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
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.
though Mystic Chris (mp3) starts
off with programmed
and sustained guitar riffs, the piece
builds its strength
out of the
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
|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
to the human ear. Mandolins and electric guitars round off
this melodic and rhythmic arrangement.
See the vidéo
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
attacks I conceived
in my head as a child in the 1960s.
and rock guitars
vie for attention with 12 chorus voices
the rhythm of a percussive
Indonesian language in what
amounts to a short moment in a galactic
See the vidéo
Band-o-néon (mp3) finds its roots in a typical folk music
A bandoneon, violin, and mandolin trio manages to let the
blend metallophone-like Indonesian percussion with pentatonic
scales and semiquavers that are very popular in Asia (gamelan).
its obvious flirtation with Asiatic modes, the piece remains
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.
(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.