There is an incredible beauty in it, defined by its own aesthetic. — Free Jazz, Belgium
CD (TDB 9025)
- Label: Tour de bras
- TDB 9025 / 2017
- Total duration: 47:52
- 130 mm × 135 mm × 4 mm
- 30 g
In the press
[…] dans Boule-Spiel, on a une avancée unique dans une idée, une proposition, avec une immense et magnifique suspension à la fin.
Even if the trio is Magda Mayas on prepared piano, Pierre-Yves Martel on viola da gamba, feedback, objects, and Eric Normand on electric bass, speakers and snare drum, the instruments don’t really matter. The trio’s focus is on improvised sounds, little sounds, little noises, creating sonic universes that shift between the calm and the eery, the contemplative and the outright frightening. It is sound lifted beyond music, as a wonderful texture of things falling, scraping, hitting and plucking or just resonating, marbles rolling over strings? an endless bow on one string? metal gliding over all piano strings? piercing feedback through the speakers? raindrops hitting wood? wind rushing through leaves? animals crying in the distance? rhythmic industrial activity? a far unoiled metal door opening?
The sonic universe evolves at its own pace, slowly, slowly building, and growing within its own logic, or even lack thereof, within its own organic nature. Every sound has its own space, carefully positioned, cautiously placed, audaciously created, resulting in a exquisite and intense listening experience. There is an incredible beauty in it, defined by its own aesthetic. There are emotions too: shifting, and sometimes superimposed, like sadness and fear and resignation all at the same time, like joy and distress and surprise as one feeling. You can’t put your finger on it. And that makes it so wonderfully enjoyable.
An enthralling sonic landscape encompassing mercurial harshness, unexpected contours and cultivated accents, Boule Spiel is an affirmation of the textural cooperation among German pianist Magda Mayas and two Québécois musicians, electric bassist Éric Normand of Rimouski, where the session was recorded, and Montréal viola da gamba player Pierre-Yves Martel. Those instruments, along with “feedback, snare drum, objects and speaker” are the only sound-makers listed. But the minimalist tones which blend to create this two-track journey, including keening whistles, string plucks, bell peals, percussive thumps, feedback flutters and oscillated hums, not only make individual attribution unlikely, but at the same time highlight the constant unexpected shifts within the understated unrolling sequences.
Emphasizing atmosphere over narrative or instrumental virtuosity, the trio’s blended output, especially on the more-than-30-minute introductory Lancer, contains enough processed drones, electric bass stops, keyboard patterning and inner-piano-string plucks to vary the aural scenery enough to create a sense of harmonic and rhythmic progress, but without jarring interludes. By the time the concluding Spiegelbildauflösung or “mirror image resolution” fades away, the three confirm how carefully each can reflect the others’ cerebral improvisations. An enlightened sound journey has been reflected and completed, but the details of what transpired individually are impossible to accurately analyze.