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  1. Item:MER-1242

    The Object Isn't There, LP

    €17.00

    tracklist:
    A False Dawn (19:54)
    B Frozen Music (15:46)

    Release date: November, 2017
    Written, recorded, mixed in Camberwell and Camden, London, 2012-2016
    Design by Jeroen Wille

     

    With The Object Isn’t There UK guitar player and producer Jack Allett has made a deeply personal masterpiece based around cyclical guitar parts and electronic percussion. Playing like a half remembered fever dream with an aesthetic that is ragged, hypnotic and spacey, its two side-long pieces touch on minimalism, kraut-infused dub and euphoric dance floor optimism. As comfortable being played after Manuel Göttschings E2-E4 as right before a Terekke lo-fi house anthem, it is laced with the melancholy of an early morning post-rave comedown. Yet for all the references and name-checking, it’s a record that is hard to compare to anything else, past or present.

    This record is about – insofar as instrumental music need be about anything – hallucinations. The title The Object Isn’t There serves as a concise definition, derived from the quote “An hallucination is a strictly sensational form of consciousness, as good and true a sensation as if there were a real object there. The object happens to be not there, that is all.” (William James, The Principles Of Psychology, 1890)

    Having experienced constant tinnitus – a form of auditory hallucination – for the last 13 years, Jack has long questioned the distinction of something experienced as being either there or not-there.  Even if, strictly speaking, an hallucination is something that’s not there, if the reality of how it affects day-to-day existence is undeniable then to any extent that matters, it is there. But The Object Isn’t There is no tale of woe, nor simply a response to this one condition, and tinnitus need not be considered only as distressing or distracting.  Allett sees it merely as one example of many things in life that cross this uncertain terrain:

    There are obvious parallels here with the notion of active listening.  There is room for emotion too, particularly the kind of overwhelming, ­all-consuming emotion that, once it fades, is hard to believe was actually how you felt.  Essentially the music here is concerned with being overwhelmed by a sensation, never really being sure to what extent you are conjuring it up yourself, to what extent it exists independently of you, but ultimately deciding that it doesn’t much matter; the sensation itself was undeniable. — Jack Allett

    A swirling haze with a plenitude of sounds bobbing to it’s surface it’s a heartfelt masterpiece of pattern based hypnotism.

    Biography

    Jack Allett works as a producer in London and has been active for many years as an experimental guitar player, releasing a solo record on Blackest Rainbow and collaborating with UK avant-guitar player Cam Deas. The Object Isn’t There was written, recorded, and mixed in Camberwell and Camden, London, UK. 2012-2016.

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  2. Item:MER-1241

    The Spectrum Does, LP

    €17.00

    tracklist:
    A Explain Please (The Stars Are Listening) (24:07)
    B1 This Was The Only Spot That Was Green (3:16)
    B2 The Spectrum Does (18:28)

    Release Date: November, 2017
    Robbie Lee: flute, tarogato, melodica, great bass recorder, electronics, percussion
    Che Chen: violin, harmonium, bass recorder, tape machine, electronics, percussion
    Recorded & mixed by Robbie Lee
    Mastered by Jack Allett
    Design by Jeroen Wille


    On The Spectrum Does, New York avant-rock musicians Che Chen and Robbie Lee create three earthy and slow moving pieces, informed as much by various global folk traditions as they are by 20th century composition and improvisation. Their ‘anything goes’ approach to improvising leads to a sonic document that sounds raw, intense and freshly exciting. A wild and shambolic brew sounding like nothing else.

    Che Chen is musician and visual artist currently best known for his work with percussionist Rick Brown as 75 Dollar Bill. In the mid 2000s he formed this duo with composer and producer Robbie Lee, who at the time played with people like Baby Dee and Neil Hagerty. Their most concentrated period of activity is bookended by a first LP they self-released in 2008 called Begin & Continue! and this record, The Spectrum Does, which contains music recorded several years later. 

    On The Spectrum Does, both tackle a range of un­conven­tional instruments like bass recorders, Renaissance clarinet, glissando flute, tarogato, electrified violin, ultraslow recorders and custom modified tape machines. While their first LP documented their earliest, mostly acoustic improvisations, The Spectrum Does captures Che and Robbie after 5 or so years of meeting two or three times week and multiple tours around the country (a couple of times as a part of Jozef van Wissem’s band Heresy Of The Free Spirit). By now what was pulsing out of their little overdriven tube amps was even more electrified and warped. Sounds of unknown origin seem to bubble up to the surface, met by completely unique approaches to wind and string instruments.

