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30 December 2003
By Harald Wiltsche in Skug #56 (Austria), December 30, 2003

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“… einen hochgradig beklemmenden Klangraum…”

[…] »Télépathie« reprösentiert einen der spannendsten Aspekte zeitgenössischer Tonkunst, nömlich den der elektronischen Liveimprovisation. Und was Diane Labrosse (Sampler) und A_dontigny (Computer) hier bieten, ist eine der dichtesten und fesselndsten Aufnahmen seit langem. Angesiedelt irgendwo zwischen Ambient, Noise und Glitch, manovrieren die beiden durch einen hochgradig beklemmenden Klangraum, der die perfekte Untermalung für ein Zusammentreffen zwischen Freddy Krueger und Mad Max bieten würde. Aber nur, wenn beide inzwischen promoviert haben.

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24 December 2003
By Christopher DeLaurenti in The Stranger (USA), December 24, 2003

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“An eloquently quiet disc…”

[…] Earlier this year, I singled out Wobbly’s Wild Why (Tigerbeat6), a plunderphonic sound collage of hip-hop recordings pinched from the radio, as essential for anyone interested in avant electronics. One of Wobbly’s forebears, plunderphonic progenitor John Oswald, has an intriguing must-hear new release, Aparanthesi (empreintes DIGITALes), which blends delicate sine tones, field recordings, and subtle prepared piano textures. An eloquently quiet disc, savor Aparanthesi on a lonely moonless night.[…]

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23 December 2003
By O Nate in Lost in the Crowd (USA), December 23, 2003

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“Yet, thanks to Labbé’s clever writing, the juxtaposition of styles is organic and seamless.”

3. Pierre Labbé is a saxophonist and composer who is active in the Montréal-based musique actuelle (literally "music now") scene and has played with members of the Canuck-prog band Miriodor. On this, his debut disc as a leader, he and his cohorts split the difference between avant-garde jazz, contemporary composition, and prog, while in the process forging a sound that is uniquely their own. There is a nice balance between the structured rigor of composition and the adrenaline rush of improvisation. The mix of instruments - tenor sax, violin, cello, double bass, electric guitar, and drums - hints at the stylistic breadth the band is capable of. They can sound like a string trio, a swinging jazz group, or an experimental rock band-all within the space of one song. Yet, thanks to Labbé’s clever writing, the juxtaposition of styles is organic and seamless.

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19 December 2003

Please note that our offices will close from December 22 to 28, 2003. All online orders will be processed and confirmed on Monday December 29. Everyone at actuellecd.com & electrocd.com wish you a merry and peaceful holidays season!

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18 December 2003
By Juan Rodriguez in The Gazette (Québec), December 18, 2003

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“… more tenacious than free, more idiosyncratic than “out.””

[…] For the rigorous-minded: L’Ensemble Pierre Labbé, Risque et pendule (Ambiances Magnétiques). A taut set of twilight-zone compositions by Montréal saxophonist Pierre Labbé, reflecting a safe-cracker’s concentration in this “search for equilibrium by contrast.” Conjuring a sense of disquiet, alleviated by a child’s sense of play, it’s a minefield of futurist angles, rubber-band pizzicatos (from cellist Julie Trudeau and violinist Nathalie Bonin) and creeping suspended-animation (guitarist Bernard Falaise’s edginess). This music is more tenacious than free, more idiosyncratic than “out.” Yet a curiously hypnotic ebb and flow manifests itself in these gambols through these blind alleys.[…]

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18 December 2003
By Robert Everett-Green in The Globe and Mail (Canada), December 18, 2003

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Aparanthesi is a profound and surprisingly dramatic work.”

Ad Reinhardt used to claim that his all black canvases were the last paintings anyone could make. By the same serious/playful reasoning, you could say that John Oswald’s 65-minute Aparanthesi marks the end of the line for recorded composition, because it contains only one note.

But what exactly is one note? Apart from pure sine tones, every sound we hear is a messy conglomerate of vibrations that determine not only the fundamental pitch but also the density and flavour of the sound. They are the reason a mosquito sounds different from a violin, though a recording of either can be tuned electronically to one pitch, or subtly altered until the bug seems to be morphing into the fiddle. Apply that kind of manœuvre over a range of 10 octaves, and throw open the studio door to any and all sounds that can be recorded, and you begin to understand why it took Oswald three years to edit his one-note composition down to two versions of roughly half an hour each.

Aparanthesi is a profound and surprisingly dramatic work. Its open octaves claim a kind of cosmic scale, though many of the constituent sounds are minute, or deliberately camouflaged by other sounds. Each transition remains tethered to the core pitch, which in time takes on the grounding quality of a monotone chant. Even before a group of monks made a cameo appearance in aparanthesi B, the piece has enacted the unity of motion and stillness, and hearing it can be a mystical experience.

The two versions cleave to two slightly different pitches: 440 kHz (the A used by orchestras and piano tuners) for aparanthesi A, and 480 kHz (the undertone emitted by electrical equipment) for aparanthesi B. The second version, originally developed for a live performance, is the more theatrical, and the more revealing about its source materials. Both exploit the ear’s tendency to preserve a fuzzy zone of acceptability around a given pitch. The relationship between “in tune” and “out of tune” fascinates Oswald, who has made several tuning pieces for live and recorded sounds, and whose music celebrates perfection and deviance with equal fervour.

Aparanthesi is ultimately about paying attention, to sounds and their qualities, and to the mysterious interrelation of unity and difference. It’s the practical realization of a metaphor coined years ago by R Murray Schafer: the tuning of the world.

More information about Aparanthesi can be found at www.electrocd.com.

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