Sylvain Chauveau Life Without Machines

CAT No. FLAU84
Release Date: Japan - May 27th / Overseas - Apr 17th 2020
Format: CD/DIGITAL

フランスの作曲家Sylvain Chauveauの新しいアルバム「Life Without Machines」 は、バーネット・ニューマンの抽象画 「十字架の道行き」 シリーズを視覚的な楽譜として使用した短編作品集です。Sylvain Chauveauは静けさとスロウネスを重視し、エレクトロニクス、ピアノやギターといった楽器、時にはボーカルを用いた非常に最小限の構成で知られ、国内外様々なレーベルからリリース、世界各国でコンサートをを行ってきました。彼の新しいアルバムのタイトルである「Life Without Machines」は、私たちの生活が、エネルギーの永続的で膨大な使用を必要とする機械 によって完全にサポートされている、という事実を表現しています(大部分は化石燃料であり、その燃焼が絶えず二酸化炭素を大気に送る。タイトルは、このことが永遠に続くわけではないことを示唆しています)。より少ない機械、機械無しで生きることが、将来、集合的な決定になるか、またはエネルギー的にも経済的にも環境的にも、危機の組み合わせの結果になるかもしれません。

作曲はSylvain Chauveau、演奏はフランス人ピアニストのMelaine Dalibert。全15曲の作品ですが、トラックリストには14曲しか登場しません。これは15個の石があるが、どの角度から見ても最大で14個しか見えないという、京都・龍安寺の石庭を模したものです。 アルバムのライナーノーツはUbuWebの主宰で知られるKenneth Goldsmith。

After several years of working with Flau for releases of ensemble 0 (+ solo remixes) and Japan tours, FLAU asked me to make a full solo album for the label and I was excited by this idea.

I have composed for piano during a dozen of years (late 90s, 2000s). And in the early 2010s, it was time for me to explore other sounds. But after several years, I felt the need to come back to the piano, to go on with my obsession of quietness and silences. And to add a new dimension to my piano work: repetition and variations. And since a long time I wanted to work on very short format (“Short attention span is the new avant-garde”, once wrote Goldsmith).

I composed all the pieces but didn’t play them myself on the recording: it’s all performed by french pianist Melaine Dalibert. I didn’t want to play them myself because it required the skills of a professional pianist to make them sound as I wanted. Melaine was the perfect performer for this because he knows and understands very well this kind of music, and he played it with the precision of zen master.

There is a total of 15 pieces: 14 only will appear on the tracklist + 1 hidden track (hearable after a silence at the end of track 14). Like in the stone garden of Ryoanji in Kyoto – where there are 15 stones but from any point of view one can only see a maximum of 14 at the same time.

The title of the album, Life Without Machines, discusses the fact that our lives are entirely assisted by machines which require a permanent, colossal use of energy – mostly fossil fuels, whose combustion constantly sends CO2 to the atmosphere, causing climate change and global warming. French researcher Vincent Mignerot claims that, in order to prepare for the future consequences of ecological crisis and depletion of energy resources, 3 initiatives should be started: reducing our own incomes, sharing the wealth, and replacing machines by human labour.

The title of the pieces will display my love for concrete poetry. They are all ultra-short poems I wrote (in English) on the Greek island of Hydra, and then partly erased to keep only one or two letters for each piece. That’s why the tracklisting is like this.

-text by Sylvain Chauveau

KEEP READING

Track List

1 o

2

3 or

4 d

5 e

6 w

7 bl

8 q

9 u

10 nd

11 r

12 (fa

13 l

14 en

Press Quotes

meditative and refreshing, a clear counter-narrative to overproduced musicPopmatters

tranquil, meditative Quietus

the sparseness can be devastatingly effective: like a series of fragments from a Conlon Nancarrow piece, slowed down and transformed into hypnotic minimalismThe Guardian

ultra-delicate, spaciously arranged solo piano work with the subtlest of electronic frills – Electronic Sounds

variously haunting, bittersweet, beautiful and surprisingly sorrowful – Juno Records

a delicate yet unbreakable minimalist meditation…a mysterious and silent beauty prevails, a nervous little one, a still almost virgin understanding of the power of contemplation – Tracker Magazine (album of the week!)

