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Montreal-based Canadian radio presenter, producer and sound artist Hélène Prévost creates in her debut recording a play within play, made of words and manipulated sounds that blur the distinctions between reality and fiction, real and virtual time. À la plage ("at the beach" in French) has nothing to do with breezy, recreational, summer leisure time but actually is a word play on the word "plage," a track.
The ten tracks distill Prévost's great experience of working with the most innovative and experimental improvisers in Canada and abroad, as a producer of programs on Radio Canada from 1978-2007. She reassembles her exploratory field recordingscomprised of fragments of talks and words, urban sounds, and samples of what may have been conventional instruments in some archaic pastinto distinct yet abstract sound universes. All these sound worlds are highly expressive in their detailed and poetic sonic ecologies. All are carefully devised sonic events that accumulate into an arresting journey in sounds, real and imagined, live, manipulated and processed.
Some of these sonic abstractions replicate real-life experiences (as the fourth that creates an industrial environment), but the fifth suggests an enigmatic drone, and the sixth is a disturbing soundscape comprised of noises. The quiet mechanical sounds of the eighth and ninth parts already offer evocative, dreamy sonic journeys. The last onemelting, mixing, and sampling, sounds of sirens, bells, electronic calls and broken wordssounds indeed as a rhythmic wake-up call from this mysterious trip within sounds.
Track Listing: À La Plage 1; À La Plage 2; À La Plage 3; À La Plage 4; À La Plage 5; À
La Plage 6; À La Plage 7; À La Plage 8; À La Plage 9; À La Plage 10.
Personnel: Hélène Prévost: field recordings, electronics.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.