U16 | Kassel Jaeger | Rituel de la Mort du Soleil
format : CD ltd to 200 hand numbered copies
all copies come with an additional art card on 300gr satin paper
release year : 2013
length : 42’18
status : not many copies left !
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(Belgium) : 13 € (inc.postage)
(Europe) : 14 € (inc.postage)
(World) : 15 € (inc.postage)
[post-scriptum by Philippe Lamy]
J’ai écouté le Kassel Jaeger : je suis extrêmement impressionné.
Je dois dire qu’au départ le titre m’a un peu décontenancé, mais plus j’avançais dans l’écoute, et plus je le trouvais juste.
ce morceau est une pièce qui creuse en nous, qui touche et atteint des strates enfouies en nous,
et résonne directement avec quelque chose d’essentiel et primordial, au sens propre du terme.
Mort du Soleil :
il y a là aussi quelque chose qui touche à l’essence même du son et du monde sonore ;
on a l’impression de se trouver dans un cercle autour d’un feu mourant,
baigné par les dernières lueurs de cendres mourantes
avant que le noir se fasse et que le monde sonore s’ouvre dans l’obscurité
pour la peupler d’autres images, intérieures celles-là :
on est au coeur du phénomène acoustique.
Cette pièce semble surgir d’une nécessité fondamentale
et c’est aussi ce qui lui donne une telle force,
je la trouve formidablement inaugurale et emblématique…
ENGLISH TRANSLATION (Daniel Crokaert)
I just listened to Kassel Jaeger‘s newie : I’m utterly impressed.
I must say that from the start the title disconcerted me slightly, but the more I progressed into the listening and the more I found it right.
this composition is a piece which digs within us, moves us and reaches our buried strata,
resonating straight inside with something essential and primordial, in the literal sense.
Mort du Soleil :
there also is something which concerns the essence of the sound and the world of sound themselves ;
one gets the impression of standing in a circle surrounding a dying fire,
bathed in the last glimmers of fading ashes
before the dark comes, and the world opens itself in this darkness
to populate it with other images, internal these :
we’re at the very heart of the acoustic phenomenon.
This piece seems to surge from a fundamental necessity,
and that’s also what gives it such a strength,
I find it tremendously inaugural and emblematic…
: info :
Qu’est-ce qu’un rituel ? Un ensemble d’actions systématisées forgeant une communauté symbolique. Cette communauté, ce soir du 15 juillet, a pu se constituer grâce au bien nommé Jan Minuit, qui m’a aidé à réaliser ce rituel dans un endroit étrange, isolé de tout.
Dans cet endroit, qui est une sorte de petit monde vertical, j’ai vu les arbres grandir puis être déracinés par les tempêtes. J’y ai connu des personnes, disparues depuis, et dont les traces se sont elles-mêmes lentement évaporées.
Le rituel consista en une exploration systématique des potentialités sonores de ce lieu, potentiels sonores aériens, hydrophoniques, de contact, magnétiques, etc…Cherchant ainsi à ré-invoquer les évanouis. Le rituel s’est déployé du coucher de soleil à la nuit noire, passant d’une capture des énergies diurnes à celle des énergies nocturnes, obscures.
Rituel sur une terre désolée se relevant à peine, dix ans après, sous un Soleil mort. Tout bruisse encore après la mort du Soleil. Mais pour combien de temps ?
(Kj, avril 2013)
What’s a ritual ? A set of systematized actions creating a symbolic community. This community, on this evening of July 15, could form thanks to the aptly named Jan Minuit who helped me to realize this ritual in a strange, completely isolated, place. In this location, which is a kind of small vertical world, I’ve seen the trees grow, and then be uprooted due to the storms. There I’ve learned to know people, gone since, and whose traces have slowly varnished.
This ritual consisted of a systematic exploration of sound potentialities from the location itself, aerial, hydrophonic, contact, magnetic sound potentials, etc…Trying this way to re-invoke the faded. The ritual unfolded at sundown during black night, going from a capture of diurnal to nocturnal, obscure energies.
Ritual on a barely recovering desolate land, ten years after, under a dead Sun. Everything still rustles after the death of the Sun. But for how long ?
(hopefully respectfully translated by Daniel Crokaert )
: reviews :
‘Music is everywhere, if only we had ears’ is something John Cage said, I believe. Kassel Jaeger recorded the music that is Rituel de la Mort du Soleil together with Jan Minuit somewhere in France, a rural area so it seems, on an evening (and the night that followed) during the summer of 2011. Rituel de la Mort du Soleil tells a seemingly unimportant story, a pagan excursion that could be recorded at a lot of places, times, universes even, yet it sticks in one’s memory, forming a mosaic with dazzling details, unfolding a million possibilities to pay tribute to ancient magic.
