French sound artist and engineer Félix Blume produces something voyeuristic and creepy, yet engaging and life-affirming at the same time. This album is a collection of brass music played at funerals in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
According to the website, there are featured in these ‘performances’ 15 dead, 15 funerals, 16 funeral processions, 1 procession with no dead, 5 churches, 1 cemetery, 1 wake, all recorded, including the wails and sobbing of those who lost their loved ones. There is a feeling that death has been conquered and mocked, however, in the same way New Orleans funerals tend to be.
This is field recording at its most engaging, at least for me.
Avant-garde bebop seems to be the most fitting way to describe this release featuring saxophonist Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi (drummer Chris Corsano and bassist Darrin Grey) along with pianist Masahiko Satoh. No less than Jim O’Rourke gushes over the the musicianship of this improvisers, but this isn’t a racket-filled noise blast. The musicianship is astounding, free, and engaging, something a lot of improvisers can’t seem to make happen unless they’re truly something special. It seems that Sakata has been making music since the 1960s, so I have a bit of exploring to do on his previous work.
Jeremy Dutcher is a Canadian tenor and composer of Wolastoq hertiage. He has done an amazing service in preserving the cultural heritage of his people, and the interpretations of this music remind one, as is described on his Bandcamp page, as having the same feeling of Antony and the Johnsons as well as the works of Rufus Wainwright’s more operatic moments. I look forward to Jeremy digging deeper into his roots.
Metamodal | Sokratis Sinopoulos Quartet to stream in hi-fi, or to download in True CD Quality on Qobuz.com