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PLATE LUNCH catalog #: PL12


Bernard Donzel-Gargand - Toile de sons (CD) - released September 2000



1: Toile de sons (1997) 19:38
2: Reves oubliés dans les yeux de Grigri (1995) 16:34
3: Légende du Pont d'Yeu (1999) 19:18
4: Mise en ciel d'un Scarabée (1995) 17:06

Total running time: 72:19



This fantastic beast delivers the goods that others can only lay claim to. The earth's core: shifting plates, earthquakes and explosions, nature's groaning contradictions. The good side of mankind. Folk tales and musical themes. I've never heard it stated so plainly, beautifully, frighteningly. I am moved. I am immersed. I am smiling. The church bells sum up all.

from: Peter "Brainpang" Warner, May, 30th 2001

A French electroacoustic composer, Bernard Donzel-Gargand delivered "Toile de Sons" (Web of Sounds), his first CD, in 2000. It collects four works, each a little under 20 minutes. The composer belongs (at least aesthetically) to the young generation of electroacousticians. His approach eschews some of the genre's traditional rules and restrictions, which results in richer, less austere music. But richer does not necessarily means better. In general Donzel- Gargand's aural stories lack a plot. The title track features some very conventional passages held together by a weak compositional structure. "Rêves Oubliés dans les Yeux de Grigri" (Dreams Forgotten in Grigri's Eyes) is an attempt at peaking into a cat's dreams. Paradoxically, this piece is harsher but holds stronger poetic contents. The contrast between the rough sonic edges and the naivete of the intention recalls the works of Yves Daoust. "Mise en Ciel d¹un Scarabée" follows a similar path. The album¹s highlight is "Légende du Pont d¹Yeu" clearly a superior composition. It illustrates an old folk tale about how the Devil was tricked by St. Martin of Vertou into building a bridge to the island of Yeu. The tale is narrated by an old man with a thick regional accent. His ageless words are displaced in space and time, woven into the fabric of a modern electroacoustic piece - well done. All things considered, "Toile de Sons" makes a honest musique concrete CD.

from: François Couture - All-Music Guide, May 2001

"after about 3 spins i had to stop and say how much i love this BERNARD DONZEL-GARGAND cd... it's really special.."

from: Arthur Nalis/Dutch East India - 5/16/2001

"Toile De Sons", means web of sounds, and is a very good coverage of what Donzel-Gargand does: he waves together sounds and tells a story. He uses field recordings (water sounds, church bells and bird sounds, were the ones I recognized) along with strictly synthetic sounds, or maybe electronic manipulations of those field recordings. Either way, he calls these "landscapes made of sounds, images without pictures". One piece, "Legende Du Pont D'Yeu" has a real storyteller, but that doesn't mean much: even when my knowledge of the French language is rather superficial, I was under the impression that understanding what is said was not the main issue here. From the cover text, I had the impression that this piece was the only one that reflected a real story, even when it's on a legend. The other texts on the pieces are much more abstract - as abstract as the music. Bernard Donzel-Gargand continues that great tradition of French electro-acoustic music with four great pieces.

from: VITAL WEEKLY # 255, December 2000 - by: Frans De Waard

"...the pure spirit of the french electroacoustic composer "school"!"

from: Christian Renou, 12/2000


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