    Much boundary pushing improvised music gets described as ‘outer limits’ but on The Spectrum Does, it seems much more right to say they explore the ‘inner limits’. It is deep listening music, but not minimalist; complex but not virtuosic. Dissonances intermingle with folk harmonies and rhythms. As with all of the music this duo made together, there’s a sort of shambolic-shamanic sensibility to it, but without a motive or explicit purpose. To be filed close to your Tony Conrad, Henry Flynt, Pelt, The Dead C records.

    Some words from the duo on The Spectrum Does

    Che Chen: The long improvisation that starts on the first side and spills onto the next was recorded live at a gig opening for Loren Connors and Suzanne Langille’s incredible band, Haunted House, at Issue Project Room in the Spring of 2011 (back when they were in the Can Factory space). I remembering it being a strong set, crashing out of the gate with Robbie’s tangled tarogato lines and my splintered violin stabs before careening onward with the kind of harnessed, intensity that one always hopes will appear when improvising… The recordings that make up the bulk of the second side were made in a dark and airless practice space in the back of the Glasslands, a now defunct DIY space in South Williamsburg. The sound is more insular, turned inward instead of exploding out like the live set, and is pretty representative of how single minded the explorations that made up our weekly “sessions” could be.

    Robbie Lee: These pieces have the feeling of field recording, capturing rehearsals in their best moments, so a sense of freedom is everywhere, the kind of freedom that can collapse at any moment. But they are also the result of years of a developing a very close language, specific to this duo alone. We originally began playing together as bass clarinet duos, and for a while as bass recorder duos. So even when we are playing radically different instruments, there’s still this very real feeling that neither of us know who’s generating which sound, in this floating cloud of vibration. This is partially because of Che’s use of tape machines, custom modified to loop and play at different speeds, to reiterate and regurgitate my sounds, and then his own as well. 

    Che Chen: Not long after the Issue show, things fell apart, as they often do, and I went off and spent a couple of years collaborating with people in the Japanese underground before woodshedding hard on the electric guitar and starting 75 Dollar Bill. Meanwhile, Robbie made another record of his idiosyncratic songs (this time as Creature Automatic) and seemed to be focusing his considerable knowledge and technique on getting really good at one of the more unassuming instruments in his toolbox, the open-holed flute. I didn’t listen to Spectrum during the 5 years it sat on the shelf, but hearing it now, I love the openness and spirit of adventure. All the angles we were working on seem well-represented. I hear the synthesis of all the hours we spent playing together, and of all the hours we spent listening to music, another important part of those times. I hear our commitment to creating a shared language, a framework for making music spontaneously in the moment. But most of all I hear two people finding their way, pushing and supporting each other in sound. 

    Biographies

    Visual artist and musician Che Chen lives and works in New York. Former music projects include True Primes, duos with Tetuzi Akiyama, Chie Mukai and Jozef van Wissem’s Heresy Of The Free Spirit (with Robbie Lee). Currently he plays with percussionist Rick Brown as 75 Dollar Bill.

    Robbie Lee is a musician, composer and producer also living in NYC. He has played with an eclectic group of improvisers and songwriters like Neil Hagerty & The Howling Hex, Baby Dee, Cass McCombs, Mary Halvorson and Talibam! He is also in Creature Automatic, Seaven Teares, and a new trio with Brian Chase and James Ilgenfritz. He runs the Telegraph Harp label with Elisha Wiesner.

