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Between the lines
For nearly 15 years, I’ve been collecting music in my drawers. Bits of melodies, half-finished pieces, a few chords thrown hastily onto a sheet of paper. It was necessary for someone at the other end of the world (for Belgium, Japan is at the other end of the world) to ask me to release a CD there, for me to put together all these musical bits and pieces and give them, at last, a shape and a face. If this music has been in my drawers for so long, it may be because here in Belgium, I didn’t know where it belonged. Not jazz, nor what one may call contemporary music, nor pop, nor chanson… Maybe a bit of everything, maybe something else. It seems to me that by releasing a CD so far from home, these questions would be allowed to fade and that it would be enough to say that it is all simply music, my music. More precisely, this is the music which comes to me most effortlessly. At the risk of giving in to certain clichés, I must say that this is the music which comes to me as I am walking down the street, or absent-mindedly driving in my car. Music which surfaces naturally, without being summoned. And it is so irresistible, because it brings me back to my adolescence, and even my childhood, during which I have had the good fortune of being swept away by music, which was a living part of me, haunting me, relentlessly calling upon me. At the time I was not aware that to live thus, in a world filled with sounds, was extraordinary. I believed it to be the norm. Later, adulthood attempts to persuade us that reality is altogether something far more serious. Today, it is this music which has become a stronghold against the commonplace banal reality of the world. This is why this album may very well be the most personal I have ever made. Because it reaches what is most natural within myself. It springs from my oldest emotions, the most mysterious, the most unconscious ones. Although recorded with a certain urgency, a great calmness seems to emanate from this music. Much like the pervasive longing for a lost world to which music allows, from time to time, an entrance, a door to an elsewhere which remains forever elusive. This music attempts to grasp behind the world’s façade something else, which our grown-up eyes can no longer see. It attempts to read between the lines what is not said but which we can perceive if only we know how to listen. Between the lines…
7 fleeting compositions for piano. Memory and improvisation. A mysterious paradox. The improvisation flies away and the musical score stays. Here is something preserved from the irreversible flow of time, which should not have left any trace except in the memory of a few listeners.
"Leve, leve, muito leve,
Um vento muito leve passa,
E vai-se, sempre muito leve.
E eu não sei o que penso
Nem procuro sabê-lo."
Lightly, lightly, very lightly,
A wind passes very lightly
And goes away, always very lightly.
And I don’t know what I think
And I don’t want to know.
Incidental Music Thirty three musical pieces taken from theater performances or documentary find here a new life, released from their original context. They invite our imagination to recreate their story. Music for an absent film...
“When Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven is facing a theater stage, he becomes focused and starts composing as he watches. He begins by writing his music mentally, and with his eye riveted on the light, he listens to you. To speak to him about one's musical longings is an act of mental gymnastics which he guides without you noticing, so fine is his capacity for listening. He draws inspiration from all sources. He absorbs the manner of the theater, scrutinizes it, decodes it and infiltrates it, if necessary. Like an animal choosing a nesting ground, he is driven by an intimate construction instinct. After having listened, he smiles, mysterious, gives thanks with an elegant insistence, and vanishes. When he returns, the miracle takes place. I had the good fortune of witnessing such a return... He sat at the piano and played what he had composed. I had from the start the impression of a merging between the scenic act and his composition. A fusion where intent and performance are one. As if his music had always been there, inaudible, weaved into that of the stage. In a flowing dialogue. Now that it impregnated the keyboard and flowed from his fingers, I had the feeling that I wasn't listening to it for the first time. As if he had given birth to a music infused by silence. He was recreating the measure of the play, its pulsation, its voice, the awesome breath of a supplementary life.”
