Christof Migone ‘Vex’ 1998

CanadaFlagContinuo’s Canadian Week

ZONE SATIE (with Michel F Côté)
01 La Phonométrie (2:50)
02 Vive Les Amateurs (2:08)
03 Trois Trompettes En Forme De Morceaux (1:39)
04 Comme Un Rossignol Qui Aurait Mal Aux Dents (0:40)
05 A Comme Analphabète (2:55)
06 I Am A War Machine (3:55)
07 Les Amateurs Professionnels (0:28)
08 Are You A War Machine (2:36)
09 Numéro 9 (2:01)
10 Satie Hardcore (1:14)

ZONE ARTAUD (with Gregory Whitehead)
11 La Voix Sans Organes (2:04)
12 Chez Rodez (4:06)
13 Broadcast For Bardo (1:09)
14 Channel Surf Morpion (1:20)
15 Ni Action, Ni Etre, Un Corps De Plus (3:13)
16 Merde (1:06)
17 Et Abstrait, Enfin, Tu Le Seras (2:38)
18 Pour En Finir Avec La Fin (4:31)

ZONE DELEUZE (with Louis Ouellet)
19 La Philosophie (3:16)
20 Je fus Ce Que Je Suis (0:44)
21 Défenestrer (5:16)
22 La Nulle Vérité (2:06)
23 Déterritorialisation (2:49)
24 Monadologie Et Nomadologie (2:17)
25 Parler Sale (1:04)
26 Le Pli (4:26)
Total time: 62:28
Released 1998, Ohm/Avatar 009

A collection of radical electroacoustic vignettes, ‘Vex’ (short for Vexations, Erik Satie’s most minimal work for piano) is comprised of 3 parts, each devoted to a french writer (Satie was a good writer as well, check his letters, documents, introduction to musical compositions, etc), and each in a duo with a guest musician. Christof Migone is a performer, curator, writer from Montreal; some of his writings appeared on Errant Bodies Press and Musicworks journal. Michel F Côté might be contributing assorted percussion on the first set of pieces, devoted to Satie, though both Côté and Migone are multi-instrumentists hard to pigeonhole in any instrumentation. What we have here is concrete miniatures conveying some of Satie’s humour. Funny how the opening track reminds me of some of Anne Gillis sonorities. ‘I Am A War Machine’ is a depressingly slow song (sort of).

The Antonin Artaud middle section is more austere and even more experimental, including some turntable scratching and abuse (the use of the needle as a microphone, for instance) and more readings from the french, either Artaud’s writings, either Migone’s elaborations based on it. I can’t exactly evaluate the input from sound poet Gregory Whitehead despite being familiar with both his voice and soundwork. Some voice snippets might be his own, though. Track #17 & 18 have saxophone, amid the electronics and noise. I assume Migone is playing this.

Philosophy teacher Fernand Ouellet collaborated with Jocelyn Robert on 2005 ‘Pandore’ CD on Ambiances Magnétiques. I assume he’s contributing electronic systems or programming here as well, on the Gilles Deleuze more abstract section.

Excellent CD. Here are some more info in french on the Vex project (which started as a live performance). Additionally, excerpts from Vex can be downloaded on UbuWeb, as well. And while we’re at it, Post Scriptum in response to J Henry Chunko’s comments: my idea of a Tellus 25th anniversary is less morose than the actual Ubuweb pages, and include more candles and icing on the cake, if you get the picture.


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