Pali Meursault
un(zéro)deux
CD (E58)

 

Belgium £13 (including postage)

Europe £15 (including postage)

Rest of world £17 (including postage)

 

Edition of 300 copies


“This piece was recorded live at Le 102

in Grenoble, France, on 19 January 2007 as a site-specific composition rather than a straight performance. I spent a week there with recorders and microphones, gathering materials and objects to perform with. Squealing chairs, resonating oil drums and unidentified

metal remains found on the spot were amplified and arranged with field record-ings of the space and its neighbourhood: winter wind, planes passing over, street atmosphere, crackle of the fireplace…

I tried to become initimate with that sound matter, to immerse myself in it

and to let myself be led by it.”

Pali Meursault would hesitate to describe himself as an electro- acoustic composer or a sound artist. He sometimes writes about music and sociology, and is also working with a collective of artists called Ici-Même whose activities straddle architecture, dance and sound.

 

See also

Out of print

Reviews

In a way the piece is sketched like the curve of life itself: starting from extremely reduced elements — although oddly
manipulated since the very beginning — it progressively evolves into a well-shaped body whose muscles are entirely
delineated, reaching its conclusive 

phase in bitter, if expected decay.

The quasi-biotic character of the initial sections is instantly accepted by the expert ear, preparing us for the subsequent stages where — layer upon layer — the sonic stratagems gradually increase their thickness and, with it, the psychological impact, which at certain moments becomes significant. The potential ability to discern sources and mechanics doesn’t imply that emotions are not warranted: in particular, a section of looped aircraft moans is alone worthy 

of the whole CD, even if each episode strikes as a rational consequence of 

what had come prior. This is not a “taped-in-town, stuck-in-the-mix” kind of joke; 

the fact that Meursault managed to reach this level of attention-gripping quality during a live performance impresses me
greatly
. A distant comparison, exclusively in terms of attitude towards research, might be Toy.Bizarre’s sound art. Yet an individual personality is easily detectable here, as this artist does not indulge in mere copycat-ism. When enamelled emptiness leaves room to genuine diligence, there’s a reason for celebrating. In a world jam-packed with people who — being unable to get a different line of work — literally reinvent themselves as manufacturers of sounds (often making nice money out of inexpert audiences),

the freshness of [this] record is all the more welcome.

 

Massimo Ricci at Touching Extremes


Samuel Ripault is a field recordist as well as a performer; the way he manages to square these two seemingly incompatible disciplines is to spend a week or so preparing materials (recordings as well as physical objects) that relate to a particular location and then use these materials in live performance. It’s the performative aspect of his work that is noteworthy, going beyond the simple playing back of recorded material as 

a component of an installation that characterises most live sound art. un(zéro)deux has a real hands-on feel, not just in Ripault’s deployment of
scrap metal (scraped along the floor of the performance space or sounded with motors rather than bashed Neubauten-style) but also in the way the recordings are tweaked, layered and mixed into the sounds of activity in the performance space as the piece progresses. The
documentary aspect is still important — indeed, the piece would seem to lose 

a lot of its integrity and charm if the
material was simply treated as fodder for sonic manipulation — but un(zéro)deux 

is very much a musical experience.

 

Keith Moliné in The Wire


I hadn’t realised this was a live (solo) performance until after I’d listened 

a couple of times, which both surprised
and impressed me
. Meursault has a lot 

of stuff going on but, to his credit, it never feels crowded, the various textures and sounds playing very well together (like
the combination of scraped tones and faunal-sounding “whoops” some 15 minutes in. I take it there are a number 

of off-Kilter mechanical devices set in motion throughout, but however it’s accomplished, the matrix that emerges 

is very alive and both busy and spacious
simultaneously.

 

Brian Olewnick at Just Outside
 


Meursault is very, very good at making the best out of all the sounds he has at his disposal. The CD presents one track and I guess that it is an unedited version
(although you never know, of course). 

This composition is a journey with an experienced guide. He knows where to start and what the highlights are. Should be in everyone’s collection! Listen in 

the dark.

 

Jos Smolders at Earlabs