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På skive


«Fata Morgana»

French sound artist, electronics player, composer, improviser and visual artist eRikm (aka Erik Matt) questions the way we experience, perceive and interpret sounds in two brilliant and fascinating works.

eRikm began in 2019 an ambitious project of making the unheard-of heard. Taking the role of cosmographer, he recorded in Australia and Tasmania sound spectra outside the field of human auditory perception, like polyphonic amphibian songs of pilot whales, or the sounds of bats.

Later, these field recordings were arranged in order to transpose them into notes and scores, to be interpreted by the six-musician chamber Ensemble Dedalus. The musicians of this ensemble had to be immersed in this unique kind of immersive listening with headphones, in order to paraphrase the field recordings.

eRikm notes that the circulation of original sound materials to the Ensemble Dedalus creates contamination among the performers, producing the metaphorical effect known as Fata Morgana. During this transposition process, the entropy created a sound matrix already transformed over two generations. The third stage takes place in the studio and consists in composing and arranging all the native audio materials of the previous phases. At the end of this tasking process, a precise annotation score was given to the musicians, and eRikm’s electronics played the macroscopic reprocessing of the outer layer of sound and space, to the point that it brings about the mutation of the instrumental timbres. The music also employs real-time streams of sounds from natural locations available via an open global network of microphones, the Locus Sonus sound map.

Even without knowing about the elaborate process of realizing this metaphorical Fata Morgana, any listener would be drawn to this mysterious, fragile and strange but highly vivid and cinematic, and, obviously, immersive listening experience. Most likely, the listener would feel humble about the many wonders of this planet and the imaginative ways that its creatures communicate and inspire each other.

Echoplasme is a multimedia project of eRikm and the HANATSUMiroir ensemble – flutist-vocalist Ayako Okubo and percussionist-electronics player Olivier Maurel premiered during Festival Les Détours de Babel in Grenoble in March 2019 and now released as a book and a disc. Echoplasme – a wordplay on Ectoplasm, spiritual energy, supposedly of ghosts – is actually aiming at bringing out the invisible, or summoning ghosts. Well, at least in sonic and graphic forms. eRikm and HANATSUMiroir ensemble were put in a small antechamber, filled «with funereal waves under a neon sky». According to eRikm, it felt that in this tormented atmosphere, there were four entities and not only three musicians. Okubo claimed that it was certainly a yōkai (妖怪), a supernatural entity in Japanese folklore that can be a spirit, an object, or an animal, and often manifest itself first, by noises in the dark.

Echoplasme collects 14 improvisations on ink drawings and scenographic ideas made by eRikm (reproduced in the accompanied book) that reference the pictorial avant-garde of Paul Klee, or the struggles with the ghosts of Francis Bacon before painting. «Before painting, many things happened. Get rid of everything that weighs, of everything that precedes, even before the painting is started». Accordingly, the dream-like, intimate and fragile music was developed by listening to what came out of nothingness. This hypnotic-synesthetic sonic experience suggests a meditation into abstract and enigmatic, phantasmagorical visions, leaving aside any attempt to interpret these visions by common sonic and visual perception. You may not encounter ghosts in this haunting musical journey, not even a yōkai, but you may be emotionally affected by this inspiring nuanced pastiche of the mysterious sounds and the suggestive Japanese-talking voices.

Eyal Hareuveni  

eRikm (live elec, field recordings), Didier Aschour (g), Amélie Berson (fl), Thierry Madiot (tb), Christian Pruvost (tp), Silvia Tarozzi (vio), Deborah Walker (c), Ayako Okubo (v, narration, contrabass fl), Olivier Maurel (perc, electromagnetic devices), Miwako Shirai (narration), Sara Hayashi (narration), Masahiro Yoshinaga (narration)


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