    REVIEWS

    Enola
    Een transmissie uit de vruchtbare New Yorkse ondergrond die belandt op een Gents label. Negen jaar na hun debuutalbum Begin & Continue! laten multi-instrumentalisten Che Chen en Robbie Lee nog eens van zich horen met liveopnames van een tijd geleden. Beide muzikanten zijn veelzijdige doe-het-zelvers die het niet houden bij één stiel. Che Chen, intussen vooral bekend als gitarist van duo 75 Dollar Bill, is ook een visueel artiest en tekende voor het artwork, terwijl Lee niet alleen bezig is als muzikant-componist, maar ook als studiotechnicus-producer. Hun kring van verwanten reikt van Mary Halvorson en Jozef van Wissem tot Neil Hagerty, Talibam! en Tetuzi Akiyama. Deze opnames dateren van een aantal jaren geleden, toen het duo al even in de weer was met muziek die weerstaat aan een simpele labeling. Door het gebruik van – even inademen – basblokfluiten, tarogato, viool, harmonium, melodica, elektronica, tape machine en percussie zijn de mogelijkheden natuurlijk schier eindeloos, en het resultaat is dan ook een excentrieke aanranding van de oren, die zowel flirt met noise en minimale muziek als met pastorale folk, hedendaagse gecomponeerde muziek, vrije improvisatie en drones. Bij het begin van “Explain Please (The Stars Are Listening)”, dat de A-kant van het vinyl inpalmt, is het zelfs even twijfelen tussen een solo-opname van Peter Brötzmann of het verhakkelde geschal van een muezzin. Het nasale gereutel van de tarogato mist nooit z’n effect. De repetitieve aanzet wordt meteen gecontrasteerd met krassend vioolgeweld, waarmee de toon gezet is. Vervolgens zijn de twee meer dan twintig minuten onderweg met bewegingen die al dan niet naadloos in elkaar overgaan en waarbij het ganse arsenaal binnenstebuiten gekeerd wordt. Nu eens met een bijna aandoenlijke gaafheid en lichtheid, waarin tintelende percussie voor de kleinste, rinkelende details zorgt, maar even later kan dat omslaan naar een dissonante klankenparade waar geen conventioneel geluid aan te pas komt. Industriële werkplaats, fluitende feedback en oosters ritualisme in een. Vooral het gebruik van de kloeke blokfluiten levert een bijzonder effect op dat zowel onaards als antiek klinkt, en in combinatie met een snerpende viool al helemaal over de rooie gaat. Is de eerste albumhelft op papier het meest excentriek, dan is het door haar speelsheid en energie eigenlijk nog het meest toegankelijk. Op de B-kant is het korte “This Was The Only Spot That Was Green” vooral in de weer met gerekte klanken, met een combinatie van twee basblokfluiten die iets heeft van een uit de hand gelopen feestje in een afgelegen oerwoud. Het lange titelnummer is al net zo dissonant en ongrijpbaar als de A-kant, maar klinkt donkerder, claustrofobischer. Vervormde fluit en viool blijven hier minutenlang op elkaar inwerken met een haast vijandige afstandelijkheid, aanhoudend gefluit en een (vermoedelijk) tape machine die bijdraagt aan die sinistere sfeer. Tegelijkertijd blijf je je wel bewust van het feit dat je nooit helemaal zeker bent van wat er gaande is. Het is misschien muziek die je pas ten volle kan appreciëren als het zich voor je ogen afspeelt. The Spectrum Does is niettemin een fascinerende oefening in musiceren op de tast, een oefening die door haar overduidelijke spontaniteit de bal ook naar de luisteraar kaatst. Veeleisend? Misschien. Maar vooral op maat van gretige, nieuwsgierige oren. Met een ontvankelijke luisterhouding geraak je minstens halfweg. (Guy Peters, Enola, October 2017)

    Gonzo Circus
    "Sissende fluisteringen en zachte slagen op een diep resonerende lijsttrommel doorsnijden de rijke samenklanken, die van samenstelling veranderen als een langzaam draaiende caleidoscoop. Van melodieën is geen sprake, en de verglijdende akkoorden bieden nergens houvast. Het enige dat je als luisteraar kunt doen, is achterover leunen en je overgeven aan de velden van geluid waar Capelle je in laat baden. In muzikale paden zijn slechtere bestemmingen denkbaar.” (Gonzo Circus #143, january 2018)