Imagine the Empire Concert Hall of the Brussels Royal Conservatory by night. The tramways have stopped, for some hours of deserved sleep, from linking the Court House to the Royal Place. On stage, a huge man appears, carrying a splendid Vuillaume that is as tall as he is. With this splendid double-bass, he has taken part to Chet Baker's marvelous last recordings, and for 30 years has been a pillar of the Belgian jazz scene. Here is also younger pianist, sitting in front of a Grand Steinway. He does not belong to the same family : he's a familiar sight in many great contemporay music festivals, that always trust him for performing unplayable sonata's or create new works. But this meeting does not owe much to hasard. Rassinfosse and Collard-Neven found themselves, yet some time ago : a common love for sound, for letting fantasy dominate the proceedings, and for musical conversation. So music comes. From Le Clan des Siciliens to Chico Buarque, this cd shows two marvelous musicians in freedom, whose personal compositions come from the heart and go to the spirit. No jazz, no ni classic, but new ways based on mastery and imagination. A great encounter for Fuga Libera's microphones.
Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, double-bass
Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven, piano
Jean-Louis Rassinfosse and Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven had always been in the limelight when their first joint CD was published (FUG602, Regency’s Nights). One was a successful jazzman, the other a distinguished zealot of contemporary music. The question was: how would the public react to this Unidentified Sound Product ? In actual fact, the chamber version of jazz proposed by one of the most endearing base player and by one of the most subtle pianists on the scene scored a direct hit. Chet Baker’s partner and the ruthless explorer of new repertoire unite in a duo of complicity, warmth and endless care for a sound that reveals uncensored emotions. Hence the acclaim, reviews and rewards in both the classical and the jazz press. Here they are again for a new exploration into the universe of ethereal sounds, tenderly communicating their pleasure irrespective of whether they revisit Michel Legrand, Johannes Brahms or Antonio Carlos Jobim. All this has been recorded with obsessive care by magician Jarek Frankowski.
Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, double-bass
Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven, piano
Quartet without leader
The telluric and melodious bass of Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, the soul and heart touching sound of Fabrice Alleman, the feline and delicate style of Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven and the solar and charismatic energy of Xavier Desandre-Navarre invite us on a journey amongst original compositions in a ‘claire-obscure’ world, made of melodic tenderness, happy melancholy and jubilatory explosions. Between chamber jazz, classical music, tribal rhythms and harmonies swinging between Scriabine and Pat Metheny, the chaconnes curiously become jazz ballads.
Luc Ferrari facing his tautology: two days before the end
Luc Ferrari takes out an old score, Tautologos III, to record it at La Muse en Circuit in the summer of 2005. The "score" is actually a set of three rules: 1. Each musician freely decides on a theme an length of silence to be repeated for 21 minutes 2. Each musician can fanatically stick to his choice or change it according to what the other musician is playing 3. Well, there is no third rule. The whole thing is to be recorded several times in a row, in layers, and supported by a tape part consisting of the stupidest sounds possible, in order to beef up the sound mass of the piece, for no particular reason. Sounds easy, right ? Well it was not. The first layer was successfully recorded during the first 21 minutes of recording, but it took almost two days for Luc and the musicians - Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven and Vincent Royer - to record the second one. The third layer, like the cherry on top of a sundae, will consist in books forcefully closed every two and a half minutes. Luc died a little over a month after this experiment. It turned out to be his last game.
SUB ROSA (sr261à
Didascalies 2 18'00
The dress rehearsal performed before Brunhild on 24.10.08
Didascalies 2 19'17
The posthumous world premiere on 25.10.08
Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven / piano
Claude Berset / piano
Vincent Royer / viola
Didascalies 2 is not to be confused with Didascalies already published 3 years ago at Sub Rosa - it's an other composition unpublished and a premiere. This production will only released on vinyl.
