399

Sophie Agnel: Capsizing Moments

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Sophie Agnel: Capsizing Moments Sophie Agnel plays prepared piano, although she herself prefers to speak of "extensive piano." Her preparations evolve during the course of her playing as, inside the piano, she adds, moves or removes such objects as disposable water cups, foil ashtrays, bouncing balls and nylon fishing line.

This CD was recorded live in concert at Les Instants Chavires, near Paris in November 2008. Fortunately, the whole concert is included unedited, allowing the effect of those shifting preparations to be appreciated in context. They introduce an unpredictable element to the piano, giving the instrument a far broader range of possibilities than an unprepared piano.

At times it's possible to believe a trio is playing as percussive effects or high pitched tones join the conventional piano sound. Tellingly, the album's credits spell out the fact that Agnel used no electronics. This is necessary to counter the available aural evidence; for instance, "Capsizing Moments 2" opens with a high pitched screech that could be from a violin or soprano saxophone, and is unlike any piano tone. As it is not electronically generated, which of the preparations produced it and how is an open question.

Preparations aside, this three-part work is engaging music, with extensive passages of normal piano. The low end of the piano seems largely to have escaped preparations, judging by the sustained bass rumble that Agnel maintains for large sections of "Capsizing Moments 1," underpinning her playing elsewhere on the keyboard. The interactions between her left and right hands are captivating throughout. So, in "Capsizing Moments 2," she generates a rippling effect that is punctuated by percussive chords.

For some pianists, a section of prepared piano acts as a novelty interlude. That is never the case with Agnel. She fully integrates the preparations and they contribute to the drama and excitement of this fine music.

Track Listing: Capsizing Moments part 1; Capsizing Moments part 2; Capsizing Moments part 3.

Personnel: Sophie Agnel: solo piano, with variable preparations but no electronics.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Emanem | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Jazzin' Around Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Jazzin' Around Christmas
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "Heads & Tales Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Heads & Tales Volume 2
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Groovin'" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin'
by Jeff Winbush
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "Double Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Double Quartet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!