Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jean-François Laporte - Mantra (Metamkine, 2000)

Another entry in the Cinéma pour l’oreille series, this one from French-Canadian Jean-François Laporte. I approached Laporte's explanation of this massively buzzing mass of sound with trepidation, but having listened nearly as many passes as he took to make the recording, I no longer question his veracity. Mantra's evolving, monolithic mass is culled from close recordings of a cooling condenser at a hockey rink. This is confirmed during the initial firing up of the compressor. As the piece progresses, Laporte travels around the compressor, documenting its components and its varied timbrel qualities. He shapes the sound in a way one might in an electronic study, using PVC tubes to sculpt the high frequencies and metal covers to add resonance for volume boost. Laporte insisted that this be done in one take, as a single breath mantra of continuous but evolving nature, and without a doubt his meticulousness and patience comes through tenfold.


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