Monday, 12 March 2012


Bruno Duplant - ‘deux trois choses ou presque’ (scores by Manfred Werder)

1- 2009/4 (with the score)

2- 2009/5 (with the score)

3- 2010/2 (with the score)

scores by manfred werder

interpretations by bruno duplant (phonographies, sine tones, double bass & horn)

recordings made in waziers & douai, france, 2011

improviser and phonographer, Bruno’s latest release includes three realizations of text scores by Manfred Werder, using field recordings, sine tones, double bass & horn. Manfred has also supplied 'The Field', a further text piece to sit alongside these recordings.

available as a digital download only

review from 'the field reporter' website:

The installation of a sculpture into an area of countryside, or even sometimes into an established urban environment, can bring forth complaints. People object to the change of scenery. Letters are written to newspapers. Their sense of familiarity has been compromised.
A place they felt they once knew intimately has suddenly been transformed. An artist has had the audacity to position his work, a product of his singular imagination, in a place of prominence in the landscape.
As time passes the sculpture becomes assimilated into its surroundings. Children climb on it, people sit on its plinth to chat and it is used as a point of reference when giving directions to strangers.
In a small way this conversion happens when listening to Bruno Duplant’s deux trois choses ou presque, based on scores by Manfred Werder. Knowing from the text that Duplant is going to use sine tones, double bass and horn during these field recordings, there is a tendency to wait for their intrusion.
Listening attentively to a recording of what sounds like a semi- rural milleu of birdsong and a little human activity, I was ready for the instrumantal interventions. When they came they were slow, extended tones that seemed to rise over the everyday canvas of underlying sounds, disembodied and subtle but nevertheless at odds with their surroundings .
But as the tracks went on, a confluence occurred. Rather than existing alongside each other, the two seperate strands of the work seemed to coalesce. The distance and division between them seemed to lessen. By the end of its 40 or so minutes duration, the symbiosis was complete. The duality disappeared and in its place was a new entity.
For me (and this is purely a personal view, most probably not intended by the work’s authors at all), I envisaged an electromagnetic field of some sort emanating from the ground. It was as if Duplant, as well as recording the sounds of the environment, had also managed to record a field of energy vibrating beyond human audition.
Dedicating deux trois choses ou presque to the poet Francis Ponge is telling. Ponge’s poetry was based on minute attention to the detail of everyday objects. Free of emotion and symbolism, Ponge sought to express the world as it was. Pure concentration on simple objects. The cigarette. The potato. A bar of soap.
These three tracks demand similar attention too. Every listen creates in the mind different points of convergence and fusion between the elements of the piece. It is an object that can be turned around and looked at from many angles. Of course, each person has their own individual way of approaching any work of art, and each approach brings new rewards.
“Another way of approaching the thing is to consider it unnamed, unnameable.” – Francis Ponge.
-Chris Whitehead

review by Richard Pinnell (the watchful ear):

Bruno Duplant’s deux trois choses ou presque, a new release from Engraved Glass presents us with three realisations of these found sentences scores; versions of 2009(4), 2009(5) and 2010(2). In each we hear vibrant, busy sound worlds full of details of indoor and outdoor activity, traffic, city hum, birdsong, children at play, everything you might expect. Alongside each of the three Duplant plays an instrument, electronic sine tones, double bass and a horn of some kind. They are each quite fascinating to listen to, an aural window onto another part of the world, three sets of sounds we can only partly easily identify, and so we engage with them as a listener in a way we might not if we were just going about our way in the place they were recorded. Werder talks about The Field however as not being contained by anything. So the CD that I burned this music onto to listen to, the digital silence at each end of the disc, the sounds in the room around me do not sit apart from the performance. Here though, as each play of the CD presents the same set of sounds from the hi-fi, so maybe I am then extending the work out into my own experience here. Strangely, exactly a year ago tomorrow I wrote thisreview of a Manfred Werder score released on CD. Because it felt like the correct thing to do on that evening I split the review partly between my grasp of the sounds coming from the stereo, and partly on the cup of tea I was drinking while it played- both its taste, but also how it looked, smelt, felt in my hands. The need to extend Werder’s music beyond the aural, beyond even the extended sound world it met once merged into the sounds here once played seemed important.

So, I found myself engaging with Duplant’s realisations of Werder in similar ways, each time I listened, whether it be in the often interrupted near silence here this evening or alongside the roar of the car, and the already focussed visual awareness of driving to work and back today with the CD playing. To judge the music of this download away from such a consideration of everything else I can sense is then, perhaps a fruitless concern. I can tell you how the pieces here sound, but that might miss the point of Manfred’s music. I actually am not a big fan of Duplant’s playing on these works- a little too busy, and in the case of the final track with his remarkably electronic sounding horn actually quite distracting from everything else on the recording. This is pointless though simply because the recording of a realisation of these works is not the work itself. Playing the recording and existing alongside it certainly comes closer, but writing about the sounds coming from my hi-fi speaker alone would perhaps be to miss the point.

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