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by Philippe Lauzier

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Far Side 17:23
Far Out 17:03


Bryon Hayes - Exclaim! :
Montreal-based imprint Small Scale Music is slowly becoming a label to watch for those interested in adventurous music. Last year, the label dropped KATABASIS / ANABASIS, a solid double bass workout from Toronto ex-pat Aaron Lumley, and this recent cassette, filled with crystalline reverberations from veteran Montreal experimentalist Philippe Lauzier, really showcases the curatorial chops of the Small Scale Music cabal.

Lauzier is known as a reed player, yet with DÔME he showcases the results of an installation in which he prepared a set of bells, zithers and motors, accompanying the clangour with a Korg synthesizer drone. Surprisingly beautiful, the two 17-minute pieces achieve a stunning sense of musicality, as the shimmering vortices of sound are almost hallucinatory. Lauzier manipulates his host of rotating implements so that they rub, strike and glide across their metallic counterparts, while the synth supplies a complementary backdrop of slowly morphing drones. The rising and falling of the action gives the songs a feeling of structure, where one might expect complete chaos.

It's this ability of Lauzier's, to wrangle the unwieldy nature of his 'instruments' into a euphonious set of compositions, that sets DÔME up as an exemplar of high quality, installation-based experimental music. -

Daniel Barbiero - Avant Music News:
DÔME, a release on cassette, finds Lauzier on an alternative path. Here he works with a sound installation consisting of bells, zithers, motors and a Korg synthesizer. The installation was created for Montréal’s La Passe, where these two seventeen-minute-long tracks were recorded on 31 July 2015. Although conceived as drone-based works, both pieces draw attention to their variegated textures rather than to an underlying constant of tone or texture. Far Side is a shimmering, iridescent metallic jangle shot through with the semi-pitched chirps of small motors and scraped zither strings that ends with a call-and-response for small bells. Far Out, which rides an undertow of ringing alarm clock bells and a sustained electronic tone, is closer to a more conventional drone piece. But it too centers around subtle changes in texture driven by a series of discrete, layered events for scraped or brushed zither and whirring motors. -

Ryan Masteller - Cassette Gods:
’m a sucker for musicians who create their own instruments, those who perhaps consider Harry Partch the patron saint of experimental composition. Montreal’s Philippe Lauzier is one of them, and yes, I’m therefore a sucker for the recording of his installation work, entitled DÔME. But first, the exciting news – Lauzier performs upon a contraption that he built himself “made of bells, zithers, motors and a Korg synthesizer.” The erstwhile saxophonist and clarinetist may have stepped out of his comfort zone a little bit here – you sort of have to teach yourself every new instrument, and if you’ve created that instrument, well, you have to start at the beginning and define the very parameters of that instrument’s abilities. It’s not like you can just grab a sax and read a manual and wail away like you’re in Huey Lewis and the News or something (or, uh, if you’re, like, John Coltrane). You have to discover the very sounds you’re able to conjure, and the limitations of timbre and tone you’re restricted to. But maybe DÔME, which captures a live performance at La Passe in Montreal on July 31, 2015, is a record of that discovery. Surely it’s like nothing you’ve heard before. For 34 minutes, on “Far Side” and “Far Out,” Lauzier drones in sonic mélange, the minimalist reverberations pinging about the confines of the room until they’re constant, infiltrating the space behind your eyelids and nesting there long after the tape ends. The passages are weird and otherworldly, difficult to pin down, offering glimpses into the vast possibility of musical arrangement. You have no other choice but to get caught up in it, even as it threatens to overwhelm in a wave of telephonic cacophony. It’s restrained and chaotic at once, tentative and unhinged, threatening to coalesce its identity and mass into sheer devastating resonance. DÔME is freaky and singular, a creative high point for tinkerers of the physical everywhere. I’d love to hear it with some sax accompaniment too, actually, if Lauzier is ever up for the remix treatment. -http://cassettegods.blogspot.com/2017/06/philippe-lauzier-dome-c34-small-scale.html

Pierre Cécile - Le son du Grisli:
C’est une bien belle cassette que ce petit Dôme. Voilà, c’est (déjà) dit. D’autant que la musique de Philippe Lauzier, je ne l’attendais pas spécialement, ni avec empressement ni au tournant. En plus, moi qui le croyais clarinettiste ou saxophoniste (je l’avais entendu avec Éric Normand ou avec Martin Tétreault et Pierre-Yves Martel dans XYZ), voilà qu’il débarque ce 31 juillet 2015 en installateur cithariste à laptop (et en short, une photo le prouve, ce ‘est pas moi qui invente)… Il faudra faire avec.

