La boutique électroacoustique

Broken Ground Christian Bouchard

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… enjoyable and ambiguous electronic music.

— Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, 30 septembre 2017

Bouchard, procede lasciando propagar nel vuoto, l’acustico ridefinito e l’accentuato ronzamento dronante di malinconiche prese elettriche.

— Marco Carcasi, Kathodik, 18 avril 2017

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Broken Ground

Christian Bouchard

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Notes de programme

À propos de l’exposition Broken Ground

L’exposition Broken Ground s’intéresse à sept villes sur une période de dix ans et aux effets du réaménagement de l’infrastructure sur notre perception du paysage urbain. Il pourrait s’agir de n’importe quelle ville, n’importe où dans le monde. J’approche ces sites reconstruits en fonction de ce que permettent les travaux au niveau de la rue comme s’il s’agissait de scènes, avec leurs décors, leurs accessoires, leurs acteurs, leurs entrées et leurs sorties, où on trouve des éléments de preuve parmi les détritus, du désordre, des figures fantomatiques et du hasard.

Dans notre monde d’aujourd’hui, les œuvres revêtent des références hybrides aux réfugiés qui quittent les zones de guerre et aux catastrophes naturelles qui font les manchettes à la télévision.

Le choc entre mes images et la bande sonore électronique de Christian Bouchard fait de cette installation une représentation hypothétique de la transformation constante des villes au fil du temps, ainsi que des traces ou indices qui révèlent la présence antérieure d’autres composants en ces lieux.

Il est possible de trouver beauté et réinterprétation même dans la destruction. Broken Ground est une invitation à reconsidérer la manière dont notre environnement se décompose autour de nous pour, tel le phœnix, renaître de ses cendres en de nouvelles configurations issues de telles interférences. Les villes sont des concepts dans lesquels nous devons constamment être à l’affût de la signalisation pour trouver notre chemin dans un paysage artificiel. Et pourtant, au cœur de cette exposition, on trouve la présence de choses qui nous semblent familières par l’entremise des médias et d’événements spécifiques à d’autres régions du monde.

Derek Besant, Calgary [traduction française: François Couture, xi-16]

La presse en parle

Review

Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, 30 septembre 2017

Enjoying Broken Ground by Christian Bouchard … this award-winning Montréal composer studied under Yves Daoust and has been involved in a number of cinema and installation projects. Matter of fact, this present album could be one of them. It’s the soundtrack for an exhibition put together by the visual artist Derek Besant, and the music premiered in Brighton in 2012. Besant is full of interesting ideas… Broken Ground is an attempt to do something with urban environments and address the way they are changing with non-stop development and profound infrastructure shifts going on everywhere. That is not an especially original idea, but I like Besant’s take on the theme, when he talks about treating urban sites as stage sets with “props, actors, exits and entrances”, and how this helps him perceive something about the underlying laws of chaos. I can’t say that Bouchard’s music exhibits the same intellectual depths, but he is trying hard to get into the spirit of the work. The titles in this 12-part suite all refer to phenomena which may be familiar to highly advanced architectural scientists who observe the decay of buildings, such as Intergranular attack, Kinetic Friction and Low Cycle Fatigue. Or they may simply be invented. Some of the pieces are bolstered with distorted speaking voices, women rattling off what sounds like scientific data, and these factual fragments are effectively collaged into the work, giving it some added sense of authenticity. There’s also a kind of open-endedness to the music which is refreshing, unlike the majority of over-cooked and hyper-dense works we often hear on this label, which exhaust me with their overladen abundance in digital form. If Christian Bouchard wanted to leave the listener with the impression of glimpses of the future and speculative ideas about what is happening to the fabric of modern cities, then he has come close to succeeding with his enjoyable and ambiguous electronic music.

… enjoyable and ambiguous electronic music.

Recensione

Marco Carcasi, Kathodik, 18 avril 2017

Un’insieme di nitide segnalazioni elettroacustiche in statica sospensione chiaroscurale. Il paesaggio urbano di sette città, osservato mutar nel corso di dieci anni, fra decadimento, nuova bellezza e reinterpretazione. Dodici tracce, figlie dell’inclusione del compositore elettroacustico canadese, nel decennale progetto espositivo del connazionale Derek Besant. Bouchard, procede lasciando propagar nel vuoto, l’acustico ridefinito e l’accentuato ronzamento dronante di malinconiche prese elettriche. Raga concentrici in disgregamento calcinoso, fotogramma dopo fotogramma. Consuetudini di passaggi vocianti in montaggio. Manco uno sputo sulla stronza terra, frequenze modulari e qualche eccesso astral/descrittivo.

Bouchard, procede lasciando propagar nel vuoto, l’acustico ridefinito e l’accentuato ronzamento dronante di malinconiche prese elettriche.

