Winds of Change nt002

27 03 2020

Second release from the new nexTTime production output is a collaboration with multi instrumentalist Alexandru Hegyesi.

File sharing over the net, the starting point was a series of short recordings by alex featuring cymbalum, bowed & picked soprano psaltery and dulcimer.

This material was processed and sculpted to produce a range of samples that provide harmonic, textural and rhythmical contents. The compositions were then arranged, and finally, i added field recordings and saxophone improvisations.

 

 

First released by netlabel electronic musik as em124

 





Seven Sounds nt001

20 03 2020

The first release from the new nexTTime production output is a collection of electroacoustic compositions.

The music is composed using sounds from the 5 elements (TCM, qi gong), and use resonant frequencies of the recorded natural sounds.

Each element is attributed an energy centre and entrains the body and the corresponding chakras following techniques of sound therapy. Beat frequencies are used throughout and help the mind settle and relax.

 

 

 





nexttime production

19 03 2020

i have been making music under the nexTTime production banner for a while, and i am very pleased to announce that you can now find our music on bandcamp where i will be releasing, in collaboration with the label discus music, a range of compositions, field recordings, collaborations of electroacoustic music.

go to this page for all of our releases so far, and i will be posting news about each album soon. thanks for listening and for your support. i hope you enjoy my sounds.

https://nexttime.bandcamp.com/

 

hervé





The nature of reality in a Theory of Everything

29 01 2020

Imploding Stars

is a journey into space, a weather check on the nature of constellations, planets and stars, or is it atoms and particles? Same difference. With titles like ‘waiting for space to expand’ and its mirror image ‘waiting for space to contract’, it becomes obvious that we are considering timelines so large that they are difficult to comprehend. And so it is with the size of those compounded-constellations of sounds, it is difficult to tell what we are looking at (or hearing). It feels a bit like the type of abstract art photography that blurs perspective and one wonders if they are looking are a macro landscape or the micro world.

This music is like fractals.

 

In Buddhist teachings you can find comments on notions of endless time or space. This culture worked with a sense of time, periods like kalpas, that are hard to even grasp (time stretches that cover appearance and disappearance of entire universes). Similarly with scale, there is this understanding that everything is empty of inherent existence and you can analyse any ‘thing’ that comes into existence down to its basic components and the conditions by which it came into being – there is no such a thing as a permanent, unchanging entity.

But it does not stop here. Even atoms and particles are compounds and one could, given the ability to perceive such things, keep going smaller still into other realms of existence, into a universe of vibrations so ‘small’ that no one can actually even consider, let alone measure. In line with buddhist teachings that are 2500 years old, quantum science is now considering fields that act as a matrix for the arising of material forms, and inform the nature of compounded vibrations. All is energy.

 

The music here gives the impression that we are taken on a journey into the micro realm, with sound processing like granulation taking the ear into increasing smaller fragments until the point of origin, the first sound that is the breath, has been completely deconstructed and nothing remains but the ghost of a sound, to the point of near silence.

Or is it? Are there other realms to explore further? Even points of silence retain a certain tension, or expectation, as if one is suspended in space.

 

This is a concept album with a coherence of sound and approach, and if you willingly engage with the work and let yourself be drawn into its universe, the bulk of its 78 minutes may appear just like the blink of an eye. But reflecting on buddhist practice, you have to let go of the self and dive in. Let the change happen, and with such a journey into the very matter, the nature of things, one cannot remain unchanged.

If this were a collaboration between a saxophonist and a digital artist doing various manipulations, this work would be easier to understand, but it would not be the same of course. Here though, the same artist does both, live in the studio, in real time, compromising the instrument and extended techniques (and all the research into the instrument, control and hours of work that this implies) and surrenders to the sound of strings of plug-ins (yes, the scientific metaphor can run all the way… fractals, remember?). Rather than having a saxophonist and electronic artist performing their best licks, what you have is an instrumentation that becomes transparent and lets the concept, the singular sonic identity of the work come to the fore.

