Unexpected Visitor

18 03 2021

Very excited about this new release with my good friend and bass player Gus Garside.

The album has been released by New York label 577, and you can stream it on bandcamp, or listen using the player below.

Meeting for the first time as an acoustic duo in their collaborative album, The Unexpected Visitor, UK-based musicians Gus Garside and Hervé Perez explore the musical interpretations of a 13th Century Poem, “The Guest House” by Rumi. The album captures a series of improvisations played between March and May 2020, before and during the official UK lockdowns, some recorded in the same room together, some individually by each musician at home. This album is a selection of music from their original session and their telematic at-home improvisations, woven together by Rumi’s naturally evolving poetic narrative. Informed by the practice of deep listening, the musicians composed the album with angular melodic lines and abstract passages, exploring the resonant qualities and structural design of the saxophone and double bass. The tracks offer reflective and inviting duets, embodying the transient curiosity and sincere openness of the poem they’re inspired by, “This being human is a guest house / Every morning a new arrival.” 

credits

released February 20, 2021

Gus Garside  – Double bass
Hervé Perez –  Saxophone

Recorded by Hervé Perez & Gus Garside, in March-May 2020 
The first session recorded in Brighton, UK. Subsequent sessions recorded with both players in their own homes, while improvising in real time online, connected via low-latency software.

Mixed and mastered by Hervé Perez at nexttime studios

Photo by Hervé Perez
Album design by Mark Smith

All music by Gus Garside (PRS) and Hervé Perez, 2020

Reviews

“/ The Unexpected Visitor / is a conceptual work of excellent workmanship… in which the evident skills of the two musicians are effortlessly highlighted.”

“Gus Garside and * Hervé Perez * must be given credit for having recreated a coherent and full-bodied sound flow, where almost all the pieces of the mosaic are in their place.”

Giuseppe Vitale – radioaktiv.it

“The bass and sax duo are highly practised improvisers who bring an atmospheric clarity to their music that reflects their close heeding of each other.  There are also less-tangible selections that replicate and resonate the inherent mood of what this music is about…

This music is contemplative and peace-making and I think it appropriately reflects spiritual concerns.”

Ken Cheetham – Jazzviews

“The key to such enjoyment rests with the playing of Garside and Perez, their listening and reacting to one another, their empathy and mutual respect. Both players are fluent and fluid on their instruments, adept at producing melodic passages and deep rich tones, leading to some exquisite exchanges between them. When the occasion arises, they can each veer off to explore the outer limits of the capabilities of those instruments rather than always remaining in safe territory. The combination of all these ingredients is an album of great variety which handsomely repays repeated listening and seems guaranteed to do so for years. This should not be this duo’s only recording.”

John Eyles – All About Jazz

“Perez’s wide drones and sul tasto buzzes from Garside push the sequence to its furthest, most multiphonic reaches without losing close communication. From that point on the duo alternates between stretches of barely-there sequences to lyrical motifs that feature clarion reed peeps and cello-pitched string rubs in sequence exploration.”

Ken Waxman – Squid’s Ear

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Jalal al-Din Rumi





Résonance #10 [nt028]

8 03 2021

Résonance documents a series of live improvisations on laptop. The performances feature field recordings and electronic elements, beats, and digital processing.

Location recordings include resonant spaces that add their own colour to the existing soundscape, sounds of the five elements (TCM, qi gong), natural and environmental sounds, found sounds etc.
The sound design focuses on sculpting the natural resonant frequencies of recorded sounds, as well as textural and gestural qualities.

The work is grounded in electroacoustic tradition and draws from experimental electronic music, with a strong focus on deep listening. Every performance is entirely improvised.

**

One year on, a new listening meditation performed at the Sheffield Buddhist Centre to experienced meditators. The practice based on nada, the sound of silence, invites the audience to use the continuously evolving soundscape as support for meditation. Bringing the awareness to details and texture or to the entire balance of sounds and its evolving narrative bears similarities with mindfulness of breathing. One aims to become immersed in the sonic world presented, in all its details, and also observe the interaction between parts and the unfolding narrative.

This performances is the best example of the use of electroacoustic material, at its most minimal, focusing on the resonant frequencies of the five elements, beat frequencies, entrainment, and deep listening to field recordings of natural sounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Résonance #9 [nt027]

1 03 2021

Résonance documents a series of live improvisations on laptop. The performances feature field recordings and electronic elements, beats, and digital processing.

Location recordings include resonant spaces that add their own colour to the existing soundscape, sounds of the five elements (TCM, qi gong), natural and environmental sounds, found sounds etc.
The sound design focuses on sculpting the natural resonant frequencies of recorded sounds, as well as textural and gestural qualities.

The work is grounded in electroacoustic tradition and draws from experimental electronic music, with a strong focus on deep listening. Every performance is entirely improvised.

**

Starting a new phase in the development of electroacoustic material, those two performances come after a break from solo sets. Meanwhile, i have been generating material and adapting my electroacoustic range of sounds for the group Inclusion Principle. My approach to sound sculpture has gradually been focusing on minimal detail. The harmonic contents are simpler, to fit with other instruments, but also to hone in on particular frequencies and highlighting details of interaction, phase relations and interference patterns – beats.