Kritik

Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy, no 93, 1 avril 2017

Elettroacustica

Girolamo Dal Maso, Blow Up, 1 mars 2017
6 / 7

Review

Peter van Cooten, ambientblog.net, 24 février 2017

[…] Broken Ground was commissioned for the Broken Ground exhibition by Derek Besant, that has been presented on various locations since 2012 (in 2017 in Madrid, in 2018 in Tokyo). The exhibition “looks at seven cities over ten years, and how redevelopment infrastructure changes our perception of cityscapes. The collision of the imaging with Christian Bouchard’s electronic soundtrack builds the exhibition installation into a hypothetical representation of the constant change cities are in over time, and how components leave traces or clues to the ones that might have existed here… Even in destruction, there lies the possibility for beauty and reinterpretation.”

The relation with cities, cityscapes and redevelopment infrastructure may suggest that the basic material for these soundscapes might be taken from environmental and location recordings. In fact there are no recorded sounds in Broken Ground – all sound sources are electronic. The sound samples were completely dissected and augmented to create a new sound environment to accompany the exhibition completing “a hypothetical representation of the constant change cities are in over time, and how components leave traces or clues to the ones that might have existed here…”

In 2016, the music was remixed to prepare it for this release.

The sound samples were completely dissected and augmented to create a new sound environment to accompany the exhibition…

Kritik

Wolfgang Kabsch, Musik an sich, 15 février 2017

Broken Ground wurde vom Kanadier Christian Bouchard bereits in den Jahren 2011 und 2012 erarbeitet und auf verschiedenen Asstellungen aufgeführt. Nun erscheint das einstündige Werk, bestehend aus zwölf Teilen über empreintes DIGITALes.

Die wuchtige Arbeit kommt mit dunklen, um sich kreisenden elektronischen Drones daher, die durch sägende Elektronik und breiten Keyboardflächen begleitet werden. Dazu mischt Bouchard Stimm — und Geräuschsamples sehr effektiv ein. Die aus diesen Zutaten entstehenden Landschaften sind dunkel, kalt und gotisch. Sie verbreiten die Atmosphäre eines dunklen Horrorfilmes, der auf irgendeinem gottverlassenen Planeten weit draußen im Universum spielt. Mir kommen beim Hören lange, weiße Gänge mit flackerndem Neonlicht, zischende automatische Türen, leise ratternde Computereinheiten und leere Kommandoräume von fast vollständig verlassen Raumstationen in den Kopf. Und aus der Dunkelheit des Raumes kündigt sich die unsichtbare, aber tödliche Gefahr für die wenigen, letzten Humanoiden an.

Andere Beschreibungen fallen mir gerade für die trotzdem sehr faszinierenden, eben weil so bldreichen Sounds dieses spannenden Elektronikwerkes nicht ein.

Der Klang hat eine unschlagbare Brillianz und Räumlichkeit. Bei jedem Hören wird man immer wieder neue Ecken und Inhalte des Raumes entdecken und leicht variierte Fassungen seines eigenen Kopfkinos zu diesem überwältigen Soundtrack bekommen.

Review

Robin Tomens, Include Me Out, 14 février 2017

Commissioned by Derek Besant to accompany his 2012 exhibition, Broken Ground, Christian Bouchard’s album of the same name features remixed versions of the original pieces and they’re exquisite in the attention to detail he pays throughout. You might expect that from someone who studied at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and was awarded First Prize in electroacoustic composition.

As I’ve said before and no doubt will again, to these ears, the technical aspect (the science of electroacoustic music) is but one (necessary) step towards realisation that transcends the study of sound to create sonic wonders. Hear Voids Patterns, for example, it’s treated bell chimes (?), perfectly weighted against static crackle and electric whine. Throughout the works Bouchard shifts the emphasis from a relatively ’light’ tonal palette towards occasionally stable rhythmic patterns along with bursts of guttural noise. The overall balance is towards weightiness but always there are counters, the kind which differentiate this music from, say, simplified Industrial electronics with which you could say this shares some common ground. I might call it ’Industrial music with a degree’… but that could sound stupid. Another superb release from empreintes DIGITALes.

Another superb release from empreintes DIGITALes.

Deux disques nouveaux des Empreintes digitales [1/2]

Stephan Wolf, Amusio, 20 janvier 2017

Nachdem wir anhand von Robert Normandeau, Roxanne Turcotte, Erik Nyström, Monty Atkins & Terri Hron oder Jonty Harrison bereits mehrfach auf das einzigartige Programm des kanadischen und auf Elektroakustik, Akusmatik und Musique Concrète spezialisierten Labels empreintes DIGITALes aufmerksam machen duften, empfehlen wir nachdrücklich auch die aktuellen Veröffentlichungen: Broken Ground von Christian Bouchard (THiiS B, Theresa Transistor) sowie Espaces tautologiques von James O’Callaghan, der u. a. bereits mit dem Ensemble Paramirabo oder Standing Wave kooperierte.


