The inner vibe is rather calm and well constructed, never too weird. This gives it a certain charm that feels rather organic. — Downtown Music Gallery, USA
Un disque de douceur et de bienveillance — Le son du grisli, France
Philippe Lauzier presents a very intense solo work for bassclarinet and saxophones on his album Transparence — to be released on schraum this fall. This is only the second time in our ten year history that a solo cd is being published. So you know that it is good. It was recorded in three different places in his hometown of Montreal between 2010 and 2012.
Lauzier has offered us a view into his many differing aesthetics: pure acoustics, ensemble-like overdubs, feedbacks and amplified sounds. Despite the wide variety of sound this is a focused and transparent solo album. Transparence is a very apt name for this album as each piece is distinct and yet one of a dramaturgical whole. The emotional arc of the 12 pieces comes to a satisfyingly perfect end with bruine — surprisingly with a reedless sound.
CD (SCHRAUM 18)
- Label: Schraum
- SCHRAUM 18
- Total duration: 39:45
- 123 mm × 123 mm × 2 mm
- 25 g
On the web
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In the press
This is a solo project featuring Philippe Lauzier on bass clarinets, alto sax with feedback, soprano sax and bells. Mr. Lauzier is a part of the ever-evolving Montréal experimental scene. Mr. Lauzier plays mainly bass clarinet & soprano sax and has worked with Klaxon Gueule, Jean Derome, Kim Myhr (from [Norway]) and Jim Denley (from Australia). Although this is a solo effort, Mr. Lauzier often manipulates or multi tracks his bass clarinet, soprano or alto sax. The sounds he comes up with are most often fascinating yet occasionally hard to figure out exactly how they are being done. Closely mic’d bass clarinet sounds, carefully stretched out, the sound of the pads on the clarinet or sax, equally important as a sonic ingredient. The sound of Mr. Lauzier’s three reeds sound different on each piece as he alters them or places them in a different stereophonic context. One of the things I like most about this is that the pieces are relatively short, Lauzier never pushed to envelope too far out so that we are disoriented by the results. The inner vibe is rather calm and well constructed, never too weird. This gives it a certain charm that feels rather organic.
Du dédale que construit Philippe Lauzier ne pourront s’échapper que des souffles amples, vastes, abondants, amis. Ce souffle brise-glace fore le continu. Le souffle se module, se gonfle, admet de fines moisissures mais, toujours, refuse la désunion. A chaque nouveau tableau, un continuum. A chaque nouveau monde, la douceur des prologues. Clarinettes et saxophones malaxent la matière, cristallisent le granuleux. Ils oscillent et hypnotisent l’auditeur. Les techniques étendues ne sont que prétextes: le souffle ne se voudrait que fluet et menu qu’il ne pourrait cacher sa douceur, sa bienveillance. Précisément ceci: un disque de douceur et de bienveillance.
Casa Schraum, difficilmente sbaglia un colpo.
Per clarinetto basso o sax.
Espressione acustica leggera ed in costante movimento.
Nuda e cruda o sollecitata dall’amplificazione, in versione sovrapposta multitraccia o screziata di leggero feedback, delle campane motorizzate sul finire.
Riduzionista, ma non priva di una forte componente persuasiva (è un fitto dialogo di silenzi e microsegnali quello offerto).
Luminosa e suadente, sia quando raschia pancia a terra (Gisement), o s’alza come candida nebbia trafitta dall’alba (Au-dessus).
Una vibrazione pigolante, calda ed accogliente (Serpenter), per un percorso narrativo che intriga e rasserena.
L’avvicinarsi è consigliato.
A series of solo investigations into various woodwinds with some ‘motorized bells’ (whatever they are) thrown in for good measure, from the Montreal-based improviser and composer. Lauzier works with bass and half-bass clarinet and alto and soprano saxophones; sometimes he amplifies or multitracks the explorations to fill out the sound, but for the most part it’s just him and the horn.
That said, it’s not as austere as you’d expect. Empoigner’s bass clarinet clicks and squeaks are pretty minimal, true, but the rest of the record is full of life and quirks. Geyser is just under four minutes of bubbling and hissing with an almost inaudible whine underscoring, like a giant kettle (or, in fact, a geyser). Meanwhile, Pigment, is a less liquid, more angular, a whistling, popping piece. Despite its analogue origins, it sounds atonally digital, as if it were generated by the sound card of some primitive computer. Bruine — the final track on the album, and the only one not created with a woodwind instrument (it’s those pesky mechanical bells) — is a gorgeous and glistening sheet of sound.
Lauzier provides a succinct yet comprehensive summary on the back of the CD to explain which instrument was used for each piece, and which, if any treatments were applied. So, for, example, it is interesting to know that En-dessus’s long, uneasy drone was made by four multi-tracked bass clarinets, and surprising to find Gisement’s grind and roar is unadulterated bass clarinet.
Listening to this record, I keep feeling I’m eavesdropping on a roomful of instruments after their players have gone home. The tracks are like exhalations, utterances, cries, conversations, the instruments playing themselves. The seesawing wheeze of Interlignes is like an alto saxophone stretching and relaxing after a long day in the orchestra pit. The Evan-Parker-on-holiday-style trilling of Au-dessus is the soprano saxophone’s joyful, bird-like preening. Silhouette advances slowly, like a panther picking its way through long grass.
Lauzier has put together an intriguing collection of pieces for this record, which open our ears to the possibilities of his chosen instruments. An engrossing listen.
Enregistré entre 2010 et 2013 dans trois lieux différents de Montréal (Église Saint-Zotique, Studio Oboro et Espace InQuiet), Transparence n’est rien de moins qu’un chef-d’œuvre. Virtuose, ciblé et clair, cet album nous transporte irréductiblement dans le monde musical profond, personnel et concentré du multi-instrumentiste, compositeur et concepteur d’installations sonores Philippe Lauzier.