    The Hum
    It’s strange what lodges itself in memory, but, roughly 15 years later, Che Chen drifting through the door of the loft I shared with a couple of friends in Bushwick, feels like yesterday. It wasn’t a particularly dynamic meeting, nor the seeds for the close friendship we would subsequently form, just a casual hello between two ships passing for the first time. Recently, through his ecstatic guitar lines, making up half of 75 Dollar Bill – his project with Rick Brown, Che has fallen into the international spotlight, with that band often cited as among the best working today. While entirely deserving of the praise – it’s possible that I’ve seen 75 Dollar Bill more than any other person on the planet, I’ve also secretly worried that it might overshadow the breadth, diversity, and dynamics of Che’s larger body of work. Over the years that I have known him, he has remained one the most fiercely principled and adventurous experimental musicians in the landscape. A true believer and advocate for all of the potential avant-garde approaches to sound hold. Part of the difficulty in capturing a glimpse of Che’s larger practice, is that it has been largely shackled to NY – as a member of the Tony Conrad ensemble, or countless pick-up improvisational groups. Che works in the moment, with only a small number of his efforts – the most rewarding and reoccurring relationships, committed to tape – beyond 75 Dollar Bill, those with Rolyn Hu (as True Primes), Tetuzi Akiyama, Chie Mukai, his recently formed trio with Aki Onda and Tashi Dorji, and, among a small handful of others, his long standing collaboration with Robbie Lee – one product of which stands before us now. Che and Robbie began collaborating somewhere around the middle of the 2000’s, the first recorded output of which came within a series of CD-R releases and then an LP entitled Begin and Continue!, which was self-issued in 2008 – the product of a rigorous period of collaboration, which saw the pair meeting and playing multiple times a week. The recordings which make up The Spectrum Does were made a few years later, and despite their brilliance, have sadly remained shelved in the years since, appearing now for the first time with none of the power diminished. I often cite a distinction made by Mike Watt, where he notes that there are two primary kinds of musicians – those who come to their instrument because of their love of music, and those who come to music because of their love for their instrument. Che and Robbie are exceptions to this norm. While both are arguably members of the first trope, their deep love of instruments – a great many of them, with the sounds they generate and the practices which surround them, verges on obsession and trumps all preexisting relationships. The Spectrum Does is a perfect crystallization of this anomaly, darting around the edges of a diverse number of sonic traditions from across the globe, while entirely singular, internal, and the product of a deep sensitivity between each player and the instruments on which it was made – Che making contributions on  violin, harmonium, bass recorder, tape machine, electronics, and percussion, and Robbie on flute, tarogato, melodica, great bass recorder, electronics, and percussion. Like its predecessor Begin and Continue!The Spectrum Does is comprised of freely improvised explorations of sound and timbre – what the duo refer to as sonic foraging or shambolic folk minimalism – a responsive patchwork which assembles references to free jazz, the musics of north Africa, the Middle East, Java, Tibet, with explicit noise and drone, into a totality which resembles little else. In the simplest and most direct terms, the LP is stunning – a brutal, jarring, and ecstatic celebration through organizations of sound. As raw as it is sensitive and delicate, it stands as a reminder of the possibilities which can be reached when music is led by the ear, and through improvisation at large. A recorded moment which stands as a testament to the fact that there is as much visionary, groundbreaking, and exciting music being made today as any era before, The Spectrum Does is an incredible installment from a duo we haven’t heard enough from. Let’s hope there is more to come. Once again, hats off to my dear old friend. Check it out below, and pick it up from Che’s Bandcamp page, SoundOhm, Experimedia, Forced Exposure, or a record store near you. (Bradford Bailey, The Hum, November 2017)

    Dusted
    Familiarity, novelty and antiquity entwine to make something rare on The Spectrum Does. You have probably already heard Robbie Lee and Che Chen in other settings. Lee co-runs Telegraph Harp records and writes/plays/sings in Creative Automatic; he’s also a utility player who has joined the bands of Baby Dee, Neil Hagerty, Brightblack Morning Light, Cass McCombs and Talibam! Chen, of course, plays guitar in 75 Dollar Bill, but has also made records on his own and with Tetuzi Akiyama and Chie Mukai. And for about five years, Chen and Lee had a partnership that encompassed intense wood shedding, a bit of playing out, one prior LP and a tour and record with Jozef Van Wissem under the banner Heresy of the Free Spirit. Chen and Lee first got together to play bass clarinet duos. That early practice of playing the same instrument probably has something to do with the ego-less cohesion of their music, but there was no way they’d stick to just one instrument. Lee collects ancient instruments and Chen is also a multi-instrumentalist; no doubt Van Wissem was drawn to them because they not only played portative organ, bass recorder and harmonium, but improvised non-idiomatically with those instruments. The Spectrum Does is drawn from two performances that took place in 2011, one at Issue Project Room and the other at Glasslands. On side one Lee comes out swinging, blowing his taragato like Peter Brötzmann (the Eastern European reed instrument’s main contemporary proponent) was looking over his shoulder. Chen responds to his tough, tunneling lines with coarse, choppy fiddle scrapes that sound like Tony Conrad playing the way a traffic cop talks until their abraded timbres fall together and then subside into a machine-like whir. Next, delay-distorted sounds rise and retreat from a carpet of harmonium, turning the vibe both prayerful and apprehensive. Then the violin returns, still Conrad-like, but Lee counters with a slow, pastoral melody played on a great bass recorder. Some improvisers might keep duking it out, but Chen switches to bass recorder himself. Whether they relate aggressively or passively, even when you can tell who is playing what, that seems to matter less than the consonance of mood and uncertainty of century that they create together — there are passages where it sounds like some Hungarian goat herder from the 1760s is playing with some turtlenecked freaks in a 1960s NYC art loft via a time portal held open by vibrantly fluttering magnetic tape.  There’s really nothing else around that sounds like this stuff, and it’s a shame that the duo is done, but we have another piece of analog magic to tell you what they sounded like — this fine record. (Bill Meyer, Dusted, January 2018)

