RAYMOND BONI / RAPHAËL SAINT-REMY – Clameur

Émouvance

Boni and Saint-Remy do not belong (proudly, one surmises) to any of the circles of usual suspects in the rapidly expanding, all-involving, erstwhile “small” world of improvisation. In Clameur, they employ guitars, harmonica, piano, oboe, spinet and “hauts-cuivres” (sorry, I haven’t been able to translate this from French). These nine tracks – all developed on the spot, including a rarefied version of Duke Ellington’s “Solitude” – admit the listener to the purest modus operandi an expert musician can show during the act of playing. The couple look into a vast gamut of dynamic conditions: temperamental conversations and quieter shades exclude merely “technical” factors from the equation almost completely. They produce serious noise, then return to dreaminess; mix the infinite repeat of a delayed guitar and the raucous obsessiveness of a reed wail; imitate whales; chatter like old aunts. Above all, they listen to the surrounding vibrations with the same attention given to the summer evening’s crickets by a sensible human being. Several times the music might appear anarchically unpractical, should someone anticipate modal flurries and refined combinations. However, this writer always trusts artists who prefer a stark-naked abstraction imbued with innocence – for this is what we’re dealing with here – to a complex construction founded on ego-tickling flamboyance.

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