Entire musical world-systems collide, improv jazz, electroacoustic and experimental electronics, new music, contemporary and its minimal spectral approaches and so on. If this work was placed in a different context, with an accompanying band, the correlation to modern jazz such as the Norwegian cool, with added electronics to stripped down harmonic contents and fragile melody, would be clearer. But in this case, the work is very hard to classify. Perhaps it is the whole point to not reduce this entire scientific enquiry to a musical style. Because you know that this came out of the mind of one person, you can relate with its uniqueness as a deliberate positioning. There is a sense of an intention to make this a listening experience and not another ‘improv’ ‘jazz’ or ‘electronic’ album.

 

The work on the saxophone is mostly extended techniques, sounds peripheral to the instrument; and although some notes can be heard at times, most of the sounds you’ll hear from the saxophone are stripped down to the basis of breath and overtones that derive from its flow.

This essential material of breath becomes metaphorical for the most essential material that exists; it is like prana or qi that infuses life into the all. And ensues a series of pieces with a common theme around space, the universe.

Out of emptiness, vibrations. Then particles of sounds are created. The album takes you through world systems and different universes, some more or less populated and dense, some very minimal where everything is fragile and impermanent.

 

The processing is multi-layered: computer-based manipulations such as granulation, spectral processing and synthesis retain essential aspects of the original sound, but also multiply, sculpt and transform the results in unexpected ways. And because a number of tools are at work at all times, it is hard to tell exactly what is the result of what effect – reality is never all that it seems. The processing itself is also compounded – a construct with ever changing combinations that give the character to its own sonic architecture. And the origin, the conditions by which what we hear arises is very hard to perceive. We just have to go with what is and enter its realm in order to feel the very nature of things.

 

This is a very unique listening experience and the use of headphones is highly recommended as one enters into this ‘other’ sonic reality. For sure, this is not background entertainment, and it will take some commitment or listening attention. Just like the cinema is designed to remove people from mundane reality and place them into a controlled environment for optimum experience, suspend disbelief and become wrapped into a story, here too, if one enters this sound world and let go, follow the journey that is presented, with open mind, the rewards will be great.

 

 





sounding out scotland 2019 pt 2

10 01 2020

 

The journey through Scotland continues along the west coast in a weather that reminds you how wild this place can get. The beautiful scenery can very rapidly become threatening and one feels much exposed.

I much awaited visiting this next location again. The church in Arisaig is such a wonderful space with grand acoustics. The weather has been beating the coast and i feel my general mood is not quite making the most of this incredible place. Time will tell, perhaps the music turns out better, but at the time i felt i was not quite in tune and the flow did not quite transport me. I decided to take a break and walk around the space. The mood turned when, at the back of the church i encountered a statue that reminded me of the figurehead of boats. The woman depicted here is guided by a star and seems to be raising the spirit through turbulent water. The thought had a profound effect on me and i felt the deep sadness of families that await as waves and wild weather beat the shore, expecting the boats that never returned. Those claimed by the sea have a hidden presence along this coast. I felt it all here, and the last piece i played, at the edge of tears, starts at the back of the church, slowly moving forward with each repetition of a gentle melodic motif, interspersed with waves and runs. This incredible experience came to a stop as the church bell ominously rang on the last long note of the piece. This was it. I had touched on the story of that place and sat in silence.

Another old favourite, on Applecross, this plain chapel is all wood and gentle resonance. Inside feels like a warm(ish) shelter from the wild elements out there. This recording was made in two sessions and the second take in the morning was cut short by rising waters that threatened to take over all exits. The drive over the pass was epic with incredibly powerful torrents forcing their way under bridges and overflowing banks. But before this, we barely made it through the tracks and the road that had turned into a lake.

So this session again is tainted by turmoil and turbulent water. And this chapel has a certain quality that encourages a free flowing explosion of energy. Inspired by the rain that did not quite fall as much as headbutt the ground and the beaten rocks, the music barges and sways, turns and thrashes through a whole range of moods. There is some redemption in the madness of the elements, but the suspension is short lived. Notes splatter and crash-splash percussively then power-flow forcefully, tortured with split tones and gnarling blows forced through the saxophone. A single bird soars its pretty song and we are straight back in the maelstrom.

This place simply never disappoints – it has always been a highlight of my sonic explorations. And the music feels freer, what this place inspires is just something else.