La cassette est jaune comme un soleil, et ce n’est pas pour rien. Car Lauzier vous décoche de ces rayons en manipulant ces cordes rattachées les unes aux autres, fantomatiques, crépitantes, bourdonnantes, sifflantes, déraillantes, en un mot : sciantes ! Que notre homme en pince pour les cordes, cela ne se discute pas. A tel point qu’il les arrache à leur nature, elles qui méritent plus que ces vieilles caisses de bois et de résonance, et les sublime dans ce qui ressemble à un fabuleux ballet électroacoustique. Est-ce assez d’éloge ? En tout cas, c’est bien la première fois que je me plains d’un coup de soleil.- grisli.canalblog.com/archives/2017/05/31/35338564.html

Vital Weekly:
Originally Lauzier is saxophone and clarinet player and does so with people from the world of
improvised music. However since 2014 he also works on the development of an instrument of his own, half way between something to look at and to be played, which he calls Gritty. On his solo cassette 'Dôme' we hear a recording of a somewhat more developed version of that, recorded n Montreal in 2015. The instrument consists of bells, zithers, motors and a Korg synthesizer, and on this tape there are two seventeen-minute pieces that simply sound beautiful. This is the kind of acoustic drone music that I enjoy a lot. The motor based devices spinning against strings and metal objects, complete with just a fine dash of reverb (I have no idea what the Korg is doing here), make up for music that reminded me of Organum or early Paul Panhuysen. It is played by a human and has a very human touch, as opposed by objects being played in a similar way but controlled by midi or some sort of computer interference. Lauzier creates a massive texture with all sorts of small sounds happening above and below the über-drone, and sometimes it veers towards feedback and noise, but every time Lauzier knows how to move back and take control again. There is not much difference between both sides, which is good; I had it on repeat all afternoon, doing all sorts of boring computer work and every now and then I sat back and listened more closely, effectively doing the same as the music; moving around while going from quiet to loud and back again. Excellent release. (FdW) -

Tristan Bath - The Wire
DÔME documents an installation work by Montreal saxophonist/clarinettist Philippe
Lauzier. Composed for a specially made contraption comprising bells, zithers, a Korg and several motors, the music nonetheless feels distinctly organic. Quite how Lauzier plays the music is tough to discern from the recording – the jangling strings and tinkling bells sound like they’re being jabbed at by motorised ghosts in the machine. For long passages all the elements fire at once, although the loveliest moment comes at the
end of “Far Side”, when alarm clocks, bells and strings take it in turns in a motorised conversation. However they were assembled, both 17 minute single takes are surprisingly luminescent and joyful. - tsukuboshi.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/065-wire-april-v2.pdf


released January 22, 2017

The first release to reveal Philippe Lauzier’s installation work, DÔME offers two performative compositions that were created with an apparatus made of bells, zithers, motors and a Korg synthesizer. These pieces were played and recorded in 2015 at La Passe, in Montréal. DÔME invites an immersive listening in the density and continuity of the drone – not without proposing a variety of subtleties and atmospheres, at times calm, bewitching, delirious.

Saxophonist and clarinetist, Philippe is part of many solo and collective projects in which he explores new instrumental processes, including preparations and electronic devices. He also contributes to interdisciplinary creations that lead him to put his musical language in relation to other forms of expression. In 2014, Philippe was invited to develop an original artwork for the FIMAV sound installation series and created Gritty, which was one of the early stages of the device used for the music of DÔME .

Première parution révélant le travail de Philippe Lauzier en installation sonore, DÔME offre deux compositions performatives créées à partir d’un dispositif composé de cloches, autoharps, moteurs et d’un synthétiseur Korg. Ces pièces ont été jouées et enregistrées en 2015 à La Passe, à Montréal. DÔME invite à une écoute immersive dans la densité et la continuité du drone, non sans proposer une variété de subtilités et d'atmosphères, tantôt calmes, envoutantes, délirantes.

Saxophoniste et clarinettiste, Philippe mène plusieurs projets solo et collectifs où il explore de nouveaux procédés instrumentaux, intégrant entre autres des préparations et des dispositifs électroniques. Il participe également à des créations interdisciplinaires pour lesquelles il met son langage musical en relation avec d’autres formes d’expression. En 2014, invité à créer une œuvre inédite pour le volet d’installations sonores du FIMAV, Philippe réalise Gritty, qui est à l’origine du dispositif utilisé pour la musique de DÔME.

recorded at La Passe in Montréal on July 31st 2015
recording . Mathieu Bélanger
mix and mastering . Phil Lauzier
graphic design . Frédérique Laliberté



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Small Scale Music Montréal, Québec

Small Scale Music is an independently run music label interested in releasing challenging music (Free Improvisation, Noise, Free Jazz...) primarily on small runs of tapes, cd, zines and digitally.

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