"The other day I found a file from 1993, a score for 2 pianos entitled "revenir à la note de départ" ["getting back to the initial note"]. So I decided to turn it into a new composition without changing a single note in it - it contained very little notes actually, which suited me just fine. So I called it Didascalies 2, in memory of what I had done the previous year: a piece for piano and viola entitled Didascalies tout court. That piece was played on two notes, one for the piano and the same one for the viola. It had an obsessive feel. Very, very obsessiiiiiiive !!! "
Luc Ferrari ￼
Un anti-hommage à Luc Ferrari
An anti-tribute to Luc Ferrari When Luc Ferrari made his last visit to La Chaux-de-Fonds, he handed us the score for "Didascalies 2," and he specifically asked for it to be performed by La Chaux-de-Fonds pianist Claude Berset and Brussels pianist Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven. For us, it became a necessity: we just had to develop an event around Luc Ferrari and present - and it moved us - the world premiere of this, the last work by Luc Ferrari not to have been performed yet in front of an audience. Didascalies 2 was premiered as part of an anti-tribute to Luc Ferrari in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, in a version for two pianos and viola. Luc stipulated that toward the end of the piece - Formule 6 - "an instrument comes in (I don't know which one yet). This instrument should be very powerful and be able to sustain a very loud note (I don't know which one yet)." We opted for the viola...
SUB ROSA (SRV305 vinyl LP)
Back to the voice
Les désordres de Herr Zoebius pour quatuor à cordes
1_ Inselberg de Goundam
2_ Une matrice booléenne pour le docteur Atlan
3_ Les étranges attracteurs du professeur Baumol
4_ Chant magnétique
5_ Back to the Voice pour piano
6_ Bryce pour clarinette et quatuor à cordes
7_ Lettre Soufie : Z(1) pour alto, piano et électronique
Jean-Luc Fafchamps (°1960), is the key member of the reputed ICTUS ensemble as well as it’s pianist. He’s also one of Belgium’s foremost contemporary composers, invited to many international festivals (Brussels, Paris, Vilnius, Warsaw, Budapest…). Whereas the piano was pre-eminent is his early works, he later explored non-tempered harmonies et the polyphony of timbres and this led him to work with various formats of chamber ensembles or symphony orchestra’s. He elaborated a vast cycle – the Sufi Letters -, which appears like a manifesto for a language written, learned and seductive at appear simultaneously. The complex personality of this composer-virtuoso-amateur-macroeconomist, of clear lines clearly reveals itself, up to its humoristic and often ironical component. Let’s remember that one of the Sufi Letters has already been recorded by the United Instruments of Lucilin (Fuga Libera FUG701). First class interpreters are fully committed to this masterpiece: the Danel Quartet, pianist Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven, altist Vincent Royer and clarinet player Jean- Michel Charlier together allow us to approach these works under ideal conditions.
FUGA LIBERA (FUG537)
Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven, piano
Vincent Royer, viola
David Shea, sampler
The Book of Scenes is a collection of pieces for Viola and Piano. Each piece is a single scene and scored on a single page and places the players and the instrument in different situations and relationships to each other and sampled recordings of themselves as well as the electronic environment the duo perform in. Thework can be played in any order and the sequence is chosen before hand by the the players. The scenes explore solo and duo playing, and musical roles inside of shifting contexts many related to visual references, films and iconic memories. This record presents Book I the first 29 pieces performed live with some scenes constructed electronically from samples and memories of other scenes. Many of the sections are visual in nature, for example where the alto player bows his instrument while the pianist places his hands on the viola neck and chooses the notes to be played followed by the alto player placing his hands inside the piano to mute the pianist notes as well as a scene where the players are blindfolded. These scenes have been replaced by electronic manipulations of the live performance. The result is a flow of relationships and scored or scripted scenes living between the orchestration of the acoustic instruments and the electronic characters they engage with.
