Eric Chenaux, or: the special delight of a late discovery

My excuse: during a lifetime, in our modern and post-modern times, music lovers discover oceans of sound, uncomparable to the old days and the very old days. So, from time to time, you find about a musician, a composer, you‘ve never heard before, and you stumble upon a record with his name, and you immediately fall for the music. This lately happened to me when I listened, from start to end, to „Delights Of My Life“, by the Eric Chenaux Trio. A marvel. Kept pressing on rewind, cause I wasn’t believing what I was hearing. So, thinking back of the years in which the „Klanghorizonte“ radio show was strolling though three night, three decades long. two of this years‘ epiphanies in sound would have been regular guests: The American Analog Set – and Eric Cheneau!

Now, on TheQuietus, I read about some of his favourite records, and I finally knew: I had to crossed ways with this Canadian singer, guitar player, composer, improvisor. At one point, for example, he mentioned Robert Wyatt, with the words: „Robert Wyatt’s a genius at that too – he knows how to make super simple things sound strange, and I think that comes out of curiosity in a radical sense, that allows people to show beautiful and strange things in a new light.“ An anderer Stelle brachte er eine meiner Lieblingsplatten des letzten Jahres ins Spiel, „Since Time Is Gravity“ von der „Natural Information Society“, und bemerkte dazu: „I’ve loved this band, and Josh Abrams, for a very long time – but this is the killer record for me. It grooves unbelievably hard and wobbly, and then just has these stellar sheets of sound. I think it’s incredible writing, he has an incredible band, and it just makes me feel. It’s dance music; it gets my body moving all the time. And I find it heartbreakingly beautiful, the melodies and harmonies.“

Und dann entdeckte ich ein langes Interview mit ihm über die Improvisation, und stiess auf folgemde Sätze: „Das Vergessen hat etwas unglaublich Psychedelisches an sich. Ich kann mir nichts vorstellen, was mehr mit der Gegenwart zu tun hat als das Vergessen. Offensichtlich gibt es verschiedene Formen des Vergessens. Ich spreche über das Vergessen unserer Beziehung zu unseren Illusionen und wie diese Beziehung andere Beziehungen zur Kontrolle geformt hat. Das Vergessen kann wild sein, eine Halluzination. Vergessen kann eine Begegnung mit etwas sein, das uns völlig und wild unbekannt ist, das Loch, die Lücke, der Andere, die Liebe.“

So, if you (like me) dive into the surreal song worlds of Eric Cheneau‘s „Delights Of My Life“, you will possibly have no further questions about the pastel colours of the cover painting of our „album of the month“. That said, I hope some words will find me that make a little bit of sense to introduce this album to other listeners on air. I could then speak about forgetting, too, but well well well… listen for yourself, and you might, fingers crossed, experience something truly unforgettable!

2 Kommentare

  • Michael Engelbrecht

    Excerpt from an excellent interview with Eric Cheneau on improvisation:

    There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind for your improvisations and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?

    Have you ever gone up to a musician after a set and said that you thought it was mind-blowing music only to be told by the musician that they did not like it, that they were distracted, or not in the zone?

    Let’s be easy on these musicians for a moment. We get it. They were not pleased with it and they feel uncomfortable about that. Easy to understand. Let’s give them a break here. But, let’s also say that we do not care how they feel, quite aside from the fact that we may care how they feel and do not wish them to feel anything but joy.

    I think it may be a worthwhile activity to internalise this problem and wire it right into our practice as music makers. Leonard Cohen remarked that if he knew where the good songs come from he’d go there more often. I think we can modulate that snappy answer to the question of one’s state of mind.

    The whole thing:

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