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Bruno Duplant / Reviews

By Anonymous
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"Bruno Duplant’s Chants de Mémoire is accompanied by a verse that’s taken from Smog’s “Say Valley Maker”:

And when the river dries

Will you bury me in wood

Where the river dries

Will you bury me in stone

These four lines, isolated from the remaining lyrics, work in conjunction with the album’s title and music to evoke images of death. Duplant’s field recordings and additional treated electronics are terrifying when played at high volumes, the repeating low-end thuds and wailing high-pitched tones making these forty minutes feel especially ominous. The incessant chirping of birds and insects grants the piece with a greater sense of place, this vibrant life a haunting contrast to the dread that overwhelms the piece.

The music’s presentation of life and death hints at the enduring bond between organisms and their environment. Just as decomposing bodies serve to enrich the surrounding flora with nutrients, an object’s wealth of history and meaning are subsumed by any given space it’s situated in. The text thus gives the notion that being buried inside the earth is the only way to best understand it. In these field recordings is sometimes a sound that recalls the digging of graves. In effect, Chants de Mémoire is an invitation to be one with the field that’s recorded."


"With one twenty-minute ‘chant’ per side Bruno Duplant combines field recordings, electronics and analog treatments on his latest tape, Chants de Mémoire. This comes from an ongoing series which will also include something upcoming on Archive Officielle Publications. The artist shared with me that some inspiration came from works by Rolf Julius and Giuseppe Ielasi. These may not be your typical chants, unless you are a tree lizard, however, the ethereal resonances are for everyone...

...Here on Premier Chant the listener will discover what it may be like living under a leaf, very close to the earth, with an impending storm just at bay in the distance. The balance between a low-range crunching sound, crickets and lulling thunderclaps are just enough to place this recording at the epicenter of its own ecological staging. The only thing that differentiates this from simply in-situ are the finely woven waves of pitch that duck in and out. I’m getting sleepy, I’m getting verrrrry sleepy. And just then the chattering of wild birds shifts the scape. Right then the ranging pitch cries out, just like a lost wolf parting the seas with its stealthy howl.

In his Second Chant Duplant continues from almost exactly where we just left off, making this a bit of an echo, a refrain. Side B is far more based on these quivering tones, almost a meta recycling reverb of the calls from the forest. There’s a much more delicate touch here, and faint bits of improvisational percussion, so minimal and paced slowly, at points its almost like breathing in between the most minute sinewaves that disappear into the quietude."

Vital Weekly

"Of a likewise conceptual nature, so it seems to me, is the release by Bruno Duplant, no stranger anymore to these pages. According to the cover he uses "field recordings, electronics and analogue treatments" and has two pieces that exactly last forty minutes in total. The pieces are called 'Premier Chant' and 'Second Chant' and both pieces have quite a similar approach when it comes to the composition. They are minimal affairs of electronics that seem to be trapped in some sort of set-up that involves microphones, amplification and the resulting (mild) feedback approach, along with bird sounds being picked up from afar. Maybe a big birds cage in another room, or perhaps this was recorded with doors open on a hot night in more tropical surroundings, even when the cover says 'France'. 'Chant 2' has an occasional low sound (a bang? thunder?) which, by and large, might be the only big difference between both sides. It is a very consistent approach throughout and the cassette is the perfect medium for such a similar approach, but you could at the same time if such an approach is not a bit too much. I am not yet inclined to say if I think this is bold, strong move or perhaps senseless repetition. The first time I heard the tape I quite enjoyed it, the second time it slightly annoyed me and I kept bouncing back between these opposites. It left something to think about, which is surely also a good thing."

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