get some jazz beats

3 07 2015

hello friends,

it’s been a while since i last wrote here, but do not despair, musical movements are continuously taking shape… so after a period mostly dedicated to collaborative work  (which has been very productive, with several albums and compilations released in the past few months, see previous posts), i decided that my own work and compositions had taken the back shelf for far too long.

i have so many project files with sketches, nearly finished tracks, ideas thrown around, i did not know where to start…

so to ease myself back into the swing (of things), i reacquainted my horn to the house mike, and i tell you, the luxury suite at nexTTime studios is sweet as ever.

two new pieces will perfectly accompany your summery meanderings. i posted these on soundcloud, so don’t hesitate to hit me and show some love, if you like it…

 

i decided to begin with my latest creation, which went like this. well, it was a warm day and…

ok, it’s not gonna be a once upon a time story, but there IS a happy ending, i promise.

bored with scales and having finished my practice routine, i wanted to play along to some track and have some fun. i discarded the youtube jazz scene and wanted to up-beat it. this is where live comes in.

sax in one hand, hitting some keys with the other, here goes a couple of chords. sax doodles ensue and i just had to get some ballzy bass in there. ain’t loops great. no, not really, but this one just hit the spot and man, i’m riding the wave so here goes, on the fly, some basic jazz kit ride along.

and it’s grooving down here with an added 808 kit, some pitch and granulation on the sax, even some spectral space-sines processing (that shadow the sax lines). i could swear i just heard an apparition from the great north, it’s like molvaer woz ere.

 

you know, i’m spoiled with much interesting and experimental music and so i have a very low threshold for cheese. and techno is right there with the cream of the cream. but take a listen, 4/4 can be fun AND interesting at the same time. i dunno, somehow it made some sort of sense at the time.

ain’t live great. spinning beats on the fly with one hand… and i got myself a track. a little sculpting and reshuffle later, i revisited the sax, keeping some of the processing, striping it right down, for a driving yet light feel. and the living is easy…

the phrase from plato, picked up by foucault, is one i keep referring to. the Techne Tou Biou is quite central i would say. and it resonates with me. with my current routine, practice and thinking processes – which include music and meditation – the perfect blend of science, art and spirituality just hits the spot. Techne Tou Biou refers to a science and craft of living. guidelines to a happy experience of our time on earth. this is where the buddhist teachings come handy. and well, it is common sense, logical principles that come up in many cultures.

so i think that this piece is somewhat fitting for a highly charged title. there is an easy-going complexity and beautiful depth in simple forms that touch on the concept. i hope this is how it feels anyway. do let me know!

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following on the excitement, i revisited an older track. i had drums, bass and keys laid out. this is a format i have been using for a certain type of compositions. simple structures. realistic lineup. no frills. just an excuse to lay down some sax.

the live setup and software instruments is not my sound of choice, but it’s something more immediate than the finer work that goes into electroacoustic pieces. so for the times when i feel like playing notes, when i crave for beats, when i’m in the mood for some jazz cuts, this is the place i go. it’s quite a departure from abstract extended techniques and fancy electronic processing, but it still is my sound. and as you would expect, any of the tracks i produce are just not going to fit into any of the usual boxes.

i have many hats. none of them fit. but if you want some jazz, if you want some hip hop, electronica, improv, of whatever resonates, i hope you’ll dig this. it is indeed a meeting of opposites, an impossible combination, and it is seriously fun. had to be an ‘oxymore’.

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so put on your red shoes, here’s some rainbow sax to tickle your dancing feet.