 

 

.
.
.

dusk falling on a calm sea
alto saxophone, 27 august 2019
st mary, arisaig

.
.
.
.

slow silver sky
alto saxophone, 27 august 2019
st mary, arisaig

.
.
.

as rain beats those ragged rocks
alto saxophone, 27 august 2019
st mary, arisaig

.
.
.

those of the sea
alto saxophone, 27 august 2019
st mary, arisaig

.
.
.

broody approach
alto saxophone, 29 august 2019
clachan church, applecross

.
.
.

maelrubha and the waves
alto saxophone, 29 august 2019
clachan church, applecross

.
.
.

all sails
alto saxophone, 29 august 2019
clachan church, applecross

.
.
.

hail all saints
alto saxophone, 29 august 2019
clachan church, applecross

.
.
.

maelrubha’s prayer
alto saxophone, 29 august 2019
clachan church, applecross

.
.
.

a steady rain pulsed through the night
alto saxophone, 29 august 2019
clachan church, applecross

.
.
.





sounding out scotland 2019

30 12 2019

 

 

Sounding Out continues in summer 2019 visiting areas of Scotland. After a compulsory stop at Samye Ling, a much loved break in the trip for extended meditation and rituals, the journey continued through Dumfires and Galloway visiting areas unknown both by the sea and through forestry.

The odd explorations of stone towers with resonant cellars met my home made 2.4 shakuhachi, but the first significant experience of Sounding Out was in the artist town of Kirkcudbright where i found a small church hidden in the back streets. Its peaceful simplicity inspired a very melodic approach, gentle and elevated.

The pace picked up with the powerful energy of movement and change which i found in the area of Kilmartin. Walking along loch Awe was a wonderful experience of old pine forests and rushing water. Down in the valley, carved rocks mark an ancient spirituality and the church in the middle of the valley has retained some of the spirit. It is old and quite run down. Tourists ebb and flow, constantly drawing an energy of change and yet, there is something timeless here. In between visitors, the music flows freely to the bright resonance and spirals with the ancient art i have seen.

Moving now to the well loved scenery of the west coast, i return to Mallaig and find this lovely pink church open this time. I jump on the occasion and start playing to the background sounds of a steam train and children playing. This harbour town is simple but attractive. Well worth a visit just for the sense pleasure of freshly baked bread and a pizza lunch overlooking the water. The small chapel on the hill is similarly basic but very pretty. There is a playfulness here that inspires abstract extended techniques and angular harmonic flow. I move freely between modalities and mix sounds at times contemplative, at times firing fast.

 

.
.
.

pastel prose
alto saxophone, 21 august 2019
st cuthbert, kirkcudbright

.
.
.

in artist town
alto saxophone, 21 august 2019
st cuthbert, kirkcudbright

.
.
.

spirals and cups
alto saxophone, 24 august 2019
kilmartin church

.
.
.

amongst the peaks
alto saxophone, 24 august 2019
kilmartin church

.
.
.

dance of the moving wheels
alto saxophone, 24 august 2019
kilmartin church

.
.
.

a spot of pink on the cold hill
alto saxophone, 27 august 2019
st columba’s, mallaig

.
.
.

steam train
alto saxophone, 27 august 2019
st columba’s, mallaig

.
.
.

changing the scene
alto saxophone, 27 august 2019
st columba’s, mallaig

.
.
.





Tête​-​à​-​tête

1 12 2019

each saxophonist works across divergent styles and genres, drawing down their own preferences to suit the individual structures of the moment and blending with each other and with the mood of the piece, such that one may be uncertain of the sound sources – free improv and folk or electro-experimental?  Each piece is a delight.

Ken Cheetham, Jazzviews

 

Following a performance in Sheffield’s Over The Top in April 2019, the duo recorded a session with two alto saxophones. One take was captured at my nexttime studio and this is what you are hearing on this album.

Released by Emil’s label Noumenon, the music is pure energy between two sax improvisers who found themselves in a rather discursive mood. There is shear excitement at this first encounter as a duo that is felt in the music. One hour or so passed unnoticed, and we finished the session with a slower, sparse piece playing around single tones. it felt we were done. and in a single breath, we had an album.

We are delighted to share this with you. a document of a rare encounter. a slice in time of the playing of two compelling improvisers and saxophone wizards.

Thank you to Emil Karlsen for taking on this release. we sincerely hope you much enjoy listening.

.

.

.

.

.

.