetti improvising, which I don’t believe he does that often, at least in groups like this. His “electricity” seems to consist of some field recordings, but (I think) also some electronics, but as the two guitars seem to be primarily only really used as feedback generators it is hard to tell which sound is coming from where. At the start of the disc there is no question that Marchetti is involved as the first thing we hear is the twittering of birds, presumably in a forest. Usually I get very bored very quickly when musicians introduce birdsong into proceedings lie this, but for some reason, the birds on this release, which start as the only thing we hear, very clearly, and then never actually go away completely through the entire CD, work very nicely indeed. So there are twittering birds, and then little swathes of tonal feedback which rise and fall in and out of silence for the most part of the disc, gradually building in frequency and intensity until at one point roughly halfway through the forty minute album the noise levels rise enough to make me turn the volume down slightly. There are other little scribbles, bits of identifiably guitar pick-up interference, and also some other grabs of field recordings, with what sounds like people talking over radios floating about quietly for a while, some sort of dull wooden clatter of some kind, and a single very quiet car passes by amidst one extended silence.
La Vie Dans Les Bois feels quite unusual because of the strange collision between the field recordings and the guitars. Normally when you combine these kind of instruments things tend to naturally evolve into laminal music with the field recordings meshed into continual sounds. Here there is a clear definition between all of the sounds involved, and although it isn’t always easy to tell where each sound is coming from they do not all merge together and the music feels like a set of small events positioned beside each other in interesting ways rather than any continuous flow. Never once listening has the music felt aggressive, but then also it has never felt settled, always that little bit awkward and unwieldy, but in a good way. Maybe its because this recording is almost a decade old now, but it sounds oddly fresh and unusual, perhaps because of the way the field recordings work, because they do not feel quite so embedded into the strata of the music like they so often are these days.Oddly old school and curiously intriguing then, I am pleased this recording has been unearthed now. I wonder how many more archive pieces there are that could sound so interesting presented now after the music has all settled into familiar ways of working? On Herbal.
- Richard Pinnell -
Dans la forêt d’un château français, Battus, Marchetti et Petit accompagnent de leur toile sonore les mouvements d’une danseuse de butô. La Vie dans les bois propose la faction sonore de ce projet: une improvisation de 40 minutes entre l’électricité (deux guitares électriques et “l’électricité” dont est créditée Marchetti) et la nature (chants d’oiseaux, vent). Une musique spartiate, faites d’événements sonores qui se fondent avec les bruits environnants et les uns dans les autres. Interactions limitées mais réfléchies.
In the forest of a French castle, Battus, Marchetti and Petit are accompanying a Butô dancer. La Vie dans les bois documents the audio aspect of this project: the trio’s sonic fabric, a 40-minute improvisation between electricity (two electric guitars and the “electricity” Marchetti is simply credited for) and nature (bird songs, wind in leaves). Spartan music made of sound events that blend in with environmental sounds and with one another. Limited but thoughtful interactions.
- François Couture -
La vie dans les bois est une étrange pièce de 40 minutes enregistrée il y a presque dix ans à l'intérieur d'une forêt, pendant une performance butô de Yôko Higashi. Outre ces quelques spécificités circonstancielles, il y a également cette surprenante accréditation de Marchetti à l'électricité. Et étant donné que les des autres musiciens jouent de la guitare électrique comme d'une source de larsens, on a du mal à distinguer si Marchetti joue vraiment de l'électronique avec eux ou s'il s'est simplement occupé du groupe électrogène... Ce que j'ai du mal à croire.
En tout cas, cette pièce a quelque chose de très absorbant, figuratif, et de très concret. On y entend tout d'abord les sons de la forêt, principalement ses oiseaux mais quelque fois aussi le bruissement des arbres et le vent. Puis le trio Battus/Marchetti/Petit commence à produire de longues nappes sonores, à jouer avec les sons de la forêt dans une forme de questions-réponses où les larsens peuvent prendre la forme d'un chant d'oiseau. Une musique très axée sur l'ambiance et l'atmosphère, mais également sur la figuration, toute variation de la nappe servant surtout des buts imitatifs et imagés, ou servant de réponse au chant de la forêt; mais ne servant que rarement un but musical ou formel.
Une musique calme et contemplative, où les sons électriques dialoguent et communient avec les sons naturels. L'osmose n'a pas seulement lieu entre les musiciens (et la danseuse), mais également avec la forêt elle-même, qui tend à revivre sur ce disque par la réponse que le trio propose à sa vie sonore. Une longue piste progressive, qui ne suit pas une montée linéaire, mais qui suit invariablement le cours de l'environnement, qui suit La vie dans les bois. Une progression calme et envoutante, poétique et sensible, minimale, patiente, et surtout, charmante. Un bel exemple d'improvisation et d'interaction entre la musique et l'environnement.
- Julien Héraud -
Life in the forest is the translation of the title, and it is a recording of two electric guitars, played by Pascal Battus and Emmanuel Petit and Lionel Marchetti who gets credit for 'electricity'. In the beginning we hear bird calls in the background, but will they survive what's coming? Here we have Lionel Marchetti in his role as an improviser, which we don't get to hear much on CD, I think, and this concert is certainly a strange one. The recording is already from 2003, and the guitarists play mainly long sustaining feedback like sounds which die out, followed by silence (birds in the background) and then start again. Marchetti's role is play shorter sounds from his electricity boards and sometimes sets out to sound like a bunch of birds. The birds are not scared away, which I thought was pretty interesting to notice. I would think that the relative musical force this trio puts up in a forest would be enough to scare them away, but it didn't happen. The environmental quality of the recording certainly enhances the appreciation of it. Purely from a musical point of view, I am afraid I am less convinced about the work. Its not bad, but also not the most brilliant thing I ever heard in improvised music. Great idea, occasionally fine music, but ultimately not too convincing for the entire forty minutes.
- Frans De Waard -