    Toneshift
    Limited to 300 copies, the latest collaboration by New Yorkers artist/musician Che Chen (he also painted the striking, mountainous psychedelic cover-art) and composer Robbie Lee compiles a trio of sketchy, meandering tracks. Recently released on audioMER. the genre-defying improvisation on The Spectrum Does is a wash of discordant layers presented in a post-industrial sound structure and produced through a multitude of instruments: harmonium, electronics, flute, violin and much more. Explain Please (The Stars Are Listening) is the first track here clocking in over 18 minutes. It’s like a contorted conversation between unknown entities, wailing and serrated, filled with alarms, pauses, ghostly howls. There’s a squelching imbalance between the left and right sides of the larger brain here. It’s about conundrum, about conflict, perhaps with nature in the balance with all eyes (as stars) watching the turmoil below. A moody, brooding and dramatic work. After flipping the vinyl to the b-side the shortest track here is revealed, This Was The Only Spot That Was Green instantly invokes a sense of memory, perhaps of loss. The dull sigh of the wind instruments here create a great outdoors feel, becoming playful and airy towards the tail-end. Finally the title track takes us by surprise, wriggling horns and strings are cyclically entangled kickstarting a complex track that weaves sweet sounds with raw energy. It’s a long-playing piece at over 24 minutes. Oddly there’s a harmony behind the cacophony, it’s a play on which instrument moves from rear to center, and still, like a bee-hive of a traffic jam we are left with a certain breather that is earned as if someone has earned their respectful right to the open road. Towards the central part of the track things get more disorienting and stretched out as the players find their personal sweet spot. Here the uneasy-listening aspect sheds itself somewhat to a more mysterious drone of sorts, reverberating as if they were underground. It’s as if the sound space is percolating as to caution what’s to come. A traditional Japanese sounding arrangement smooths over the hot coals left from earlier, though the tranquil repetition then leaves way to a new friction of frustrated strings. In the end pockets of soundwaves, as if made by the call of a marine mammal protrude in and out of recognition, leaving a wake of distant ringing alarms and light agitation slowly fading. (TJ Norris, Toneshift, March 2018)

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  3. Item:MER-1240

    The House of Our Fathers, Dirk Braeckman & Jan Lauwers

    €85.00

    This outstanding volume is the trace of an immersion by Dirk Braeckman in the performance The House of Our Fathers by Jan Lauwers & Needcompany at the Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen, Hannover, 2013.
    The photographs having passed Braeckman's dark room, the images, often starting from the same negative, start to compose a universe beyond the event's registration.
    With the boldness of a painter sketching, Dirk Braeckman has set up a series of which this volume can be considered the opening dance.

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  4. Item:MER-1237

    The Age of Entitlement, Sven 't Jolle

    €35.00

    This publication functions as a pocket guide to ’t Jolle’s engaging and protean practice in which he utters a humorous critique on capitalism. By fusing historical references and citations from everyday life, t’Jolle creates eloquent constellations of images and forms that often unveil disparities in our contemporary society.

    Inspired by the form of an illustrated encyclopaedia, the book adopts an unusual approach to combining image and text. Grouping the artist’s work under his poetic entry headings, it reveals how he returns to themes of migration, labour and capital under various guises. In addition to photographs from ’t Jolle’s WIELS exhibition and illustrations of earlier works, the book features three new texts: an exploration of the exhibition’s themes by its curator, Zoë Gray; an interview with the artist by art critic Koen Kleijn; and an analysis of his sketchbook practice and his decision to make all his sketchbooks available online by curator Blair French.

