52

Toma Gouband: Courant des Vents

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Toma Gouband: Courant des Vents A lithophone is a musical instrument consisting of a rock or pieces of rock which are struck to produce musical notes, either in combination, producing harmony, or in succession, producing melodies. In May, 2011, French percussionist Toma Gouband visited London to play at the annual Freedom of the City festival, solo and in an Evan Parker octet including Matt Wright and Lawrence Casserley on electronics. Gouband played a lithophone and other assorted means of percussion, including a bunch of tree branches in leaf; his distinctive instruments and playing of them left a long-lasting impression on all who witnessed his performances.

On May 3, the day after the festival, he was recorded solo, playing lithophone and percussion, in Parker's favorite recording location, St Peter's, Whitstable. Gouband played one continuous piece, lasting just over three quarters of an hour. As always, the natural resonances of the church created a full, rich sound that is perfectly captured by the recording. Those resonances are an essential part of the performance, enhancing Gouband's playing so that this is actually a duo between the man and the building. Initially, he spaces out his sounds, letting them resound, no doubt getting used to the building as a playing partner. Once he has the measure of the space, his playing becomes quicker, although he remains very aware of the resonances, leaving appropriate gaps for them to be appreciated before pressing on.

Gouband is a master of the lithophone, using the range of tones from the struck rocks, plus other percussive sounds, to create a rich piece that never opts for straightforward rhythms but instead features complex polyrhythms that are very gentle on the ear. At times, the sounds of the piece could easily be mistaken for a field recording of a natural phenomenon such as water dripping in an underground cavern or of a human activity such as miners at work.

As music, it can either be given full attention or it can "just be there." In the former case, the more attention it is afforded, the more it reveals greater details and complexities; in the latter, it provides a relaxing, meditative atmosphere. Either way, it is hugely successful.

Track Listing: Courant des Vents.

Personnel: Toma Gouband: lithophones, percussion.

Title: Courant des Vents | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Psi


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Wanderlust" CD/LP/Track Review Wanderlust
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review Prague After Dark
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Telepathy & Bop" CD/LP/Track Review Telepathy & Bop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.