rosace
 
            

BARONG




pochette de l'album BARONG 2007



 


I composed the second album, Barong, over a period of four years and revamped it on a number of occasions before settling on a final version. The album alternates between major and minor modes in search of deep, rich, and textured sounds.

Unlike the first album, I wrote each piece individually in order to make them distinct, singular, and different in style. That said, Barong still relies on the same instruments and multi-track recording technique in order to produce a global, unified sound. Finally, most pieces feature vocals.

Multi-track recording is achieved by recording the same sound a number of times and superimposing each recording in order to create a deeper symphonic or choral effect. The album contains a large number of vocals, as many as 12, 18, or even 32, in which I am the sole singer. I deliver these textured vocals in a simple language in order to allow the sounds to dominate the lyrics, which are essentially inspired by Indian ragas or Indonesian words. This acoustic mass yields a trancelike or meditative ambiance and plays the role of an instrument with complex textures without it being cast in a solo role.


Although each piece is particular in nature, each remains closely connected to the images it conjures and carries the listener from one scene to the next in a series of dollyings, leaps, and flashbacks that create a more dynamic montage.


             

Excerpt


GUIDED TOUR 1
Extraits Mp3  

Even though Mystic Chris (mp3) starts off with programmed
techno rhythms and sustained guitar riffs, the piece builds its strength
out of the free improvisation of a trumpet with a definite sense of urgency and, in the end, out of its capacity to enshroud a solitary and mystical improvisation in Arabic scales and vocal incantations.
Pianoctobre, (mp3) with its guitar and string bass riffs, exudes the kind of ambiance typical of what one finds in secret agent movies.
I also wanted the absence of melody and the highlighting of souped up electro-acoustic piano sounds (another throwback to my university days) to create a confused ambiance, which the clattering down of the piano achieves through surprisingly melodic chaos.
Barong,(mp3) or Full Versionthe piece featured at the beginning of the album, relies on multiple meditative voices (32) in a symbiotic relationship with the more rhythmic sounds of two didgeridoos (Australian aboriginal instrument) to create a trancelike progression.
I snuck the plaintive electro-acoustic sound of a grating chair (a relic from my university days) into the introduction and then transposed it four octaves lower so as to make the usually inaudible high-pitch sounds perceptible
to the human ear. Mandolins and electric guitars round off
this melodic and rhythmic arrangement.
See the vidéo
The first version of Mars Attack (mp3) was totally created in a virtual studio, Reason, making no attempt to avoid the synthetic sounds that are
inherent to this technology. It depicts futuristic images of

extraterrestrial attacks I conceived in my head as a child in the 1960s.
Radio static and rock guitars vie for attention with 12 chorus voices
to the rhythm of a percussive Indonesian language in what
amounts to a short moment in a galactic war.
  
See the vidéo


Next
 


Band-o-néon
(mp3) finds its roots in a typical folk music recipe.
A bandoneon, violin, and mandolin trio manages to let the piece
blend metallophone-like Indonesian percussion with pentatonic
scales and semiquavers that are very popular in Asia (gamelan).
Despite its obvious flirtation with Asiatic modes, the piece remains
well anchored in traditional occidental values.

Lovina (mp3) takes us on a tour of Mediterranean countries where the spicy fragrances of Provence blend with the nostalgia of harmonies in minor keys, while warm voices frolic with Italian mandolins over a background of cello.
Electro-joy (mp3) is mainly structured from and around a melody and accompaniment played on four-string dulcimers whose sounds contrast with the very electronic tone (Reason) of its rhythm section. A violin cuts in, in response to the guitars, and imposes itself as it introduces the classical character of the next the piece, Joy, a logical sequel and natural suite.


 
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