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  5. Item:MER-1238

    Even I must understand it, Benjamin Verdonck

    €29.00

    Benjamin Verdonck (1972) is a versatile artist, an actor, a writer and a producer of theatre. Between 2015 and 2017 he realised a project 'EVEN I MUST UNDERSTAND IT' in which he demonstrates that art can redesign the public spaces and the society. The projects in 'EVEN I MUST UNDERSTAND IT' took different shapes through the process, like a representation, a lecture, an exhibition or an installation in a public space. The book is a compilation of the two year project, where all projects will be discussed thoroughly.

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  6. Item:MER-1235

    Through the Looking Glass, Michel Couturier

    €38.00

    The project for this book has a programmatic quality, like a prefiguration of future works. Perhaps it also works like a mirror—like an optical machine in any case—that brings together distant things, various times, experiences, places, and forms (drawings, photos, writing, etc.), and that’s exactly what Michel Couturier set out to do. He's trying to find temporal breadth in these places, and (re)discover their meaning, which is perhaps more lost than concealed. 

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  7. Item:MER-1234

    Maekawa II

    €45.00

    Maekawa II presents the work of Japanese artist Tsuyoshi Maekawa (° 1936) during the 1970s. In contrast to Maekawa I, which highlights his art of the previous decade made within the directives of the Gutai Art Association, Maekawa II sheds light on the artist’s unremitting efforts to overcome the sudden death of Gutai’s leader Jiro Yoshihara in 1972. In this volume, the ceaseless innovations and impulses Maekawa instigated in his post-Gutai practice are brought to the fore. They show the profound exercises and manipulations of sewed and dyed burlap that he shaped into oftentimes highly tactile squares, lines, triangles, and a multitude of colourful yet sober wavy patterns; at times stretched over boxes or loosely draped over walls. The result is a singular exploration of fabric, texture, colour and the possibilities of the canvas at its roughest core.

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  8. Item:MER-1232

    DW B 161 / 5 / 8x F.B.-D.B.-16, Dirk Braeckman

    €39.00

    In het oeuvre van Dirk Braeckman (1958, Eeklo) staat het experiment centraal, enerzijds in de registratie en anderzijds, des te meer, in de bewerking. De beelden die Braeckman capteert kennen vaak een anonieme oorsprong. Of het nu gaat om eigen opnames, found footage of een combinatie hiervan - de kunstenaar ontdoet de beelden radicaal en steevast van hun temporele en ruimtelijke context. Braeckman capteert verlaten transitzones zoals gangen, hallen en hotelkamers; plekken waar het private en het publieke elkaar overlappen. Hij is doorgaans in zijn onmiddellijke omgeving aan het werk, wat zijn foto’s een zeker autobiografisch karakter geven. De kunstenaar verkent de grenzen van zijn medium en daagt de fotografische conventies uit. De flits van de camera kaatst af op de textuur van de muren, gordijnen, tapijten en lakens. Een volledig verstilling ontstaat door de zuivere kracht van de beelden. 
     

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  9. Item:MER-1274

    DO'UN, CD

    €17.00

    tracklist:
    1. DO’UN (56:24)

    Release date: November, 2017
    All music composed by Mireille Capelle
    With HERMESensemble (musicians: Peter Merckx, Marc Tooten, Stijn Saveniers, Karin De Fleyt, Geert Callaert, Melike Tarhan, and Osama Abdulrasol)
    Mastered by Jack Allett
    Front image
    : Anish Kapoor, White Dark VIII, 2000, Fiberglass and paint. © Anish Kapoor, 2017.
    Produced with the support of the Flemish Community
    Design by Jeroen Wille

    DO’UN is an Architecture Sonore composed for the exhibition INTUITION curated by Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti, at Palazzo Fortuny, in Venice, 2017. 

    The world of Mireille Capelle is one of music and theatre. She has performed as a singer in numerous European opera houses, under the artistic direction of the foremost stage directors and conductors. Mireille Capelle is singing professor at the Ghent School of Arts and member of the artistic board of HERMESensemble.

