Insub Meta Orchestra: Ten / Sync

John Eyles BY

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Insub Meta Orchestra: Ten / Sync
During the Covid-19 lockdown, the INSUB label managed to maintain a steady flow of excellent new releases, both digital and on CD. These tended to be by duos or trios, such as Ize (INSUB, 2020), by the trio of Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Pierre-Yves Martel & Philip Zoubek, or Paratopia (INSUB, 2021), by Jason Khan & Antoine Läng.

No doubt for practical reasons, during lockdown not much was heard from Insub Meta Orchestra, the large ensemble which features many INSUB musicians , including the label's guiding lights, Cyril Bondi and d’incise. In fact, the orchestra was last heard of in 2019, on two commissioned pieces, one by Magnus Granberg, and one by Michael Pisaro, both recorded in 2018. Now, with Ten / Sync, the orchestra marks its tenth anniversary with its eighth album release, over half of the thirty-one-member line-up having been present on the orchestra's first album, Archive #1 (Insub, 2012).

Recorded in September 2020, at Insub studio, the circumstances at the time meant that the entire orchestra could not all gather and record together; instead, it was recorded at three separate sessions, each with a smaller group, the results then being reassembled together. Bondi and d'incise comment, "We must admit, this process was not fully satisfying. Being an orchestra means much more than music to us." While that may be true socially and practically, the end product carries no hint of any adverse effects of the process; in fact, the music here is well up to par for the orchestra. The music comprises three pieces, totaling forty- four-minutes, all three by Bondi and d'incise and directed by them. Together, the two make good use of the many sounds at their disposal to create a variety of uncluttered soundscapes in which the instruments are clearly distinguishable and complement one another well.

Yes, some of the entrances and exits may have been achieved by creative use of editing, but that is never obvious or clunky, so everything sounds as if it was created by the full orchestra in real time, a credit to the pair's creative artistry. Altogether, Ten / Sync is well up to the high standard which Insub Meta Orchestra has achieved in its first decade. It leads one to hope that their next album does not take three years to arrive and that it can be created in real time by the full orchestra together. Until that happy day arrives, this one will do very nicely, thank you.

Track Listing

Tutti-soli; Sparge; Á la Denzler.


Additional Instrumentation

Anna-Kaisa Meklin: viola da gamba; Antoine Läng: voice; Brice Catherin: cello; Bruno Crochet: electronics; Christian Müller: clarinet; Christian Neff: violin; Christoph Schiller: spinet; Christophe Berthet: saxophone; Clara de Asis: guitar; Cyril Bondi: drums, conduction; d’incise: organ, electronics; Eric Ruffing: analog synth; Fred Minner: bass; Ivan Verda: guitar; Jamasp Jhabvaia: violin; Léa Moulet: violin; Loïc Groberty: double bass; Luc Müller: drums, percussion; Mara Winter: flutes; Maxime Hänsenberger: drums, percussion; Raphaël Ortis: electronics; Raphaël Raccula: guitar; Rodolph Loubatière: drums, harmonium; Sandra Weiss: bassoon; Steve Buchanan: saxophone; Tassos Tataroglou: trumpet; Terase Hackel: recorders; Thomas Peter: electronics; Violeta Motta: traverso; Vinz Vonlanthen: guitar; Yukari: flute.

Album information

Title: Ten / Sync | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: INSUB

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