Raymonde IV in residency. recording his future album. Arbeiten!
in the meantime somewhere near Düsseldorf - Ben Bertrand his LP covers in the making with Zeloot & Christophe Albertijn
Les Ateliers Claus in Brussels is a fine space to see exciting concerts; sometimes even of bands and people discussed in these pages. They also have a label, which is new information for me, but this album by Ben Bertrand is already their eleventh release. Bertrand is from Belgium and plays the
bass clarinet along with effects and loop pedals and is influenced by early minimal music of Steve Reich and Terry Riley. However don’t take this inspired by thing too literal in this case, as Bertrand’s
music is not as loopy or bouncy as the early works of the American pioneers. In the five pieces on this album Bertrand is more interested in playing a mellow tune, more ambient and the comparisons made by the label to Jon Hassell and Gavin Bryars make in that respect quite some sense. The bass clarinet is not always easy to recognize here; most clearly it sings in ‘V380 Orionis’, with some nice melody played over a repeating phrase. In ‘Sanctus Hubble’ the bass clarinet is introspective and the loops is kept simple. In the three other pieces the clarinet sound is much obscured by these effects and it becomes a bit blurred but in a very pleasant way. This is some truly fine minimal ambient music.
I understand that the album is also available on LP, which makes that it is not very long, but even at thirty-two minutes still is rather short. I for one would not have minded this to be a bit longer, both as an album, I guess, as well as individual pieces to be longer in duration. Hopefully there will be a follow-up album soon then! (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.lesateliersclaus.com/les-albums-claus
vital weekly 1129
CINEMATEK, Kunstenfestivaldesarts & les ateliers claus
during the last 2 days of their residency Kohier is recording their new compositions
Kohier started creating for you. Day 1 of their residency at les ateliers claus
upcoming les albums claus release
Ben Bertrand is armed with a bass clarinet and backed with sound effects, aiming in the direction of the contemporary classical section of your record collection. Dreamlike compositions that take you to his warm and minimal world. In the musical sauna, Ben Bertrand sits in between Gavin Bryars and Jon Hassell. For ‘Les Albums Claus’, Ben Bertrand made 5 compositions overflowing in a musical crescendo, unfolding it’s character and talent in an unified primitive/futuristic sound combining features of world ethnic styles with advanced electronic techniques.
Ben Bertrand was influenced by fellow minimalists such as Steve Reich and Terry Riley, and in his work, he combines simple musical patterns, offset in time, to create a slowly shifting, cohesive whole. He makes use of his clarinet - effects and loop pedals - to construct modal, hypnotic grooves, over which he plays microtonally-inflected clarinet phrases. The use of loops permits to phase patterns on which simple and audible processes let him explore musical concepts. Rich harmonies are built, always increasing in density, before the whole thing gradually fades out leading the auditor back on earth.
This debut album comes out on vinyl and cd in a limited edition of 300 copies each. All compositions are made and played by Ben Bertrand solo.
The design has been made by Dutch graphic designer Zeloot (New Yorker, DeMorgen, VrijNederland) and has been silkscreened.
Composition, arrangement, bass clarinet, electronics : Ben Bertrand
Voices on Post Scriptum to Valentina Tereshkova by Anne-Charlotte Bisoux & Manah Depauw
Recording, mixing and mastering by Christophe Albertijn
Recorded live at les ateliers claus, October 2017
Shot at La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris, France. Interview by Marc-Aurèle Baly.