 

 

 





the science of mind

21 06 2015



when we think of calming down the mind and we become aware of what’s going on in the mind, we say ‘waow, there’s so many thoughts’.

it’s not that there are more thoughts than ever, you start to become aware of what’s going on in your mind from morning till evening. we are full of thoughts.

because the mind is like a spoiled brat, constantly moving here and there, reminiscing the past, imagining the future, and never in the present moment.

so try to focus your mind.

we say it’s like the butterfly. the butterfly stays on the flower, so he sorts of goes away for no reason then comes back. so, it’s ok, you will be distracted, but you should bring back your mind.

and so meditation will help you to become the master of your mind.
and master of the mind is not the absence of freedom. often people think ‘i am going to control my mind, sort of reducing my freedom.’

take the example of the sailor at sea. what is freedom? to let the boat wherever the currents and the wind blow? that’s not freedom, that’s drifting.

freedom is to take the helm and navigate where you have chosen to go.

so if you are in charge of your own mind, that’s freedom.

matthieu ricard
in
“The Buddhist Science of the Mind”

 

 





The Bridge – album release

19 05 2015

 

Hervé Perez & André Darius – The Bridge

 

thebridgeHead

Released
06 May 2015

building bridges is a tricky business. the rivers we cross are never the same. as we leave the shore behind, we do not know where we will land.

 

 

 

it is with great pleasure that i announce the release of the album The Bridge.

this work is a collaboration between bass player extraordinaire André D and Hervé Perez.

 

i have been working with andré for a while and we have collaborated in various projects. we have released an album together with guitarist christophe meulien published by french label Nowaki.

we both participate in an ongoing real-time improvisation online following visual scores and queues generated by a max-msp program designed by jesse ricke and lisa lee

working online and collaborating using file exchange is becoming a strong feature of my work. and andré is a master at this. you can find here a discography of his diverse work.

i am very excited by this collaboration. and working with andré is an honour and a real pleasure. i think we cover a really eclectic range of material and yet our sound remains coherent throughout. i see this as a concept album where we experiment with different composition methods, with a common approach. some of the playing is very abstract, some is rather melodic. there is pure improvisation. there is digital sculpture. there is even rhythm. there is complex arrangements. there is noise. there is groove.

the starting point was a recording of me playing drums. yes, right, drums. and i am no drummer, by all means. i just had an opportunity to spend some time with a kit a while back and played around. just enjoying the movement, enjoying the flow, my inability to keep a rhythm, but my interest in tone and timbre. all right, i will admit at this point having practiced snare rolls in the past. it was at a time i was experimenting with recording techniques on a Fostex 4-tracks, discovering improvisation and making sounds with anything i could get my hands on. i had various hand percussion, and my set included three large metal tubs collected when i worked in a paint factory. i had two toms with microtonal differences and a makeshift snare on which i did the notorious “papa-maman” exercise. and i could march the hell out of a military roll.

so here i am dancing around the drumset while my friend’s out of the house, recording this on my zoom. turned out pretty good for a non-drummer. even better, when later, i discovered some cool effects accidentally processing the recording in ableton live. this unleashed the beast, and i started hacking, chopping, sculpting the heck out of this drum track, using a mixture of plugins and painstaking cut and paste, chop, chop by hand and precise placement.

as we had been talking about doing a duo project, i sent andré the drum sculpture. a long track of a messed up, choppy crazy noise full on drums. of course, andré recorded some amazing improvisation that gave sense to the noise and gave it life. this was the basis for the two longer pieces in the album. i then re-cut and refined the drum part. and gradually, i added my signature mix of field recording sounds, some harmony and sax improvisation. somehow, it just worked.

we decided to record some new tracks with a closer more intimate feel, focusing on timbre and closer to the spirit of improvisation. this time, andré started off with bass and eub and we produced two shorter tracks that are more stripped down and purer.

a while later, we thought we’d need more material and yet another method. andré recorded two very short melodic improvisations which i cut up and processed. i wanted some drums to refer back to the original tracks and decided to use samples from a recording session with peter fairclough. one piece is heavily processed, in keeping with the original pieces, another has a real groove to it. in both cases, i used a range of bass samples, some direct sound, some processed, spread out sparsely across the drum tracks. and finally, recorded some sax improvisations in two different styles.

throughout the project, we have used different methodology, approaching composition in different ways from simple takes to complex arrangements, from dry sound to very processed and cut up samples. with each approach, we produced tracks in pairs. and within each pair, we covered very different styles of playing. and yet, the overall sound remains coherent. it is as if the group had instantly developed a signature sound. and yet, this is very different to whatever we both have done individually.