    She has a particular affinity with contemporary music and art, characterized by many encounters with the most important contemporary composers. DO’UN is an “architecture sonore” (“sonic architecture”) composed for the ­exhibition INTUITION (2017) curated by Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti in Venice. ­Mireilles sound scapings are electronic sculptures to be performed as a live format. DO’UN was presented as a live installation by Mireille Capelle and HERMES­ensemble with visual artist Angel Vergara at Palazzo Fortuny in May 2017.

    Inspiration for DO’UN comes from the philosophy of the Greek philosopher Democritus and his ideas about cosmology and the void. DO’UN is a one-hour piece characterized by rich sonic layers ­embedded in a drony atmosphere. A very intuitive piece.

    Mireille Capelle in her words about the piece: Even though when I talk about it, I find that intuition is closer to mind than instinct, the sound architecture DO’UN, created for ­Intuition, seems to prove the opposite. This piece is very sensory. ­Perhaps ­intuition is what most closely connects visual to auditory art. Sound needs the sensitivity of the physical body to receive intuitive auditory information. As if listening to the invisible is really a human act, a human need. Something that is within us and that we inevitably seek, either consciously or unconsciously. The rhythm that is often used for the communication of ancient peoples with the invisible universe, and that goes against our rationality, is present in the installation. The meaning of the call, the sense of water and fire, a predominance of the colours Si and Fa. Yes, there is a lot of fire and a lot of water in Do’un’s waves. Clear yellow flame.

    Biography

    Mireille Capelle appeared in various films and plays, as in an impressive number of operatic roles ­including Wagnerian parts such as Eva and Kundry, or ­Salome and Der Komponist (Richard Straus) and a slew of French characters from Charlotte and ­Metella to Jeanne d’Arc (Jeann d’Arc au bûcher, by ­Honegger). In parallel she developped a large concert ­repertoire including main sacred and secular works from early baroque to contemporary music. She sang under the baton of Marc Minkowski, Jos Van ­Immerseel, ­Massimo Zanetti, Sylvain Cambreling, Seiji Ozawa, Silvio Varviso …and was directed by Robert Carsen, Guy Joosten, Andrea Breth, ­Krzysztof Warlikowski, ­Alvis Hermanis…

    Mireille Capelle belongs to the most versatile singers of her generation. She manages to combine most intimate singing as a classical recitalist and opera singeer with pioneering all round “performances” as a vocalist, ­composer and soundscaper. Her apport to contemporary music is enormous, including fruitful encounters with composers such as Cage, Crumb, Carter, Maxwell ­Davis, Kagel, Battistelli, Sciarrino, Brewaeys, ­Hubber, Wim ­Henderickx… Furthermore she is linked to the HERMESensemble as a member of the artistic committee and performer.

    Her sound scapings also defined as Sonic Architecture, are electronic sculptures to be performed as a live format. The first one, Kinesis Akinetos, was created at the art community Kanaal Axel Vervoordt (B), beneath the Anish Kapoor installation entitled “At the age of the World”. Nefesh and Ruach were created at the “Contemporary Music Festival” in Liège (B). Anello and Tra at Palazzo Fortuny in Venice, eventually Naga had its première in Paris.

    As a Professor at the Royal school of arts from Gent she has since many years largely contributed to the all round vocal education of the next generation singers.

    Discography

    – Mireille Capelle, Anello. Naga. Sunyata (Triple CD set, audioMER., 2009)
    – Mireille Capelle with HERMESensemble, Aurum (CD, Inspiratum, 2015)
    – Mireille Capelle, DO’UN (CD, audioMER., 2017)

    REVIEWS

    Vital Weekly
    Sometimes land on this desk, where I scratch my head and think ‘oke, so is this all about’; this release by Mireille Capelle is one. “The world of Mireille Capelle is one of music and theatre. She has performed as a singer in numerous European opera houses, under the artistic direction of the foremost stage directors and conductors. Mireille Capelle is singing professor at the Ghent School of Arts and member of the artistic board of HERMESensemble”, I read on the website. She has a triple CD set on the same label (in 2009) and one by Inspiratum, and with one called ‘Sunyata’, I was thinking I tapped into the world of new age perhaps. There are no instruments listed for the Hermes Ensemble, but I understand that that “DO’UN is an Architecture Sonore composed for the exhibition INTUITION curated by Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti, at Palazzo Fortuny, in Venice, 2017”. A lot of this deals with voices that much is clear. In the first half of the pieces these voices sound resonating through a space, wordless humming and such, but then moves over after the twenty-five minute in a spoken word piece, with various different voices reciting texts and a slow sort of drum sound below all of that. That lasts about ten or so minutes and then moves into that layered voice stuff again, but perhaps now with the addition of instruments (strings perhaps) or effects (reverb no doubt). While I thought this was a enjoyable release I am not sure what to make of it, and that is mostly due to the somewhat new age vibe that comes from this, but I might be entirely wrong about that. That wordless, long sustaining humming is not so much for me, but I liked the spoken word/drum bit and the more processed vocal stuff at the end. Strange one indeed. (Vital Weekly, October 2017)

