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G(o) sol(o)

Bernard Falaise

… solo guitar tour de force… The WholeNote, Canada

His abstract sonic adventures for prepared guitar are varied and intense. Lively and far from academic. Vital, Netherlands

My first solo release was called Do. The note sol (G in English) is the fifth note of the scale of C. So, that explains the title. In contrast to my other solo CDs which are very composed and orchestrated, this one is more direct with no additional takes nor edits. In short, these are improvisations as I would play them solo in concert, even though the loop effects and timbral variety often give the impression that I am not alone. (Traduction anglaise: Elizabeth Millar)

  • SODEC

CD (AM 267)

  • Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
  • AM 267
  • 2021
  • UCC 771028126729
  • Total duration: 50:36
  • Sympathique case
  • 126 mm × 126 mm × 5 mm
  • 35 g

On the web

Download (AM 267_NUM)

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In the press

Review

Ken Waxman, The WholeNote, no. 27:7, May 20, 2022

Using no overdubs but minimal looping and timbral effects, the seven selections on Montrealer Bernard Falaise’s solo guitar tour de force are completely improvised, while pivoting to other instrument-reflecting sounds for greater variety. The attraction of G(o) sol(o) is how Falaise – part of local bands such as Quartetski – uses all parts of his instrument to suggest wider textures while creating miniature sonic tales.

Prime instance of this is the extended 320003, where string shakes and slurred fingering means the staccato introduction on flattened strings is succeeded by bell-pealing shakes, double bass-like low-pitched resonations and organ-like tremolo pulses. These sway the exposition forward into a single line to a buzzing conclusion. Slogan, the slightly longer first track, sets the scene, as bobbing fuzztones and high-voltage shakes rumble along before splitting into pressurized sound loops on the bottom and single-string stings on the top. Both tones are audible as they intersect and slide into one another for a percussive climax.

With pointed stops and starts, Falaise uses varied motifs to define the tunes, including string rubs that drone across the sound field for warmer expositions, or pointillist below-the-bridge scratches for tougher interface. Galop does just that as well, with knob-twisting and effects-pedal-pressure launching tones every which way until all subside into a connective drone.

Sol – G in English – is the fifth note of the C Major scale. Yet G(o) sol(o) cannily treats all of the scale’s notes in a unique fashion.

… solo guitar tour de force…

Review

Dolph Mulder, Vital, no. 1331, April 11, 2022

Discovering the work of Fred Frith and René Lussier, Falaise chose a similar direction in developing his own voice as a guitarist. From early on, he was interested in extending the possibilities and sounds of the electric guitar. For more than 25 years, he has been a prominent force in the scene of Québec and played with groups like Papa Boa, Klaxon Gueule, Subtle Lip and many other projects and played with many other musicians from Québec. One finds his name on dozens of albums recorded in the last twenty years, from pop and Avant rock to improvised and modern composed music. He records a solo effort now and then, and G(o) sol(o) is the fifth one in this series. In his earlier solo statements overdubbing, editing, and other post-production procedures were essential constitutive elements. Not for his new recording, where Falaise kept these at a minimum to create music played as it is heard. It is hard to believe that sometimes all is played by Falaise simultaneously, but looping and other devices easily create this impression. His experimental and exploring music is beyond recognizable styles and idioms. It is a very original, rich musical world on its own. The opening track Slogan starts with rock-based sensibilities. It is the first of two lengthy improvisations (12 minutes), whereas the other pieces stay 4-5 minutes. The work goes through different stages and feels like a journey, encountering many different textures and patterns. Olga en gondole has a laid back and open atmosphere. On the contrary, Gogol à vélo is a freaky and experimental improvisation built from short movements and interruptions. Galop starts from percussive-like sequences. The sounds change in intensity and colour. Closing track L’ocelot d’Oslo is created from looped sounds of an ambient and keyboard-like nature, with nervous high-pitched sketchy interruptions moving towards a culminating point. His abstract sonic adventures for prepared guitar are varied and intense. Lively and far from academic.

His abstract sonic adventures for prepared guitar are varied and intense. Lively and far from academic.