The great joy in playing comes when the musicians surprise one another. That I suspect, is what happened at this session. — Coda Magazine, Canada
… agréable par la douceur et la subtilité de ses parcours rocailleux… — emoRAGEi, Québec
Vancouver meets Montréal! Recorded at the Factory in Vancouver, The Unexpected One documents a meeting between four pillars of free improvisation: two guitarists, Bernard Falaise and Ron Samworth, and two percussionists, Pierre Tanguay and Dylan Van der Schyff.
They proudly present this debut album of noisy interlacing, where sounds cover a wide spectrum, from the minimal and subtle to the unbridled. Strings and percussion converse: the guitar throws in syncopated, jarring, industrial-tinged notes, letting a short and soft melodic loop occasionally surface. The percussion unfold relentlessly, nervously, expressing themselves by leaps and bounds. The whole thing is quivering, eager to absorb the listener under its inventive horizons. Therefore The Unexpected One is proof of these talented musicians’ impressive flexibility and skilled playing.
“- Why another free improv record?
— Because there aren’t enough of them.
— Because it doesn’t sell enough.
— Because it’s too important.
— Pierre Tanguay
CD (AM 122)
- Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
- AM 122
- UCC 771028112227
- Total duration: 58:33
- Sympathique case
- 126 mm × 126 mm × 5 mm
- 45 g
On the web
Some recommended items
In the press
One might think that two guitarists playing with two drummers might find a myriad of ways to mess things up by getting in each other’s way. But that doesn’t happen here. When Montréalers Bernard Falaise and Pierre Tanguay get together with Vancouverites Samworth and Van der Schyff, they make music that exists at a deep level of understanding and sympathy.There is no duplication of effort, no stepping on toes.
For those not familiar with the musicians here, it should be noted that drummers Tanguay and Van der Schyff are not mere timekeepers to guitar histrionics by Falaise and Samworth. Most of the time, the musicians are playing with textures and levels of dynamic intensity, exploring the varieties of sound that can be produced by wood and wire, metal and skin. The music can be contemplative and moody, or jarring and provocative.
As listeners, we hope that musicians will surprise us. The great joy in playing comes when the musicians surprise one another. That I suspect, is what happened at this session.
La musique improvisée, d’après moi, demande au musicien d’aller où il n’est jamais allé avec son instrument. De l’explorer de toutes les façons imaginables et avec le plus d’ingéniosité possible. La musique improvisée prend ensuite une autre dimension lorsqu’elle est multipliée par le nombre de musiciens s’y rencontrant: c’est alors l’influence, la relance et l’esprit de groupe qui entrent en jeu, tout en continuant l’exploration intense de l’instrument de chacun. L’étiquette Ambiances Magnétiques, véritable référence de la musique improvisée, dite «actuelle», présente cette fois la rencontre de quatre improvisateurs canadiens.
Deux sont de Vancouver, deux de Montréal. Les guitaristes Bernard Falaise et Ron Samworth unissent leurs expériences à celles de Pierre Tanguay et Dylan Van Der Schyff, résultant en un album assez doux - dans le contexte, mais tout de même parsemé de surprises et de montées d’intensité plus ou moins bordéliques. Les deux guitaristes touchent aussi à de l’électronique, ce qui amène des sonorités inattendues, comme ces coups de mitraillette durant Corned oliphant. La longue Pink crimson, qui frise les 18 minutes, offre aussi un bel éventail des sonorités utilisées par les quatre musiciens. Un album agréable par la douceur et la subtilité de ses parcours rocailleux, mais évidemment assez inaccessible par son absence de mélodies et de rythmique soutenue à quiconque dest pas habitué au genre.
Riche idée que ce double duo de guitares et batteries. Sept improvisations d’où semblent exclues toute notion de chaos et de performance. Amis des chaos soniques, passez votre chemin: ici, on carbure au sensible, on invente un nouvel alphabet au jeu batteriste. Les phalanges courent sur les peaux, les baguettes se croisent, s’entrecroisent, la vibration se libère, des feuillages émergent. Tout aussi sensibles, les guitaristes en appellent au frémissement: ils frottent, fouettent l’acier et incrustent leur étranges grillages magnétiques aux réverbérations cuivrées des deux percutants. Magnifique instant sorcier, intelligence de la main et de l’esprit, mariage du cœur et de l’intellect, The Unexpected One est le genre de disque qui tourne en continu sur nos platines curieuses. Et sans doute, pour très longtemps.
Composé de deux duos de guitares électriques et batteries, The Unexpected One nous offre un adroit dialogue entre instruments: frottements sur les cordes et les peaux, bruitisme et parcelles de thèmes, tout cela concourt à une recherche de l’imprévisible. Pour cela, il fallait la crème de la musique improvisée au Canada: de Vancouver, Dylan Van der Schyff et Ron Samworth, et de Montréal, Bernard Falaise et Pierre Tanguay. Ludisme à l’honneur!
