éTcholalie is the title of a 6 track album based on the live recordings of E t c ...'s performances at the fourth edition of the Festival Des Ephémères, on June 29th and 30th 2013, in the Jardins d'Eole, Paris XIX. Listen to éTcholalie with the embedded player below; download a hi-quality digital copy at Bandcamp's.
éTcholalie is the sequel to eTcology, a 5 track album based on the live recordings of E t c ...'s performances at the third edition of the Festival Des Ephémères, on June 30th and July 1st, 2012, also in the Jardins d'Eole.
july 12, 2013.
"Let's fly and save our bacon!"
Essential as it is to life as we know it, water is a highly unusual kind of matter. Unlike almost all other liquids, for example, water expands when freezing. Because of its peculiar and 'open' crystal structure, instead of sinking to the bottom, ice floats on the oceans and on your drinks.
E t c ... invested in a big block of ice to bring to the fourth edition of the Festival des Ephémères. It measured 100 x 50 x 25 cm and weighted 150 kg. Anthony and Jacques took the car to get it from an ice dealer in Romainville, not so very far from the Jardins d'Eole.
We put the block in the middle of the garden's Plaza. The trickles of its meltwater gathered in a small stream, that slowly started its way down in the direction of the railway tracks.
Glacier, river, sea, e t c ...
At the center of the Plaza, the big icy lump lay like a transparent and freezingly cold metaphor for transiency. Shiny like a chilly rough diamond. Slowly evaporating, with its meltwater steadily flowing across the plaza's concrete in a small erratic stream, irrigating the garden's soil like the rivulets of sound that were to arise from E t c ...'s subsequent performances.
The kids loved it...
The wet block was at the heart of E t c ...'s first two ephemeral half hour performances, on Saturday June 29th.
When we left the garden that Saturday evening, there was still a surprisingly big quantity of ice left: something between three quarters and two thirds of the amount that originally made up the block. When we came back the next day, though, all of the ice was gone. Our little river of meltwater had all but dried up...
But of course we had not expected otherwise.
During E t c ...'s 4 x 30 minutes performances (on Saturday June 29th) Anthony Carcone, Jacques Foschia and I played the block of ice with contact microphones, regularly handing them to the curious kids that were standing around us; Anthony - and the kids - also used the ice as a drum; (on Sunday June 30th) Anthony played a rainstick, with & without electronic treatment. (On both Saturday June 29th and Sunday June 30th) Jacques Foschia played his tube radio's and analog generator. I used iPad and iPhone apps BeBot, Pixelwave, djay & Borderlands, with a set of water recordings that I had made for the occasion (the week before, in my bathroom and at the Thenissey castle), and iTunes, filled with my 1024 Kris Kras violin sounds; (on Sunday 30th) I also used a dictaphone, with cassette recordings made on the Dutch island of Ameland in 2003.
On both days, in the midst of it all, Cécile Zylberajch sang - without amplification - melodies by Benjamin Britten, Edvard Grieg, Jean Sibelius and Franz Schubert. She also thawed some of the odd words (mots de gueule, frozen along with the rest of the bloody battle between the Arimaspians and the Nephelibate) that François Rabelais's Pantagruel threw on deck of the ship on its voyage to the Oracle of the Divine Bottle, while crossing the Frozen Sea... ( * )
"[...We] perceived some very sharp words, and some bloody words [...] We also saw some terrible words, and some others not very pleasant to the eye. When they had been all melted together, we heard a strange noise [...] hin, hin, hin, hin, his, ticque, torche, lorgne, brededin, brededac, frr, frrr, frrr, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, tracc, trac, trr, trr, trr, trrr, trrrrrr. On, on, on, on, on, ououououon : goth, magoth, and I do not know what other barbarous words [...] Then we heard some large ones go off like drums and fifes, and others like clarions and trumpets. Believe me, we had very good sport with them..."
Pierre Schaeffer, in his In search of a Concrete Music, refers to Rabelais's 16th-century-imagining of the possible freezing of words and sounds, and their subsequent un-freezing, as more than merely an interesting foreshadow of the possibility to record and playback audio. The un-frozen words are "tossed around like stones," Schaeffer writes in the fourth chapter of his First Journal of Concrete Music. "Time past is not just reconstituted; it bursts out. Depending on Pantagruel's mood, the thousand bits of sound compose a different symphony, not in the order in which they occurred, but as the hands pick them up, in any order imposed upon them." ( ** )
Now listen to éTcholalie...
éTcholalie is the title of a 6 track album, based on the live recordings of E t c ...'s performances at the fourth edition of the Festival Des Ephémères, on June 29th and 30th 2013, in the Jardins d'Eole, Paris XIX. Listen to éTcholalie with the embedded player below; download a hi-quality digital copy at Bandcamp's.
notes __ ::
(*) François Rabelais - Gargantua and Pantagruel, book 4, chapter LVI: 'How among the frozen words Pantagruel found some odd ones.'. [ ^ ]
(**) Pierre Schaeffer - In Search of a Concrete Music. Translated by Christine North and John Dack. University of California Press, 2012. Page 32-33. [ ^ ]
tags: E t c ..., Paris, Henokia, Festival des Ephémères, water, ice
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