A recording of the first moments after the sun has died I’d like to think could sound like this, where all overwhelming sound is absent and lots of space suddenly is created for things that went unnoticed before. Jaeger and Minuit explore the tiniest details, finding patterns in apparently random sound bits and sometimes it is as if the guys directly communicate with the local flora and fauna, as if it wants to create awareness of a sun dying. There’s parts of introspection leveling out with mysterious atmosphere, but in essence I’d like to think that this record is just paying tribute to the ever continuing cycle of an evening, being washed over with night, when the cracking of wood just yields more effect compared to carefully composed music.
The track sounds as if recordings are heavily processed, but one can also imagine that, when using just a lot of microphones, at this micro-level beauty rules. And although the title may imply astral aspirations ultimately resulting in the sun’s demise, this recording is steeped in soil, with the clay’s musty odor seeping through. When it ends in silence, it feels as if this was all a dream and never actually happened. Knowing that the moment of creation itself is fleeting, with a new day dawning, all that existed for a while evaporates.
The title refers to a ritual conducted right after sunset on a summery day outside a village in France by Kassel Jaeger and Jan Minuit.
During the ritual which took place between the last rays of sunlight and the full onset of night time, these two set up several microphones capturing all of their
crepuscular activities as well as the environmental noises that surrounded them.
The slurping mud, rustling leaves and the growling din of the nocturnal insect chorus are all immaculately recorded with all of the crisp sonic detail left intact.
Jaeger spliced and looped these recordings into a form of Musique Concrete. While much of the cross hatched field recordings come from the methods set
forward by Luc Ferrari, the albums highlight is found at the waterlogged undulations of damp smackings and deep rumbles that parallel the churning accretion from Nurse with Wounds “Salt Marie Celeste” but on a smaller scale.
The last time we reviewed a release by Kassel Jaeger, the artist had formed a piece based on the resonances of stones. This time out, he’s expanded his palette. While Rituel de la Mort de Soleil is a soundscape, the field recording aspects are more prevalent; one can barely detect any manipulation, although it’s safe to say that most forests don’t change this much in 42 minutes. In creating this piece, the artist recorded from sunset to deepest night, capturing sounds through a variety of techniques (“aerial, hydrophonic, contact, magnetic”), eventually forming a whole: a ritual of an imagined time following the death of the sun.
Without sunlight, many of these sounds would swiftly disappear: birds and brine shrimp, even the rustling of trees. But here they are captured in such a way as to restore their sense of mystery. In the dark, the unidentifiable sound becomes the threat. The benign becomes the foreboding. In the second movement (beginning at 5:00), a soft, semi-melodic series of notes begins to tumble and twirl like the last prayer of a tribe seeking to assuage the gods. The cracks and creaks increase as the forest reclaims its own. In the third (10:29), these sounds give way to the sound of a shovel (we’re only guessing) and a field of insects. Are the last people being buried? If so, what is one to make of the knocks and taps, slices and slaps that grow louder as the piece progresses? Are these the sound of a man working in isolation, or does something wicked this way come? Some might argue that as far as nature is concerned, the “something wicked” is us; in this case, humanity is receiving its just desserts. Unfortunately, nature is about to fold as well.
Silence falls in the 21st minute, only to be interrupted at 21:49 by crunches and growls. This is the sound of nature in revolt. The wilderness belongs to the wild. Something or someone is walking by the creak, voiceless and unafraid. Will humanity need to revert in order to survive? This is the sort of question implied by the album, although listeners will need to provide their own narratives. While the work falls within the boundaries of science fiction, à la The Hellstrom Chronicle, it presents a bleak future that most would prefer to avoid. If so, the album is a call to arms.
As the sun sets darkness closes over the region of Pellechevent, France. The distant cries of children filter into the local swampland, the sound blending with the nocturnal creatures emerging from the shadows. This is the opening section to Kassel Jaeger’s dense and deeply intense opus “Rituel de la mort du Soleil”. As the piece progresses we question whether this “death” symbolically simply refers to the setting of the sun or if, instead, it refers to the final moments of life on earth. The tone of “Rituel de la mort du Soleil” is such that both interpretations could be true, the title adding power to Jaeger’s mix of raw and modified field recordings from this thick swampy locale.
