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ELOY, JEAN-CLAUDE - Erkos / Galaxies (Chants pour l'autre Moitie du Ciel Part III & IV)

Format: do-CD
Label & Cat.Number: Hors Territoires HT-17-18
Release Year: 2012
Note: pieces 3 & 4 (ERKOS & GALAXIES) from the "Songs for the other Half of the Sky" cycle (1986-1996); electro-acoustic compositions with a strong Eastern/Asian influence, using Sanskrit language and many Japanese instruments.... first world publication!
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €22.00


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"Songs for the other half of the sky. With 'Erkos' (1990-91) and 'Galaxies' (1986-1996). Performed by Junko Ueda (satsuma biwa and voice) and Jean-Claude Eloy (sound projection).
Erkos is a word from the Indo-European language and means song, praise. It is close to the Sanskrit word Arkas (hymn, chant, radiance) and to the Tokharien term Yarke (reverence, homage). The texts consist of extracts from the Dev-Upanishad and Dev-Mhtmya writings, in Sanskrit. In those texts, an homage is paid to the Goddess who, in Indian philosophy, is considered as the mother of all energies. For this work, I have been inspired by Junko Ueda, a particularly gifted young musician whom I met in Japan in 1987, mastering at the same time the traditional technics : those from Japan (Shmy and Satsuma-Biwa), those of the other countries of Asia (Gamelan), as well as the western technics (piano, composition). It was possible, with a performer of such a vast background, to translate these ancient and original techniques into a free contemporary creation without distorting their original nature. Erkos was commissioned by the Cologne Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), at the invitation of Karlheinz Stockhausen, in collaboration with the Institut Franais de Cologne and was produced in its entirety in 1990-91 at the WDR Electronic Studio. The electroacoustic materials are essentially concrete in nature and have been drawn from three sources Junko Ueda's voice, Satsuma Biwa (plucked string instrument with plectrum), Unban (metallic plate with complex resonance). Consequently, the recording studio is not used here as a generator but as a 'multiplier-transformer' to the soloist, who is the real origin of all sounds. Symbolically, she is the source, the Goddess-mother as written about in the Sanskrit texts I have used here.
'Galaxies' is an electroacoustic work composed of two large groups of elements, contrasting with each other in function, construction, etc. but still unified as they are born from the same sources of timbre and treatment : the Japanese Sh (traditionnal mouth organ) from which all of the work's sound material is taken, to which are added an ensemble of five Bonsh's (temple bells from Japan and Korea)." [label info]

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"...In 'Erkos', three parts are instrumental, and the two use the voice of Junko Ueda, and the title means 'song' or 'praise'. Whereas on the other CD the voice material prevails, here's it's the other way round, and the instrumental parts are much stronger. It's hard to see this as an electro-acoustic work, since the percussion sounds most of time as percussion, and it doesn't always seem to swirling around in electronics. 'Erkos' is a particular more 'quiet' work, which meanders slow and peacefully, with very few outbursts. 'Galaxies' is more like a sandwich, with an electronic piece at the beginning and at the end and three solo voice pieces in the middle, which make a nice contrast. Here the music sounds much more electronic indeed, with clusters of sounds derived from temple bells, making a beautiful, powerful drone. The form a great contrast with the solo voice of the three shorter pieces in between, which have a likewise contemplative character, but then perhaps of an entirely different nature. It's great to see two such different sides of the same coin work together on this work." [FdW/Vital Weekly]