SUB ROSA (sr224)
Solo/duo pour piano, 2e mouvement
1. Chamber Symphony #2
2. Solo/Duo for Cello
3. Solo/Duo for Piano
4. 8 Scenes for Computer
Wilbert Aerts: Violin • Jean Phillipe Collard-Neven: Piano • Jean Paul Dessy: Conductor, Cello • Pierre Devos: Oboe • Louison Renault: Percussion • David Shea: Sampler, Computer • Sigrid Van den Bogaerde: Cello • Jean-Louis Votano: Clarinet
In the 1990s David Shea was a regular on the downtown scene working with Anthony Coleman, John Zorn, Zeena Parkins, Shelly Hirsch and many others. Since 1998 he has been living and working in Brussels collaborating with some of Belgium's finest classical musicians, and performing his exciting solo concerts. Classical Works II, his third release on Tzadik, is the definitive document of Shea's new musical direction, bold integrating sampling technology into the classical concert music tradition. The compositions here range from interactive duets for soloist and sampler to a major new piece for chamber symphony. New music from a continually fascinating musical manipulator.
RYOJI IKEDA - Opus #1
ATAU TANAKA - DSCP
HORATIO RADULESCU - Khufu's serpent IV
DAVID SHEA - Chamber Symphony #2
JEAN-LUC FAFCHAMPS - T.
JEAN-PAUL DESSY - Fable Ineffable
KASPER T. TOEPLITZ - Biel
JEROME COMBIER - Noirs
GIOVANNI SOLLIMA - Casanova
GERARD HOURBETTE - Danses Mécaniques
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE FELDHANDLER - Elargissement de ciel
FAUSTO ROMITELLI - Flowing down the Slow
GUALTIERO DAZZI - En Bordures d'Espaces
AN EXPERIENCE… UNEXPECTED
At last, we are happy that this vast enterprise is finally released. basically, it was a challenge : ask to 13 composers around the world to create a piece for Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles – directed by Jean-Paul Dessy (but founded by Henri Pousseur in 1962). From europa, usa or japan, try to explore the compositional frame of today's creators and not only in the well-known 'comtemporary scene' but to push further the boundary and discover the unexpected result of some of the greatest names of the today's electronic world.
ART ZOYD & ENSEMBLE MUSIQUES NOUVELLES
For the realisation of this big project, many forces were necessary : two regions between two countries - Belgium and France - two ensembles - Musiques Nouvelles (20 musicians) and Art Zoyd (6 musicians) and their high-tech studios - and two years of work. the result is contained on a 3 CD box - 172 minutes of music - and a 40 pages booklet that explains you all.
NEW COMPOSITIONS AND UNPUBLISHED WORK
Opus #1 by RYOJI IKEDA is the first piece that he even wrote for non-electronic instruments - and paradoxally one of his most accomplished work. ATAU TANAKA 's composition is for chamber orchestra, theremin and infrared ! HORATIO RADULESCU, the founder of the Spectral technique of composition is, for sure, one of the greatest composers alive, this is his last Opus (#64). DAVID SHEA is well-known by his many collaborations with Sub Rosa and Tzadik. JEAN LUC FAFCHAMPS has just published his second complete cd on Sub Rosa a few months ago, JEAN-PAUL DESSY questions the mermaids's voices and KASPER T. TOEPLITZ organizes a Glenn Branca revival, JEROME COMBIER tries to impulse black light in music, GIOVANNI SOLLIMA mixes baroque chamber orchestra and techno rhythm, GERARD HOURBETTE continues Art Zoyd's expressionist legend, JEAN-CHRISTOPHE FELDHANDLER organizes a space in constant change, at the threhold of its widening, FAUSTO ROMITELLI opposes string quartet and a single mixer, and finally, GUALTIERO DAZZI creates a tragic cinematographic space…
13 compositions - 13 unpublished works and 13 ways to combine electronic music and classical instruments.
SUB ROSA (sr 192)
FOR FOUR INSTRUMENTALISTS A CAPPELLA (1985)
CD 1 49:12
CD 2 71:08
E nsemble Musiques Nouvelles
LOUISON RENAULT: percussion, electronics
JEAN-PHILIPPE COLLARD-NEVEN: keyboards, percussion, electronics
SERGE BERTOCCHI: saxophones, keyboards, electronics, percussion
JEAN-PAUL DESSY: double bass, percussion, keyboards, electronics
Man – somewhere at some time – happened to be on the edge of perishing.