Lauzier occupe une place importante dans la scène musicale québécoise. À 36 ans, il tourne et enregistre avec de nombreux ensembles depuis 15 ans en Amérique du Nord et en Europe. Il a récemment collaboré avec le légendaire compositeur américain Phill Niblock. Il fait partie d’une génération de musiciens qui a côtoyé les domaines de la musique classique et contemporaine, du jazz, de la musique actuelle et de la variété — son curriculum vitæ n’en donne qu’un aperçu! — et il sait créer une musique entièrement originale, qui évite toutefois d’être rangée trop facilement dans les catégories décrites ci-dessus. Ce qui est encore plus impressionnant pour ceux qui, comme moi, connaissent le travail de Lauzier et le suivent dans ses nombreuses apparitions à Montréal et ailleurs, c’est la maîtrise absolue de ses instruments et le renouveau de ses recherches et de son monde sonore sur cette parution chez Schraum, une étiquette berlinoise.
Pour l’occasion, Philippe Lauzier se sert des saxophones soprano et alto ainsi que de nombreuses façons de jouer de la clarinette basse, de l’amplification de celle-ci et de la «demi-clarinette basse». La dernière piste de l’album, Bruine, est une pièce pour cloches motorisées, une approche qui fait partie de son travail en installation sonore. Toutes les pistes de cet album emploient une variété de techniques étendues et Lauzier sait les employer à la perfection. Rien n’est «m’as-tu-vu»; tout est au service d’une musique captivante, planante, harmonique et chantante.
Est-ce purement improvisé? Partiellement composé? Les deux tout à la fois? Comme seuls savent le faire les plus grands musiciens, Philippe Lauzier esquive aisément ces questions grâce à une maîtrise impeccable de ses instruments et une vision musicale soignée. Je conseille vivement Transparence à tous ceux qui désirent vivre une expérience musicale hors pair, présentée par un musicien de classe mondiale.
As the strictures of advanced contemporary music continue to loosen, more improvisers are taking advantage of the freedom to experiment. A parallel outgrowth is the number of players of almost any instrument willing to nakedly expose their skills in all solo sessions. Commonplace doesn’t mean accomplished however. Still the best dates, as the CDs cited here, offer original perspectives on the sounds of an individual instrument.
Montreal’s Philippe Lauzier used three studios to record the 12 tracks which make up Transparence as well as coming up with different strategies for different instruments. Heard on bass and half-bass (sic) clarinet, alto and soprano saxophones plus motorized bells, he uses amplification, feedback and multi-tracking to express his unique ideas. Geyser for instance re-imagines the bass clarinet as hollow tube and percussion, swallowing and expelling pure air as he depresses the keys. Au-dessus on the other hand magnifies the soprano saxophone’s usually ethereal qualities into overlapping vibrations, with the next commencing before the previous one has died away. In contrast, alto saxophone feedback on L’object trouvé literally does as defined, managing to direct the echoes back into the horn’s body tube while making each finger motion and breath transparent. The audacity of Lauzier’s skill is most clearly delineated on En-dessous. Here the multi-tracking of four bass clarinets creates more variety among the timbres he exhales, but the intertwined and affiliated trills produced relate without question to the multiphonics he invented for a single horn. (…)
I got some Québécois demanding music this morning. First up: the great relationship between Philippe Lauzier and the German label schraum continues to flourish, this time with a solo CD. Lauzier recorded this dozen of short solos in the course of three years. Instrumentation (bass clarinet, saxes) and approaches (amplification, feedback, multitracking) vary greatly. The results reveal a top-notch technician, and a musician with a keen sense of dosage — a must in this type of microsonic improvisation. For that is what this is about. I can hear some of John Butcher’s techniques in his repertoire, alongside things I have never heard before. Very impressive and captivating.
A solo CD by Philippe Lauzier, whose primary instrument is the bass clarinet. He hails from Montréal, where he recorded this CD between 2010 and 2012. He has had releases on &records and Ambiances Magnetiques. Seeing this on Schraum means that we are dealing here with music of an improvised nature. It’s however not a CD of twelve piece of improvised playing on that instrument and nothing else. Lauzier is an explores of all sorts of techniques, such as amplification, multi tracking four bass clarinets, ‘half-bass clarinet’ (whatever that is), ‘feedback with alto saxophone’ and ‘motorized bells’. Yet these twelve pieces here, spanning forty-four minutes, make an interesting homogenous thing. Each of the pieces has it’s own character and sound differently from the other pieces, but not too different to be entirely somewhere else. It has a fine flow, these pieces, variation all around, but not too different. A fine showcase of what is possible I guess using a single instruments, different techniques and many fine ideas. Not a surprise in terms of being something new, but of fine quality through out.
In the vast and fertile landscape that is the Québécois avant-garde, it is not rare to uncover a brightly burning artist whose œuvre has been obfuscated only by sheer lack of exposure. Philippe Lauzier, who plays bass clarinet and saxophone and is an accomplished improviser and composer, epitomizes this phenomenon in that he is both unheralded and quite active. A key member of Montreal’s musique actuelle community, his long list of collaborators includes such prominent personalities as Sam Shalabi and Martin Tétreault. Transparence, Lauzier’s debut solo release, is an epic suite that finds untreated acoustic reeds mingling with textured overdubs and subtle feedback. Equally jarring and hypnotic, his music sprays across the entire emotional spectrum, revealing the artist’s own inner workings in the process. While Lauzier’s transparency holds up for the bulk of the album, the enigmatic closing track Bruine, which is entirely hornless, finds him adopting an air of opacity — a clever shift in strategy.