Throughout “Rituel de la mort du Soleil” sounds from beyond the immediate space of the microphones make us aware of the liminal position in which we have been immersed. Distant sounds of trains, traffic and planes provide the listener with an acute sense of what lies outside the perimeter of the recording site. These external sounds are used by Jaeger to effectively contrast the world in which we are now seated. In our near vicinity we hear life emerging from the murk beneath us. Steady low groans, reminiscent of tectonic movements, loop mesmerically as the higher frequencies of crickets call from above. Slaps and rustles, perhaps trees being struck, add a percussive element. Many of these sounds are processed giving the illusion of being vaguely recognisable. Are they sounds we hear beyond our immediate level of consciousness – sounds familiar to an ancient part of our brain?
“Rituel de la mort du Soleil” is as dark as it is captivating. There is a powerful environmental message here. The mix of industrial and natural sounds, modified and unmodified sounds, highlight the state of Earth in the 21st century. How cognizant are we of the life that stands before us? We listen with the knowledge that these natural spaces are growing smaller. An equilibrium between the natural and industrial worlds has failed to be reached. We question if this space will also be lost – we wonder if the sounds Jaeger has recorded will one day be relegated to the archives.
The final section of “Rituel de la mort du Soleil” grows quieter; the earthly rumbles of the earlier passages fade. As a cricket continues to call a processed airy drone rises to prominence. The drone hangs suspended while short bursts of static break into the piece. It is a reminder that “Rituel de la mort du Soleil” is a construct. It is layers of sound that have been recorded and edited into an artificial form in a studio divorced from its original recording site. Nevertheless “Rituel de la mort du Soleil” moves and breathes, emitting its own unique frequencies for those prepared to listen.
Are these our last days? Listening to “Rituel de la mort du Soleil” do we hear the death of the sun? Do we simply hear an eternal ritual that has been enacted since the beginning of time – the transition of life as it moves between night and day and back to night? We listen to “Rituel de la mort du Soleil” again, searching for answers to these questions.
The Field Reporter
It would be curious to gauge the reaction of the droves of O’Rourke-oids who find their way to a release like this, now that Jaeger has been singled out as a new-found favorite. Given that it’s a run limited to 200 copies, better get yours quickly. I’m guessing this “ritual” is one of Jaeger‘s own devising, as my googling pretty much results in this disc alone, but he seems to want to harken back to the possibility that similar events occurred in times past in this region of central France. Tee result is a combination of on-site recording (insects, pond sounds, presumably more) and Jaeger‘s contributions to the landscape, including wood, bones and, to be sure, processing. As with much of his previous work that I’ve heard, there’s an underlying pulse of sorts, though never so prominent as to be intrusive, more a series of varied throbs that oar the music down its sluggish waters. There is a humidity or sorts in play here, a “closing in” of the surroundings, though perhaps my ear-to-brain connection is overly influenced by the shamanistic photos in the booklet. Something doesn’t entirely click for me here; perhaps it’s simply the knowledge that a ritual is being invoked, however obliquely, and I’m not too keen on the general subject, imparting, for me, a hokey ambience. Maybe it’s also the heavy hand of post-production, as when cycles of sound clusters are iterated in a manner that, however blurred, imply a mechanical aspect that conflicts with my image of the nighttime countryside. The second half of the disc is more stable, fairly steady-state and works the better for that, though still, I can’t say I found it gripping; listenable but not so memorable, not nearly as memorable, I imagine, as sitting out in that field may have been.
The place visited by Kassel Jaeger is Pellechevent, France and together with one Jan Minuit he performed a ritual there, which included ‘dusk, pond, wood, bones & plants, arch, nuit d’encre’. Whatever that means, and whatever that may have looked like. But between sunset and dark night they made this recording and from that ritual, this piece – forty two minutes – was made. Kassel Jaeger is one of the newer names from an already crowded field of people working with ‘sound processing’ and ‘field recording’, but what I heard so far from him, I actually quite enjoyed. This new one, his second on Unfathomless actually, doesn’t disappoint either. Its hard to tell to what extend he has processed his original sounds. I could take a guess here and there, but most of the times it’s actually not easy to guess. To some extent a lot, and to another perhaps nothing at all? The insects around the thirty minute break for instance, seem pretty ‘natural’ to me. Of course none of this should bother me, as I should sit back and listen to what is on offer here, the music as it is. We have here something that works like a small nocturnal journey. If you go out into the woods at night and you hear all these sounds, it may give you a creepy feeling. That perhaps is something that we hear on this work. As a true boy-scout I know these outdoor, nocturnal sounds pretty well, but Jaeger presents them in a rather sophisticated composition. Quite dark, but not in a drone like sense of the word, but just ‘dark’ in an evening, twilight sense. Maybe I am hearing things here which are not there? I quite enjoyed this release, but didn’t think it was his best work yet. His previous releases were equally good, if not a touch better.
Frans de Waard