By creating space, the focus shifts towards relations and the notion of distance and perspective. The texture, tonality and gestural quality of natural sounds is very much present, but we are delving deeper into the essential quality of sound, into the vibrational universe.

This spaciousness, and the invitation to practice deep listening naturally leads to the pratice of meditation and mindfulness through listening. So it felt right to present this work as nada, the sound of silence, and invite the audience to meditate using soundscapes as support of concentration; using the traditional meditation practice (also used by composer Pauline Oliveiros) that alternates and merges the close listening to detail with the awareness of the overal shape of our entire aural experience.

In a sense, i feel that this work, from the beginning, has been pointing in this direction, with the sculpting of field recordings aiming to bring attention to the very core, the vibrational quality, the very architectural characteristic of the reality we experience as sound. Similarly, the use of five elements, borrowed from spiritual practice and TCM also points to the internal working of natural balance. Sound as a metaphor for the nature of reality. Everything is sound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Résonance #8 [nt026]

22 02 2021

Résonance documents a series of live improvisations on laptop. The performances feature field recordings and electronic elements, beats, and digital processing.

Location recordings include resonant spaces that add their own colour to the existing soundscape, sounds of the five elements (TCM, qi gong), natural and environmental sounds, found sounds etc.
The sound design focuses on sculpting the natural resonant frequencies of recorded sounds, as well as textural and gestural qualities.

The work is grounded in electroacoustic tradition and draws from experimental electronic music, with a strong focus on deep listening. Every performance is entirely improvised.

**

This is a rather nice recording of two sets, both performed in the Showroom café bar, as a series of solo gigs i did in support of a jazz/experiemental night i was running in the cinema bar.

A direct recording from the desk, this recording has a really detailed, intimate quality. Electronic beats meet cut up field recordings in a surreal crash between sound worlds. Nothing is prepared in advance. The sets are woven together and improvised moment to moment. You can hear as i call up samples, loop a selection on the fly, apply effects or processing and match the beats. I like that DIY quality of experimental dance music done à-la-improv with EA flavouring and field-rec gallore. These sets are the best of both worlds, improvised to an audience of passing cinema viewers who had no idea what hit them. Great times. And of course, the omnipresent drones are sculpted for your ears (and guts), vibrating the hell out of your chakras, with five elements delicious resonant frequencies. What’s not to like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Résonance #7 [nt025]

15 02 2021

Résonance documents a series of live improvisations on laptop. The performances feature field recordings and electronic elements, beats, and digital processing.

Location recordings include resonant spaces that add their own colour to the existing soundscape, sounds of the five elements (TCM, qi gong), natural and environmental sounds, found sounds etc.
The sound design focuses on sculpting the natural resonant frequencies of recorded sounds, as well as textural and gestural qualities.

The work is grounded in electroacoustic tradition and draws from experimental electronic music, with a strong focus on deep listening. Every performance is entirely improvised.

**

And for something different, here are two sets performed on the same night, in the Showroom café bar.
I was running a night of jazz, improvisation and experimental music, and during that time, provided support for the groups by doing solo laptop sets. It was an opportunity for me to continue developing my sound, and try out my approach to electroacoustic improvisation in different contexts. The café is a busy and noisy place, so I adapted my sound and abstract narratives adding electronic elements and beats.

Field recordings and electronics slyly seep in the dense noise and chatter, and gradually take over as the set intensifies. Deep bass rumbles and beats. Accidental noises and voices become part of the soundscape. Things escalate. Beats overlap. A glimmer of light. Well, you’ll just have to listen. It’s a trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Résonance #6 [nt024]

8 02 2021

Résonance documents a series of live improvisations on laptop. The performances feature field recordings and electronic elements, beats, and digital processing.

Location recordings include resonant spaces that add their own colour to the existing soundscape, sounds of the five elements (TCM, qi gong), natural and environmental sounds, found sounds etc.
The sound design focuses on sculpting the natural resonant frequencies of recorded sounds, as well as textural and gestural qualities.

The work is grounded in electroacoustic tradition and draws from experimental electronic music, with a strong focus on deep listening. Every performance is entirely improvised.

**

These three live recordings from 2011 are good examples of how the work has evolved, gradually moving towards a minimal and meditative approach to electroacoustic performances.
We take the time to delve into the mood and narrative sequences offered by field recordings. Atmos tracks and resonant spaces frame environments where the five elements unfold and balance. Aspects of the previous series are carried over with sine tones that blend and interact with the resonant frequencies of natural sounds.

The recording process is also different, and works as a meditation in itself. And so the material recorded becomes more subtle, focusing on details that will blend into multiple layers in performance. Increasingly, it becomes obvious that the accidental convergence of sounds from different recordings occurs in a natural way – the music makes itself. This highlights the importance of using sounds that no agency other than nature itself created.
The world is sound, and all is music. I just let my meditations direct the microphones, in true art of the dérive, and let the moment inspire the sounds that are dealt in performance. How the layers communicate is magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Résonance #5 [nt023]

1 02 2021

Résonance documents a series of live improvisations on laptop. The performances feature field recordings and electronic elements, beats, and digital processing.

