Another improbable record from the Kiosque d’Orphée catalogue, Situation Sonore ’76 is an (almost) all-women collective music project exploring stringed instrument resonances, Eastern music references and folk songs. The group of 10 women and 1 man held weekly rehearsals during one year to improvise and explore their instrumentarium, especially the self-build instrument called the Ariel, with movable frets under the strings to alter pitch (see picture below). I assume the concept stems from French educational circles, which were fond of the instrument during the 1970s, thanks to several books on collective music and self-build instruments available to educators.
♫ The string instruments’ timeless beauty combines with the amateurism of the interprets to conjure touching melodies, be it traditional folk tunes or collective, spontaneous compositions. Apart from the Ariel, other instruments used on this disc include Jew’s harp, acoustic guitar, sitar and the occasional percussion. On several occasions, the ensemble gathers in a chorale to perform a traditional song or wordless improvisation.
01 Tri Martelod (2:47)
02 Châteaux de Sable (2:07)
03 Amertume (2:01)
04 Lazare et Cécile (3:02)
05 Attente… Approche… (1:48)
06 Thème et Variations (3:22)
07 Aube (2:02)
08 S’en Allait à Marseille (1:40)
09 Histoire Hindoue (1:31)
10 Dans Les Prisons de Londres (2:50)
11 Métamorphoses (7:08)
Total time 30:15
LP released by Le Kiosque d’Orphée, KO 760508, Paris, France, 1976