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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Jean-Marc Foltz - Soffio De Scelsi (La Buissonne, 2007) ****

Three French musicians bring something extraordinary, music beyond categorisation, based on the ideas and music of Giacinto Scelsi, the Italian composer who died in 1988. Jean-Marc Foltz on clarinet, Stéphan Oliva on piano and Bruno Chevillon on bass, bring improvised music that is haunting, full of tension, dark and out of this world, based on Scelsi's saying "One could consider sound to be the cosmic force that underlies everything that exists, ... and even if its very nature is cosmic, it can be activated and used by man". The musicians use all their skills to exploit the whole array of possible sounds out of their instruments to create sonic effects, even percussion. The music itself is composed in the instant and together, keeping close to the tonal center on each track, with the instruments creating joint sounds, their individuality at times not discernible, changing pitch, timbre and pace, but with the coherent discipline not to move to far and not to create anything close to melody. Despite this, the album is relatively accessible, with 14 pieces each creating a beautiful yet hard musical environment.

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