His deathly calm, terror, and pain – his suffers surpassed any imaginable horizon.
Then Man died.
But does all the anguish he lived through disappear?
Do not the suffers of all people perishing or have perished somewhere in the past accumulate in our world?
Do not these suffers, continuously accumulating, determine some parameters of the world we live in?
Do not these accumulated suffers determine something essential in the soul of each of us?
For the world is one, and all of us – no matter how many of us there might be on Earth – are the links of
These questions arise when we are concentrating on the text created by a child who witnessed how all her
relatives passed away one after another in besieged Leningrad.
Sergei Vakulenko, November 1987
On the Occasion of the First Performance of “Agnus Dei”
DIARY BY TANYA SAVICHEV
ZHENJA DIED Dec 28 at 12 30 o’clock in the morning 1941 / GRANNY DIED Jan 25
3 h in the afternoon 1942 / LJOKA DIED March 17 at 5 o’clock in the mor. 1942 /
UNCLE VASJA DIED at Apr 13 2 h night 1942 / UNCLE LJOSHA [DIED] May 10 at 4 h
in the afternoon 1942 / MAMA [DIED] at May 13 [at] 7.30 o’clock in the morning 1942
/ THE SAVICHEVS DIED / DIED ALL / LEFT ONE TANYA
AGNUS DEI, QUI TOLLIS PECCATA MUNDI,
DONA EIS REQUIEM SEMPITERNAM,
DONA NOBIS PACEM …
EXTRACTS FROM COMPOSER’S NOTES
… to discern the extraordinary in the ordinary…
… can this problem be the subject of art, anyway?…
… “Agnus Dei” may have been created as repentance for my nonexistent fault of being born outside Leningrad…
… inability to physically pronounce this verbal text…
… the Saviour’s descent into Hell…
… through the prism of the irrevocable and eternal beauty of the created world…
… endlessness and oneness in the manifistations of the Sound-Word mystery…
… the whole score consists of the touchings – renewing all the time, the “unique” soundings of the air…
… approaching the fullness of the Life – Moment – Vertical, Time-dissolving…
… and only quite recently have I learnt that during the first winter of the siege my grandpa Joseph Knaifel
shared in the unprecedented sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands of Leningrad citizens through his
death by starvation on January 15, 1942…
Megadisc (Ref. 7808-07)
01. Michel Fourgon: Frondaisons
02. Renaud De Putter: Lunna II
03. Denis Bosse: Lettre à Pierre Bartholomée
04. Jean-Marie Rens: Vibrations 3
05. Benoît Mernier: Fater Images
06. Hao-Fu Zhang: La terre jaune
07. Jean-Paul Dessy: Miniphony
08. Denis Pousseur: Etude Minuscule
09. Victor Kissine: Etude Automnale
10. Claude Ledoux: Punch
On December 6th 2002 in Brussels, Musiques Nouvelles celebrated its 40 years of existence in the studios of the former Radio Broadcasting Institute, just where this musical ensemble and pole of creativity dedicated to contemporary music was officially born. On that festive evening, one had the opportunity to listen to old or recent works of pioneer composers of the French Community in Belgium (Pierre Bartholomée and Henri Pousseur, founders of Musique Nouvelle, an initiative in which Philippe Boesmans also took part) - On that occasion were also created 10 miniatures, straight out of the imagination of important composers of the French Community in Belgium: Denis Bosse, Renaud De Putter, Jean-Paul Dessy, Michel Fourgon, Victor Kissine, Claude Ledoux, Benoît Mernier, Denis Pousseur, Jean-Marie Rens, Hao-Fu Zhang. These worlds of sound performed by the Musiques Nouvelles ensemble conducted by Pierre Bartholomée are untouched and yours today in the spirit of a creative interpretation and dialogue with the audience. By way of epilogue to this plural album and of opening to other possible ones, we have suggested to Todor Todoroff to add a posteriori his electronic miniature using as a starting point elements of his interactive installation "Mobile Forces" which was also presented that evening.
