Aquaserge – The Possibility of a New Work for Aquaserge

· by Luc Marchessault

Aquaserge—what purpose does it serve? Well, it edifies music lovers who are 1) already addicted to off-track discoveries, or are 2) willing to have their auditory canals expanded. And which mean is best suited to do this? Easy: Made to Measure, the collection dedicated to composers on the amazing Crammed Discs label, founded a little over 40 years ago by Marc Hollander. Made to Measure published its first volume in 1984; The Possibility of a New Work for Aquaserge is its 46th. It is a well-known fact that Aquaserge, a protean ensemble from Toulouse, France, likes to dabble in all kinds of modes, models, moderatos, and modulations, among other things. For their new album, the nine musicians pay homage to four contemporary composers: Edgard Varèse (1883-1965), Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988), György Ligeti (1923-2006), and Morton Feldman (1926-1987). This is a big program, which includes five tribute pieces composed by Aquaserge, a song written by Varèse on verses by Paul Verlaine, and a piece by Morton Feldman on a text by Rainer-Maria Rilke (in two versions). This time around, the fundamental quintet of Aquaserge is transformed into a nonet: Manon Glibert (clarinets), Audrey Ginestet (vocals and bass), Julien Chamla (drums and percussions), Benjamin Glibert (guitars and keyboards), Julien Gasc (vocals and synthesizers) are joined by Camille Emaille (percussions), Marina Tantanozi (flutes), as well as Robin Fincker and Olivier Kelchtermans (saxophones). It’s calm, it’s frenetic, it’s melodious, it’s disheveled, it’s semi-classical, it’s new-prog, it’s post-jazz, it’s avant-rock, it strains against the reins, it slacks off, it’s strong, it’s rough, it’s sleek, it’s good. Very very good, even.

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