In the beginning there was the piano. As soon as he mastered the basics he discovered the spell of melancholy while working on a little musical piece: an etude ringing out in the style of a somber hymn. Not the dead meat smell of somberness that, according to Picabia, serious people emit. Rather, instead, the earthen gravity of an abyss dug by life itself. Everything is the result of this bedazzlement.
At 11 years old, Jean-Philippe Goude closed his eyes. When his eyelids finally re-opened, he could only see turquoise bubbles.The times had changed. The color was set by Sgt Peppers With Weidorje, he initiated a rock adventure which led him to Dick Annegarn, Odeurs, Renaud, for whom he wrote outstanding arrangements. Mistral Gagnant revives itself from his artistic signature. He spent three years wandering and then awoke.
In 1985 he decided to write his own music, the music which had been lying asleep in a corner of his childhood. He sold his synthetizers and kept only a piano. Gone was the sequined way out. Thus began a long period of looking at himself in the mirror of sincerity. De Anima appeared in 1992, a decisive step on a neo classical path. Then followed the album Ainsi de nous (1994), La Divine Nature des Choses (1996) and Rock de Chambre (2001). Just as many of his works recognized, popularized often by radio and television. Jean-Philippe Goude is the author of these unforgettable musical titles which accompanied shows such as Un Siècle d’Ecrivains (France 3), Caractères (France 2) and again A voix nue (France Culture).
Rock de Chambre is a testimony of his taste for un-nameable combinations, like the meeting of a chamber orchestra and a rock drummer (including progression) linked to King Crimson; the album in which pop music legacy, the passion of energy and rhythm take on a special contrast.
There lies the secret. In the nostalgia of the baroque era (with all the subtle connections with song and dance) and the futurism of music which rejects neither Mahler nor David Sylvian, nor Ravel nor Penguin Cafe Orchestra. A sort of new age of scholarly music which balances on a tight rope held on one side by Lully’s heirs and on the other by the fans of Sufjan Stevens. Curious mix.
Aux Solitudes is certainly a play on words on Purcell (O solitude), but this album of classic instrumental and post-rock returns to a serious theme, that is an essential, and which does not consist of a consensual complaint on the planet’s degradation but instead, of an evocation of a major challenge. The announcement of the death of God has turned us into orphans. It’s up to us to fully pay the consequences.
Intertwinning of styles, borrowing from the past and prospective sounds characterize this new album in the color black, twinkling (like the vibrations of a painting by Pierre Soulages), whose lyricism is paradoxical for hope spurts forth on a base of desolation. Mixing the acoustic sources and electronics, with a shivering lightness and a frenetic pulsing, Jean-Philippe Goude invents this great music which abolishes frontiers. This music is to be listened to and looked at.
The singularity of L’Ensemble Jean-Philippe Goude is a magical union where a quintet of strings, piano, Martenon wave, mandolin, woodwinds and some heavenly voices, composing a cinematic universe like a film that projects dreams, doubts, nighttime moods, and the perspective of a path which is ours to draw. Here is a majestic work, profound in which it is impossible to lose oneself. It speaks as much to the fans of baroque music as to those souls moved by the minimalism of Moondog and Phil Glass, and to those who are touched by the fantasies of Erik Satie; as to those who are the most ardent admirers of Arvo Pärt’s diatonic music. For anyone turned on by Gabriel Fauré or definitely seduced by the elegies of Robert Wyatt, Aux Solitudes is an album of contrasts which goes beyond its predecessors.
As for the text recited by Laurence Masliah and Jean-Philippe Goude, sung by Isaure Equilbey and Paulin Bundgen, our young boy of 11 years of age has just inscribed a capital work in the marble of music on the move.This is one of the works that one will listen to with the sole purpose and the sole pleasure of traversing life (without the help of the afficionados of Lully and Sufjan Stenvens) while envisioning one’s present and future on a sensitive mood. Sensitive, Jean-Philippe Goude is assuredly, like a string which would be pulled by a wounded heart and the smile of an eternal child who doesn’t know that life dies.
Guy Darol (translated by Céline Barré)
released 18 March 2010
(p) & (c) Pour l'instant / Ici d'Ailleurs 2009
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