Two guitarists, two drummers, an open-ended improv setting: the potential for a long and self-indulgent blow out is pretty high, as anyone unfortunate enough to own the Metheny/Bailey fiasco The Sign of 4 will know. But this foursome— two Montréalers, two Vancouverites/— specialise instead in wriggly, pointillist, accretive improvisations made out of sonic flickers and blips and spurts thrown in the air like confetti. The results are like a user-friendly version of classic ‘70s scritch-scratch improv. The pacing is generally languorous — it’s never really in a hurry to get anywhere but always slip-sliding to some unexpected destination anyway — but there’s always plenty going on. Sometimes these guys get all epic on you, like the moody, ravaged guitar-scape at the end of the 18-minute Pink Crimson or the squalling conclusion to It Was Nice! But they can also sound like daft birds twittering in the rafters, or a cart with a squeaky wheel, or a lone guitarist noodling on Rockabye Baby. The palette is further varied on Oh My! with the addition of electronics — though I could have done without the inclusion of lengthy snippets from a pre-game radio sportscast — and there’s a nifty banjo and guitar encounter on Yes Happy Chew, sounding like a barnyard squabble between Bill Frisell and Eugene Chadbourne. The Unexpected One is a surprisingly relaxing experience: it’s pleasantly topsy-turvy music, a constant source of small delights and discoveries.
Two guitarists and percussionists from opposite ends of the country battle it out in the free improv release The Unexpected One. This noisy debut release from Bernard Falaise, Ron Samworth, Pierre Tanguay and Dylan van der Schyff has an edgy, seat-of-your-pants quality which is simultaneously appealing and unnerving. The wide range of sounds, harmonies, effects, moods and all out crashing about created here screams out for repeated listenings in order to truly grasp the ever present subtleties and nuances. Good stuff.
The improvised music scenes in Vancouver and Montréal are thriving, a fact well reflected in this new release, which showcases musicians active in both cities. What’s more, it has the added virtue of pairing two guitar and drum duo - the first being Bernard Falaise and Pierre Tanguay of Montréal, the second consisting of Ron Samworth and Dylan van der Schyff of Vancouver. For those who already know the work of these players, the “unexpected” of the title doesn’t quite ring true, since this kind of exploration of sound textures via acoustic instruments and electronics, in an aleatoric intermeshing of aural pastiches, is just what one would expect. From the percussive clatterings of the opening track Damn the Pique through the industrial buzzings and urban hullabaloo of Oh My, from the groove that is not a groove of Corned Oliphant to the lyricism in Cinq six boîtes de tomates vertes we get very eclectic aural experiences, as every means necessary is used to create the evolving interactions that make up all eight improvised cuts of this disc. The pièce de résistance Pink Crimson evolves through a wide range of moods over the 18 minutes it takes for these creative minds to have done with it, thus making it emblematic of what improvised music is all about. Rather than recreating, the musicians seek to invent, but to do so requires active listening on their part, and demands the same from the listener if he or she wishes to fully appreciate the rewarding musical gestures captured. No doubt about it - the music will keep lingering in your mind’s ear, a little longer at each listen.
Vancouver meets Montréal! Ron Samworth (electric guitar) and Dylan van der Schyff (drums) from Vancouver join forces with Bernard Falaise (electric guitar) and Pierre Tanguay (drums) from Montréal. Ron Samworth and Dylan van der Schyff are leading figures of the Vancouver new music/improv scene with connections to the likes of George Lewis, Louis Sclavis, Vinny Golia, Barry Guy, Evan Parker and involvement in the NOW Orchestra, Hard Rubber Orchestra, François Houle ensembles and many more. Bernard Falaise and drummer Pierre Tanguay are Montréal composers and improvisers associated with television, theatre, dance, Les Projectionnistes, Dangereux Zhoms, etc. In a word all four of them are improvisers with great expertise and reputation. On this first meeting all four members of this quartet - or double duo if you want - demonstrate a similar interest in improv and improv rock. They talk the same language. Subtle and quiet passages on the one hand, intense and noisy and quasi-melodic outbursts at the other. We hear some very nice battles, like between the two guitarists in Oh My!. In general the interplay between the four is very concentrated and rich. All four take part in the sound explorations, so that one can say it’s really a well-balanced group improvisation. Together they lay down a wide spectrum of sounds extracted from their instruments through a diversity of extended techniques and attributes.
A cross-continental meeting between two guitarists and two drummers, The Unexpected One is a studio document of a too rare intermingling between the Montréal and Vancouver free improv scenes. From the Eastern metropolis, we have two of Ambiances Magnétiques household names of late, guitarist Bernard Falaise (Klaxon Gueule, Miriodor) and drummer Pierre Tanguay (a regular sideman of Jean Derome and René Lussier. Joining them in Vancouver are guitarist Ron Samworth (Talking Pictures, NOW Orchestra) and drummer Dylan van der Schyff (also Talking Pictures, Peggy Lee Band). The group doesn’t work as a “double duo” but as a fully-integrated unit, even though there are episodes of various guitars/drums and Western/Eastern groupings. The session is spirited, talkative and occasionally raucous (Falaise and Samworth both have rock music experience and a tendency to foray into avant-rock electric guitar sounds). There is also plenty of pensive moments, like the last half of Cinq Six Boîtes de Tomates Vertes and the middle part of Pink Crimson, an 18-minute epic ending with an improvised quasi-progressive rock motif. The best moments of the set are found in It Was Nice!, Oh My! and Corned Oliphant, all featuring thrilling interplay and ear-grabbing dynamic shifts. Falaise’s use of a volume pedal, pitch shifter and looping device provide an eery, slightly Frippian mood, while the complementary percussive approaches of Tanguay and van der Schyff (and their close center-left/center-right positioning) give the illusion of listening to a single, extremely versatile drummer. This is a very satisfying studio session from a group showing lots of promise as a stable unit.
- Jason Kirk, Splendid E-Zine, August 11, 2004
Monday, May 10, 2004 / New releases