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BOKANOWSKI, MICHELE - Cirque / Enfance

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: MOTUS M 314017
Release Year: 2014
Note: two works by the remarkable French musique concrete (& more) composer (student of PIERRE SCHAEFFER & ELIANE RADIGUE): "Cirque" from 1994 (previously released but out of print) dedicated to circular processes establishing a strange circus-like, narrative atmosphere, linked to the dancer & choreograph BERNADO MONTET; & the so far unpublished newer work "Enfance" (2011), using lots of personal field recordings from infants, sparsely instrumented...
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" 'Cirque' (1994). Concrete music produced in the studios of Kira BM Films and of les Musiques de la Boulangre, both in Paris (France). Accordion: Jean-Louis Matinier. The concert premiere was on May 23, 1994 in the Socar factory in Crest (France) during the first Futura festival. First edition: Empreintes Digitales (Canada) 1995.
'Enfance'(2011). Concrete music commissioned by Radio-France, produced in the studio of Kira BM Films. Voices: Bilal and Suleyman Bokanowski. Piano and synthesizer: Michle Bokanowski. The concert premiere was on April 1, 2012, in the Centquatre (Paris) during the festival Prsences lectronique (Ina GRM).
'An astonishing route of Life to which Michle Bokanowski invites us on the pathway of Cirque. The galloping of time, turns, turns and disappears behind the curtain of reality, the only visible opening of the outlined circle, genesis. Infancy carried off in the clamor and the laughter of a heady exhilaration of life, suspended by the thread of its derisive precariousness. Destiny appears, in filigree, obsessive, sneering in all its power, eternally close to the drama. Ephemeral victory. In her heart is born the subtle beating of the song of the soul revealed in her delicate harmony gloriously affirmed. Scintillating dichotomy, crackling with iridescent bursts, coalescing in the fatal race up until its ultimate resolution: A choir in which everything is melted, intermingled, becomes a playful mirror of illusion, the essence of life, the gravity of being, forever recovered in the primordially unique, reflected in the galloping of time. The magic of childhood ever-present in the heart of man even beyond his abrupt end.' To Michle Bokanowski for Cirque. liane Radigue." [label info]


"As far as I can remember I haven't reviewed many, if any at all, releases by French composer Michele Bokanowski. Perhaps this is due to the fact she didn't release many works on commercial sound carriers. She studied with Pierre Schaeffer in the early 70s and later on with Eliane Radigue. Many of her works are made for the concert space, television and dance. This new release is in fact part a re-issue from a 1995 release by Empreintes Digitales and part is a new work from 2011. I am not sure if I heard 'Cirque' when it was first released. I worked in a record store that carried the label, so I might very well have heard it, but now that I hear it again it doesn't sound any familiar. At the foundation of 'Cirque' we have recordings from the circus - I assume. Not a place that stirs up many happy (childhood-) memories for me, nor any bad ones. I visited the circus some years ago and much to my regret flat, boring house music is part and parcel of the musical entourage now. That's too bad, as I had hoped to catch a few sounds on my recorder (animals, clowns - which I truly hate - and audience responses). Bokanowski succeeded better at this, I must say. Here the galloping of horses, other animals and cheering people are captured (clowns too, I hope) and sampled around and treated electronically. Treated and untreated sounds meet up, bounce and disappear, ending in 'Finale (Parade)' with true finale music, a wild applause and all that. The more recent composition 'Enfance' uses the voice of Bilal and Suleyman Bokanowski, maybe her children or grandchildren, sampled and set into a very sparse setting of piano and synthesizer. It's very much an intimate work, very pastoral sounding with chirping insects (either the real thing, or created with the synthesizer), and those children voices talking and sometimes not much else. Almost like a holiday snapshot and it reminded me of the early works of Dominique Petitgand. This is all very intimate music and one that works wonderfully well. Great disc!" [FdW/Vital Weekly]