Hervé Perez & André Darius – The Bridge
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.
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