Beginnen wir mit dem 1968 in Québec geborenen Christian Bouchard, der in den Jahren seiner Tätigkeit bereits zahlreiche Auszeichnungen entgegennehmen oder auch indirekt auf sich vereinen durfte. Eine aus der letztgenannten Kategorie entfiel auf die Ausstellung Broken Ground des kanadischen Installationskünstlers Derek Besant anlässlich der 55. Wien-Biennale 2013, die anschließend noch in sechs weiteren Städten zu sehen war, beziehungsweise in diesem (Madrid) und im kommenden Jahr (Tokyo) noch zu sehen sein wird.

Die im vergangenen Jahr erstellte und nun auf CD vorliegende Remix-Version des akustischen Raums von Broken Ground überträgt die Thematik des kontinuierlichem Wandels von Urbanität auf eine stets zwischen Abstraktion und Konkretisierung oszillierende Tonalität, die als beschreibendes Zutun wohl eher die Schattenseiten des besagten Wandels betont, als die Folgen des Fortschritts zu begrüßen. Es sind überaus düstere Anmutungen, die Christian Bouchard mit einer schillernden Vielschichtigkeit beschreibt, wie sie nicht zuletzt auch Connaisseuren von Dark Ambient oder Industrial zusagen dürfte. Wenngleich die Dekomposition einer um sich greifenden Zerstörung auch jene Fluchten tangiert, die in der verbliebenen Identifikation vom Gewesenen nicht zuletzt auch dessen Fortbestand reklamiert.

[…]

Christian Bouchard mit einer schillernden Vielschichtigkeit beschreibt, wie sie nicht zuletzt auch Connaisseuren von Dark Ambient oder Industrial zusagen dürfte.

Review

Christopher Nosnibor, Aural Aggravation, 4 janvier 2017

The background

The exhibition Broken Ground looks at seven cities over ten years, and how redevelopment infrastructure changes our perception of cityscapes. These cities could be anywhere (everywhere). Reconstructed from the opportunities of street level construction, I treat the sites more like stage sets, where there are props, actors, entries and exits, and evidence through the debris, disarray, shadows of figures and randomness throughout.

In our contemporary world the works have taken on hybrid references of displaced people from war zones, or natural disasters that fill nightly newscasts in the media.

The review

It’s an unsettling work. An apocalyptic, post-nuclear work. An album that lurks under the shadow of the bomb. It’s an album for unsettled times, a soundtrack to a return to the distrust of cold war politics and a global culture defined by social and political division, fear, uncertainty and mass murder. Broken Ground is a dark album for dark times.

From the very outset, Bouchard manipulates dark, throbbing layers of undulating, yawning drones and grating tidal waves of noise, dragging them across birdsong-like tweets of analogue twitters, sounding like a corpse in a tarpaulin being hauled down gravel drive at sunset. Yawning, drawling harmonica-like notes drift lazily, and somehow awkwardly, stretched and distended, over groaning low to mid-range backdrops: almost-familiar sounds are bent out of shape and rendered unfriendly. Intergranular Attack goes in low, snake-like whispers and bleak monotone narrative samples deliver reports of atomic science with a detached clinicality, and the theme is revisited in the fragmented, fractured post-apocalyptic time capsule that is Resistant Materials.

Dark tones creep and hover, while washes of snarling noise and contrails of feedback linger amidst screeds of sharp-edged sheets of sound and washes of nebulous noise. Glitchy, crackling beats thud disconcertingly through a stammering hum on Hysteries, and the scratchy oscillations of Voids Patterns offers a fresh take on spacey / spaced out reverby darkness.

Broken Ground finds Bouchard exploring well-trodden experimental fields and offering something new. Charming chimes assume an ominous demeanour; voices drift, detached in empty space. There is no comfort or solace to be taken from their presence: they’re distant, disconnected, out of reach, perhaps by light years. You may be receiving, but there’s no way to make two-way contact: you’re lost in a wave of pink noise and a fizz of rolling static.

As in space, so on earth: each person sitting, alone, boxed in: connected in the virtual world but never more alone and isolated now. Tapping out comments and messages, condolences and sympathy for the displaced and the damaged reported by the media: it’s merely mechanical. You feel nothing for them, you feel nothing for yourself: you’re numb, a drone. You don’t really connect. You’re floating in virtual space.

The voices, stammering, echoing in fractured snippets of different languages from the speakers are no more familiar than the voices from around the world, beamed to your computer and smart phone. This is the world of dislocation and dis-ease Bouchard depicts with such precision on Broken Ground. It’s awkward and uncomfortable, but looking in the mirror always is.

Broken Ground finds Bouchard exploring well-trodden experimental fields and offering something new.