SUBA ROSA (sr226)
Jean-Michel Charlier clarinette
Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles
Fabian Panisello direction
Georges-Elie Octors direction
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France
Michaël Schonwandt direction BUY
Since a couple of years, Benoît Mernier is considered as one of the most promising composers of our time: prestigious composition awards, publishing by Billaudot in Paris, performances in major festivals... This CD, which is released together with another (Cypres CYP4612) including a breath-taking polyphonic Mass and organ works, explains why, by giving a comprehensive view on the recent instrumental music by this young man, performed by an impressive range of first-rate interpreters. It is a fascinating discovery of the emergence of a distinctive voice in the world of contemporary music.
Cyprès (REF: CYP4613)
Quatuor A Cordes N 1
2. deuxième Mouvement
4. Deuxième Réitération/Boogie Woogie
5. Les Lettres Enlacées Il : Fragment D'Une Lettre
6. Froissements D'Ailes, Pour Flûte Solo
7. Arsis Et Thésis, ou La Chanson Du Souffle, Pour Flûte Solo
8. Les "Aragons" : A : Les Yeux D'Elsa
9. Les "Aragons" : B : Le Pont De C
10. Les "Aragons" : C : Elsa Valse BUY
Michaël Levinas, Chamber Music, Una Corda/Universal, 2000
This album, which comes to widen the scope of the Accord Una Corda Collection, is primarily dedicated to the works written by Michaël Levinas within the context of his staying in the midst of the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles, in Belgium. The pieces presented in this recording all proceed from a will towards mutation. Their composition has initially complied, in the first pieces with the taking of a stand in what concerns the repertoire of the past (Arsis and Thesis, Froissement d'ailes) to then follow in the course of these last years the thread of a growing abstraction of the writing, encompassed in the sole instrumental-vocal space (Les Aragons) and dedicated to a frontal listening of the instruments primarily of a faithful inducing notation: The strings (string quator n01, Les Lettres Enlacées II).
2. White Star Line
3. In A Long Moan
6. Perfect Lover
7. Mingle With The Night
8. I Am The Ocean BUY
Deux ans après l'éponyme Welcome To The Modern Dance Hall, le chanteur-guitariste, Mark Huygens, et sa bande de musiciens aventuriers ont réussi à planter leur petit musée de sons hybrides mâtinés de rock, de pop, de jazz et de funk sur toutes les routes d'ici et d'ailleurs. Bien décidé à délaisser le terrain labouré par leurs confrères belges (Deus, Zita Swoon, Soulwax…) autour de Captain Beefheart et Tom Waits, le groupe se jette, sans filet dans les bras d'un orchestre symphonique dirigé par Jean-Claude Dessy.
Le 26 septembre 2000, Venus propose à Renaud Lhoest de réinterpréter huit de leurs chansons avant de les jouer avec les vingt-deux musiciens de l'Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles, lors d'un spectacle unique donné au cirque royal de Bruxelles. Intitulé The Man Who Was Already Dead, les quatre expérimentateurs de Venus, habitués de ces prestations parallèles (certains privilégiés se souviennent de la pièce "Kiss From The Ghost" montée en 1998 aux Halles de Scherbeeke) présentent audacieusement une performance à mi-chemin entre le conte musical et la théâtre colorée de violons, violoncelles, clarinettes, trombones et autres tubas. Ce live scelle la rencontre de Purcell avec les mélodies gorgées d'émotions de Vénus, le groupe électron libre de la belgomania. --Sabrina Silamo