4

Henri Roger: Exsurgences (Solo Piano Improvisations)

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Henri Roger: Exsurgences (Solo Piano Improvisations) Self-taught French pianist Henri Roger's set of solo piano free improvisations is spread across a DVD directed by video artist Anne Pesce, and also on vinyl. These nine improvisations, all numbered as "Exurgences 1" to "9," have a similar dense and restless character.

Roger explores the sonic possibilities of piano keyboard, stressing the lower range as he sustains these sounds and forms a dramatic and intense, string of continuously colliding overtones. The first and longest improvisation, the 28-minute "Exurgences 1," sounds as if Roger is not attempting to structure it in any binding form, but just lets the sounds flow in an intuitive manner, deliberately not attaching himself to any sonic occurrence—slowing the pace and softening its strict atmosphere only in its last minutes. The accompanying video, showing straight lines between specific locations all over a static black and white globe, adds little to the sonic experience, and after a while becomes redundant.

The following improvisations and their accompanying videos offer additional yet different aspects of mostly static, monochromatic sonic and visual experiments. The "Exurgences 2" is lighter, with a changing urban landscape captured at different times of the day, while "Exurgences 3" is more tight and nervous, with a view of vinyl turning around.

The fourth improvisation stands out as the most arresting. Roger uses the piano strings as a percussive surface and the percussive sounds that he produces from rubbing and plucking the strings correspond with the conventional keyboard playing, creating a nuanced, mysterious texture, accompanied with a changing landscape view from a driving car. The fifth, spare improvisation, emphasizes again the accumulative, meditative effect of exploring the overtones.

The other four improvisations, documented on the vinyl, continue in a similarly restless vein, mainly "Exurgences 6," with over 16 minutes of dense sonic investigation of clusters of chords. But these improvisations also suggest changing moods and colors, like the "Exurgences 7," which even has a surprisingly emotional, balladic touch, or the minimalist "Exurgences 8." The final, short and melodic "Exurgences 9" even sounds as though it was influenced by the solo piano excursions of Keith Jarrett.

Comprehensive and challenging, yet often too long, Exsurgences is an investigation into the form of free improvisation.


Track Listing: DVD: Exurgences 1; Exurgences 2; Exurgences 3; Exurgences 4; Exurgences 5. LP: Exurgences 6; Exurgences 7; Exurgences 8; Exurgences 9.

Personnel: Henri Roger: piano.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Instant Musics Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Live In Greenwich Village" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Greenwich Village
by John Sharpe
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Near Life Experience" CD/LP/Track Review Near Life Experience
by John Kelman
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian Microjam!" CD/LP/Track Review Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian Microjam!
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "So Far So Close" CD/LP/Track Review So Far So Close
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "Aritmia" CD/LP/Track Review Aritmia
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!