elegant, flawless, and masterfulHeadphone Commute

Chauveau’s music will no doubt work for you better than FeldmanThe Vinyl District

asilent immersion in an ocean of pure, crystalline sound – Ondarock

bare (and yet content), the music reverses itself, going back through the centuries and reverting to a time when one piano was more than enough. Nothing else is needed Fluid Radio

a sharp 15-track collection of indeterminate, free-floating music Norman Records

the search for an organic alternative, a passage towards an elsewhere devoid of constraints and electronics, a return to an essential charged with soothed vitality and serenity, inner contemplation and discovery…full of delicacy and refined nuancesSilenceAndSound

hypnotizing soundscapes and melodiesEar Tapes

each short piece on the record shines with a stunningly emotive clarity – LIVE EYE TV

minimal, emblematic effectivenessMusic Won’ts Save You/Rockerilla

…epitomizes minimalism, from the soft piano music to the album cover of a solitary bicycle wheel to the song titles, which read something like a cryptic e e cummings poemPop and Thistle

vignette feel and at times flicker of sound – Drifting, Almost Falling

in the tradition of Morton Feldman and John Cage from almost nothing, but of maximum effectiveness – Groove

the piano miniaturesBenzine

delicate and shiny as cobwebs glistening in the dark…timeless music like this is needed more than everThe Tempohouse

avant-garde ‘thoughtful’ piano…with a minimalist insight – Kiyi Muzik

Our oblivion of a life without machines does not imply that it never existed and that perhaps, once we reach the bottom of the dead end, we can’t try to reimagine it – Esoteros

Sylvain Chauveau Life Without Machines

CAT No. FLAU84
Release Date: Japan - May 27th / Overseas - Apr 17th 2020
Format: CD/DIGITAL

Track List

1 o

2

3 or

4 d

5 e

6 w

7 bl

8 q

9 u

10 nd

11 r

12 (fa

13 l

14 en

フランスの作曲家Sylvain Chauveauの新しいアルバム「Life Without Machines」 は、バーネット・ニューマンの抽象画 「十字架の道行き」 シリーズを視覚的な楽譜として使用した短編作品集です。Sylvain Chauveauは静けさとスロウネスを重視し、エレクトロニクス、ピアノやギターといった楽器、時にはボーカルを用いた非常に最小限の構成で知られ、国内外様々なレーベルからリリース、世界各国でコンサートをを行ってきました。彼の新しいアルバムのタイトルである「Life Without Machines」は、私たちの生活が、エネルギーの永続的で膨大な使用を必要とする機械 によって完全にサポートされている、という事実を表現しています(大部分は化石燃料であり、その燃焼が絶えず二酸化炭素を大気に送る。タイトルは、このことが永遠に続くわけではないことを示唆しています)。より少ない機械、機械無しで生きることが、将来、集合的な決定になるか、またはエネルギー的にも経済的にも環境的にも、危機の組み合わせの結果になるかもしれません。

作曲はSylvain Chauveau、演奏はフランス人ピアニストのMelaine Dalibert。全15曲の作品ですが、トラックリストには14曲しか登場しません。これは15個の石があるが、どの角度から見ても最大で14個しか見えないという、京都・龍安寺の石庭を模したものです。 アルバムのライナーノーツはUbuWebの主宰で知られるKenneth Goldsmith。

After several years of working with Flau for releases of ensemble 0 (+ solo remixes) and Japan tours, FLAU asked me to make a full solo album for the label and I was excited by this idea.

I have composed for piano during a dozen of years (late 90s, 2000s). And in the early 2010s, it was time for me to explore other sounds. But after several years, I felt the need to come back to the piano, to go on with my obsession of quietness and silences. And to add a new dimension to my piano work: repetition and variations. And since a long time I wanted to work on very short format (“Short attention span is the new avant-garde”, once wrote Goldsmith).

I composed all the pieces but didn’t play them myself on the recording: it’s all performed by french pianist Melaine Dalibert. I didn’t want to play them myself because it required the skills of a professional pianist to make them sound as I wanted. Melaine was the perfect performer for this because he knows and understands very well this kind of music, and he played it with the precision of zen master.

There is a total of 15 pieces: 14 only will appear on the tracklist + 1 hidden track (hearable after a silence at the end of track 14). Like in the stone garden of Ryoanji in Kyoto – where there are 15 stones but from any point of view one can only see a maximum of 14 at the same time.

The title of the album, Life Without Machines, discusses the fact that our lives are entirely assisted by machines which require a permanent, colossal use of energy – mostly fossil fuels, whose combustion constantly sends CO2 to the atmosphere, causing climate change and global warming. French researcher Vincent Mignerot claims that, in order to prepare for the future consequences of ecological crisis and depletion of energy resources, 3 initiatives should be started: reducing our own incomes, sharing the wealth, and replacing machines by human labour.

The title of the pieces will display my love for concrete poetry. They are all ultra-short poems I wrote (in English) on the Greek island of Hydra, and then partly erased to keep only one or two letters for each piece. That’s why the tracklisting is like this.

-text by Sylvain Chauveau

KEEP READING