i must say, i am very excited by this work, and i am delighted that we are now releasing it, hoping to share this with as many people as possible. not just because of the sheer volume of hard work and time put into it. but because i sincerely believe there is something of great value here. we have undoubtedly put our heart and soul in these recordings, and even after many hours of work and listening to the pieces over and over again, i can still feel it. i still enjoy listening to the work. and i really hope you will too.

please help us make more, and support this work by donating generously. but most importantly, sit back, relax and… enjoy…:

andré and hervé are pleased to give you, The Bridge

 

 





Shiki – Mehata Sentimental Legend and Hervé Perez

24 02 2015

Shiki

album MPR23 Hervé Perez & Mehata Sentimental Legend – Shiki

 

Central to this work is a practice inspired by traditional Japanese music and particularly the shakuhachi: improvisation and mindfulness. The artists’ meditative practice and deep connection with the environment is present throughout their music, both through their communication with the natural world, elements and soundscapes, but also in their use of natural acoustics.

Even though many instruments used are traditional (mostly Japanese flutes and percussion) often, the contents are references to both traditional forms and contemporary music styles.

Released by:
Mind Plug Records
Release date:
23 February 2015

 

 

i am very happy to announce the release of the album Shiki by berlin label Mind Plug Records.

 

 

 

Shiki is the product of a collaboration between sound artists and improvisers Mehata Sentimental Legend and Hervé Perez.

The exchange is made possible through modern technology: from recording techniques to modern instruments, samplers and most importantly, communication technology which allows for social network communities such as soundcloud and large file exchanges over the net.

And although this work is very modern, there is something timeless about it. Some of the instruments used are traditional (mostly Japanese flutes and percussion) and often, the contents are references to both traditional forms and contemporary music styles.

Moreover, beyond the practical and tangible aspects, the entire collaboration has a quality that is beyond time and styles. The process of recording, file exchange, development of the work has evolved in a very organic way: slowly, taking time, over long periods, and happened only as and when relevant. There was never a desire or pressure to create a product, and rather, things happened when they felt ‘right’ and at the appropriate time for both of us.

The same frame of mind applies to every aspect of the work. And the understanding between collaborators has always been on a deeply human and natural level – the basis of which was a meeting of spirit. Outside the boundaries of time and space.

Although there is a thread running through the album, connecting each piece, the tracks are unique, and were created in a singular way. One may be able to hear the evolution in approach of these documents of events, performances, over time.

Central to the work is a practice inspired by traditional Japanese music and particularly the shakuhachi: improvisation and mindfulness. A meditative practice and deep connection with the environment is present throughout (communication with the natural world, the elements and soundscape but also the use of natural acoustics – see for ex. Hervé’s project ‘sounding out’ on his website and web pages).

The starting points of many of these tracks are in situ recordings. Mehata’s insightful and very sensitive participation painted a coherent image and gave meaning to the work with the use of colour, completely in tune with the quality of energy. Inspired and inspirational, Mehata’s arrangements made the original improvisations flourish.

To complete the cycle, the tracks traveled back to Hervé for production, mixing and mastering.

The process of making this work has been deeply inspiring, and a true pleasure for both of us. And we sincerely hope you will enjoy our shared attraction to deep listening.

released 23 February 2015





Some Some Unicorn and The Golden Periphery

31 12 2014

i am very pleased to be part of a project generated by sean blezzard. the cd has just been released and is available in hard copy and download from the man himself.

these are very exciting compositions involving many musicians from various backgrounds, using a range of instruments both traditional and electronic, as well as spoken word/poetry.
sean first submitted a series of sketches – which we used as a basis for improvisation – and then re-arranged all the participants’ responses into completely new compositions.

please have a listen and order your copy following the links…

What Is Some Some Unicorn?

Some Some Unicorn is an experiment in communal music making.

Working on the border of composition and improvisation this work has drawn together 30 artists from the fields of improv, electronics, jazz, poetry and popular music. Some names you will know, some you don’t yet, but all have given time and talent to become Some Some Unicorn.

