Feldspath is a project unusual in bringing together two already large ensembles, La Pieuvre and Circum Grand Orchestra, 32 musicians in all, under the single direction of the composer, Olivier Benoit. More than a simple concert, Feldspath is an exhilarating spectacle to see as much as to hear, mixing tribal energy, dadaist humour, austere brilliance, studied refinement.
La Pieuvre, although a conducted improvisation ensemble, is quite ready from time to time to indulge in certain written forms, as their second CD ’Ellipse’, issued in 2007, can attest. The Circum Grand Orchestra is one of those contemporary jazz orchestras looking eagerly at a wide range of musical aesthetics - rock, improv, free etc. Olivier Benoit, who directs La Pieuvre and composes for CGO, has written the music for Feldspath, drawing on the characteristics of both ensembles. The piece brings together more than 30 musicians.
"The project here is to bring together two large ensembles with different musical trajectories, to create a music which will exist at the boundary between a number of disciplines. Rather than meld the two groups into one, the sound and the particularities of each are left distinct, so that the two play simultaneously or in alternation within one musical unity. La Pieuvre keeps its character as an orchestral body, conducted as usual, and integrated into a form where the written music (in the traditional sense of the term), rhythmic or not, is entrusted to the CGO. On the other hand, the composition takes account of the fact that both ensembles are made up of improvisers, with their respectively different aesthetics. It is a matter of exploiting the signal capacities of each ensemble and each player, while always avoiding a music which is simply a mixture or superimposition of two styles."
Olivier Benoit (composition, direction), Sakina Abdou (alto sax), David Bausseron (guitar), Sébastien Beaumont (guitar), Samuel Carpentier (trombone), Nicolas Chachignot (drums), Claude Colpaert (trombone), Pierre Crétel (double basse), Ivann Cruz (guitar), Barbara Dang (keyboard), Vincent Debaets (bariton sax), Julien Favreuille (tenor sax), Nathalie Goutaillier (trumpet), Martin Granger (synthesizer), Lune Grazilly (voice), Patrick Guionnet (voice), Christophe Hache (bass), Martin Hackett (melodica, flute), Jean-Luc Landsweerdt (drums), Philippe Lenglet (guitar), Stéphane Lévêque (bass), Nicolas Mahieux (double bass), Yanik Miossec (clarinet), Maxime Morel (tuba) ; Christophe Motury (trumpet, bugle), Peter Orins (drums), Stefan Orins (piano), Jean-Baptiste Pérez (alto sax), Christian Pruvost (trumpet), Christophe Rocher (clarinet), Antoine Rousseau (bass), Jean-Baptiste Rubin (saxs)
You can find the album of Feldspath on Circum-Disc website.
Photo © JM Monin