    Look Hoes Talking, De Morgen
    De hoes van 'DO'UN', van Mireille Capelle toont Anish Kapoors 'White Dark VIII’. In de rubriek Look Hoes Talking gaan we op zoek naar het verhaal achter een Belgische platenhoes. Deze week: DO’UN, de nieuwe plaat van Mireille Capelle, met artwork van de Brits-Indische kunstenaar Anish Kapoor. In 1985 was Mireille Capelle in de running voor de Belgische inzending van het Eurovisiesongfestival. Vandaag staat ze vooral bekend als mezzosopraan, componiste, soundscaper en docente aan het conservatorium in Gent. Mireille Capelle componeerde DO’UN voor de tentoonstelling INTUITION van Axel Vervoordt en Daniela Ferretti in Venetië. Het resultaat is een uur durende soundscape van etherische elektronica – een fascinerende trip. “Het was een logische keuze om dit artwork te kiezen”, zegt ontwerper Jeroen Wille van platenlabel audioMER, “omdat het beeld White Dark VIII van Anish Kapoor deel uitmaakt van de tentoonstelling. Het is overigens ook de cover van het boek dat de expo begeleidt die nu loopt tijdens de Biënnale van Venetië.” Voor DO’UN haalde de Belgische artieste de mosterd bij de thematiek van void (Engels voor een gevoel van leegte, elv.). “Het is bovendien een centraal thema in het werk van Kapoor. Je moet zijn sculpturen fysiek ervaren. Je kan zijn werk moeilijk vatten, het is een intuïtieve beleving.” En dat is bij de soundscape van Capelle niet anders. “Dit werk mikt op je zintuigen. Er is slechts één ding dat visuele met auditieve kunst verbindt, en dat is intuïtie”, zegt ze. Anish Kapoor leverde zijn werk als coverbeeld, maar het artwork van DO’UN bestaat uit drie luiken, zegt Jeroen Wille. “Je vindt binnenin een zwart-wit foto uit Straatman van de Belgische kunstenaar Angel Vergara. Hij creëerde die performance, samen met Mireille, in Venetië. Het was dan ook logisch om dit beeld in het artwork te verwerken.” Er is daarnaast ook een woordenwolk. “De partituur van de compositie is niet uitgeschreven in noten, maar manifesteert zich als een grafische partituur en bevat woorden en fragmenten van zinnen. Er heeft een selectie de platenhoes gehaald”, aldus Wille. Mireille Capelle liet de muzikanten van het HERMESensemble die woorden en zinnen interpreteren en vertalen naar muziek. “Je zou het experimentele poëzie kunnen noemen. Het woordbeeld is even belangrijk als de woorden op zich.” Wille hield de platenhoes van DO’UN opvallend sober, maar dat was een bewuste keuze. “Gezien het minimale karakter van het artwork, zou typografie afbreuk doen aan het beeld.” Op de achterflap is de albumtitel in een Arabisch lettertype geschreven. Waarom? “DO’UN is de uitspraak van een oud Berbers woord. Mireille wilde een stuk maken over intuïtie, en bij haar onderzoek naar het begrip stootte ze op dit oude Arabische spoor. Het woord is een van de oudste beschrijvingen van het begrip.” DO’UN van Mireille Capelle verschijnt op 27/10 bij audioMER. / N.E.W.S. (Elmo Lê van, De Morgen, October 2017)

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  10. Item:MER-1231

    Off Work N°5, Drawing Review

    €13.00

    This 64 pages magazine shows various drawings in black & white, printed on recycled paper. All drawings are anonymous. Off Work Drawing Review is an artwork in progress by Parcifal Neyt, published three times a year by MER. Paper Kunsthalle. www.brangel.com

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