The concept originated during my time as a New Voice composer with Sound and Music after many conversations about what a composer is. Are you a composer if you improvise? So I decided to make an album that was composed from a variety of improvisations. I recorded a couple of hours worth of improvisational ‘sketches’ on iPad which were uploaded to the cloud and an open call went out for others to work with the material, playing along or playing with it. This completed part one, twelve tracks of dense work that was put out again for ‘overdubs’.

When I got the second versions back the hard work began of getting an album that was coherent and still featured everyone. It was now called Some Some Unicorn and The Golden Periphery and I’ve slowly mixed and edited it down to an album length. There were around 30 musicians and artists involved in this part of the process all bringing their own talents, but a special note to poet Ann Wilson for the words and artist Ruth Green for the original artwork – they really have pulled the concept together :-)

Shaun Blezard 2014

Thanks to Sound and Music for the tremendous support during my time as a New Voice composer.
credits
released 13 December 2014

Music: Shaun Blezard with Aardvark, Martin Archer, Jamie Barnes, Alex Botten, David Browne, Adrian Carter, Matt Cowe, Alexander Cutteridge, James Darrington, Pete Dent, Anthony Donovan, Graham Dowdall, Dave Fleet, Simon Fox, Samuel Freeman, Phill Gregg, Stephen Grew, The Kendal Mintcake, David Wright LaGrone, Alexx O’Shea, Herve Perez, Stuart Russell, Ian Simpson, Stephen Shiell, Jim Tetlow, Roger Vaughn, Jonathan Watt, Steve Wharton, Hannah White and the SSU Choir of Hope

Words: Ann Wilson

Original artwork: Ruth Green





Explorations in Intercultural Tele-Improvisation

29 12 2014

Originally posted on Diaspora:

We are pleased to announce the release of our debut album Diaspora : Explorations in Tele-Improvisation through the Chilean net label Peublo Nuevo to be released 16.12.14.

Download

Diaspora-CARATULA_BASE-REV2

Diaspora is a compilation of live freely improvised performances by Ethernet Orchestra recorded between 2009-2014. It features musicians from a diverse range of cultures and musical traditions performing simultaneously between Iran and Australia via North America, Brazil and Europe. The ensemble combines an array of instruments including Mongolian horse fiddle & throat singing, tabla, Persian tanbur & tar blended with Buchla synthesizer, guitar, trumpet, sax and Max/MSP processing.The majority of the recordings are from performances with live, online, and co-located audiences. Many of these performances also included visual artists Helen Varley Jamieson, Neil Jenkins, Graziano Milano and Michael Szpakowski mixing live visual collages in the networked audiovisual platform VisitorsStudio. These mixes can be viewed from the menu above.

Performing musicians include; Mark Francombe (NO) – guitar Bukhchuluun…

View original 120 more words





Club Instabil

16 12 2014
Club Instabil 12.2014
Club Instabil 12.2014, Photo Klaus G. Kohn

Club Instabil 12.2014 – a two days artists meeting at Studio_A | Kunstmühle about experimental audio visual art featuring Marek Choloniewski (Krakow), Lukasz Szalankiewicz (Poznan), Roger Mills (Sydney) and Hervé Perez (Sheffield), organized by Elke Utermöhlen und Martin Slawig from blackhole-factory.

Photos by Klaus G. Kohn:

Club Instabil 12.2014 Lukasz SzalankiewiczClub Instabil 12.2014 Marek CholoniewskiClub Instabil 12.2014 blackhole-factory

Club Instabil 12.2014 blackhole-factoryClub Instabil 12.2014 blackhole-factoryClub Instabil 12.2014

Club Instabil 12.2014 Roger Mills + Hervé PerezClub Instabil 12.2014 Roger MillsClub Instabil 12.2014 Roger Mills + Hervé Perez

Club Instabil Family TableClub Instabil 12.2014Roger Mills

 

 

listen to an extract from the duo nada

hervé perez (alto sax) and roger mills (trumpet)

live improvisation at Club Instabil, Brunswick, 06 dec 2014

more improvisations here

 

Club Instabil 12.2014
Club Instabil 12.2014








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