Location recordings include resonant spaces that add their own colour to the existing soundscape, sounds of the five elements (TCM, qi gong), natural and environmental sounds, found sounds etc.
The sound design focuses on sculpting the natural resonant frequencies of recorded sounds, as well as textural and gestural qualities.

The work is grounded in electroacoustic tradition and draws from experimental electronic music, with a strong focus on deep listening. Every performance is entirely improvised.

**

Three live recordings performed close to each other, as a series that uses as a starting point a very simple set of sounds. And yet, each performance is quite different from the others in feel and narrative. Both are inspired by the environment.

Sound phenomena, using interference patterns and beat frequencies, occupy an illusory space, other than recorded sounds. Field recordings take a step back and leave at the front the interaction of sine waves in sets that also related to the resonant frequecies of the field recordings.

From conditions arise new experiences. Ghost tones appear and disappear, only created by interactions at work in the sonic world that unfolds within your ears.

Those room recordings are a little noisy at times, but it gives a sense of the place each piece was set against.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Résonance #4 [nt022]

25 01 2021

Résonance documents a series of live improvisations on laptop. The performances feature field recordings and electronic elements, beats, and digital processing.

Location recordings include resonant spaces that add their own colour to the existing soundscape, sounds of the five elements (TCM, qi gong), natural and environmental sounds, found sounds etc.
The sound design focuses on sculpting the natural resonant frequencies of recorded sounds, as well as textural and gestural qualities.

The work is grounded in electroacoustic tradition and draws from experimental electronic music, with a strong focus on deep listening. Every performance is entirely improvised.

**

Three performances that focus on a more minimalist approach, delving deeper into the texture and tones of field recordings. Natural sounds animate those ambient improvisations whose static colours modulate to the resonant frequencies of the five elements.

With each performance featuring new samples, the database i am building is gradually offering a richer selection from the five elements, and i am also developing the process of sculpting natural sounds, inceasingly focusing on specific tones, or generally simpler harmonic contents. This allows for a more precise use of sine waves as they interact with processed field recordings. The improvisations reveal the physical interactions of vibrations, creating beats and other sound phenomena in the performance space.

 

 

 





Résonance #3 [nt021]

22 01 2021

Résonance documents a series of live improvisations on laptop. The performances feature field recordings and electronic elements, beats, and digital processing.

Location recordings include resonant spaces that add their own colour to the existing soundscape, sounds of the five elements (TCM, qi gong), natural and environmental sounds, found sounds etc.
The sound design focuses on sculpting the natural resonant frequencies of recorded sounds, as well as textural and gestural qualities.

The work is grounded in electroacoustic tradition and draws from experimental electronic music, with a strong focus on deep listening. Every performance is entirely improvised.

**

The third series is made of two performances recorded close together while on tour in the south of France. Both concerts were recorded by the venues, and i am very pleased to have high quality documents that are fairly representative of this early work.

While the database of sounds i can draw from is growing, i am able to delve deep into the character of each of the five elements and at the same time, present a whole range of tonal centers. The sculpting of natural sounds increasingly draws on the natural resonance of the source, while at the same time matches resonant frequencies of the body, used in sound healing – as proposed by the research of Leon Bence, Max Mereaux etc.

The addition of random electronic beats (reaktor) and live processing (granulation, spectral, etc.) gives the work a more experimental edge. Field recordings populate strange soundscapes where resonant spaces and different acoustics clash. We dive into the rich complexity of sounds of the five elements, observing textures from within and experiencing the entire universe in a grain of sound.

 

 

 

 





Résonance #2 [nt020]

21 01 2021

Résonance documents a series of live improvisations on laptop. The performances feature field recordings and electronic elements, beats, and digital processing.

Location recordings include resonant spaces that add their own colour to the existing soundscape, sounds of the five elements (TCM, qi gong), natural and environmental sounds, found sounds etc.
The sound design focuses on sculpting the natural resonant frequencies of recorded sounds, as well as textural and gestural qualities.

The work is grounded in electroacoustic tradition and draws from experimental electronic music, with a strong focus on deep listening. Every performance is entirely improvised.

**

The second series has two medium length performances live in Bristol and Manchester. #

Moving on from Résonance #1 i have now started to build a database of samples while developing my approach to electroacoustic improvisation while working in France with other improvisers, musicians and dancers, visual artists etc. For a while, i stuck to a process by which i would produce new sounds unique to each performance, and as my database grew, i started to vary the material i could draw from as i was improvising.

Gradually, i could instantly call up on specific sounds, resonance or tones that i felt were needed at that point. So the sounds were not unique to the performance anymore, but each performance was increasingly shaped by the space and the audience, and my response to the experience.

 

The work moves between minimal suspended moments, textural intensity and ambient drones, following the narrative of featured soundscapes. Field recordings shift to glitch and noise and several sonic universes collide.