U34 | Flavien Gillié | Nonante-neuf fragments harenois
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format : CD ltd to 200 hand numbered copies
all copies come with an additional art card on 300gr satin paper
release year : 2016
length : 42’00
status : still available
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(Belgium) : 13 € (inc.postage)
(Europe) : 14 € (inc.postage)
(World) : 15 € (inc.postage)
: info :
Haren est une commune bruxelloise où des industries abandonnées ont pris la place de terrains agricoles. Ici de nombreux noeuds ferroviaires se lient et se délient tandis que les avions ne décollent plus de son aéroport disparu, mais de Zaventem tout proche.
Sans attrait et pourtant désirable, je m’y suis immédiatement senti bien, à la frontière de l’abandon et de l’oubli ; j’ai pu contempler et écouter des lieux désolés avec un étonnement sans cesse renouvelé d’être encore à Bruxelles.
Les usines Wanson où j’ai enregistré en 2011 ont depuis été détruites ; elles feront place prochainement à une méga-prison. La cité-jardin Hamesse à l’état de ruine va être rénovée.
Les enregistrements sont toujours une archive d’un présent disparu ; à Haren , plus qu’ailleurs, j’ai cette conscience de l’éphémère, de l’impermanence. J’ai voulu enregistrer beaucoup pour garder en mémoire tous ces lieux, toutes ces ambiances sonores ; je les ai ensuite recomposées, pour les faire miennes un instant, avant de les donner à entendre.
(Flavien Gillié, Mai 2016)
Haren is a Brussels commune where deserted industries have supplanted the farmlands. Here, plenty of rail hubs bind and unbind while planes don’t take off anymore from its missing airport, but from nearby Zaventem.
Despite it being unattractive though desirable, I felt immediately at ease over there, at the frontier of abandonment & forgetting ; I could listen to & gaze at desolate spots with a constantly renewed amazement of still being in Brussels.
The Wanson factories where I have recorded in 2011 have since been destroyed, they’ll make room shortly for a mega-prison. The Hamesse garden city left in a state of ruin will be renovated.
The recordings are always an archive of a disappeared now ; in Haren more than anywhere else, I’m aware of the ephemeral, the impermanence.
I wanted to record a lot to keep all those sound environments, all those places in memory ; then I recomposed them to make them mine for a moment, before handing them over to for listening.
(translation : Daniel Crokaert)
: reviews :
No yet a review, but a personal comment that needed to find its way here from Willem Sannen who has an upcoming excellent work “Brussel Noord” (download only) on the Gruenrekorder venerable label- here come his words : “I just listened to nonante-neuf fragments harenois and I liked it a lot.It reflects somehow my personal taste in that it does create a more abstract sound environment. The perspectives are not literal or recognizable and the work evokes an acoustic space where there is a lot of room for the personal emotional interpretation of the listener. I felt I was internalizing the places you recorded rather then trying to be at those places which is something I encountered also in works of Jana Winderen and BJ Nilsen.
I’m very happy I got a copy and I hope the album finds a lot of ears and attention.“
The Unfathomless Series continues to be the best ongoing series in the field recording industry, as proven by new entries from Flavien Gillié and Vanessa Rossetto. The sounds are always intriguing and the unified presentation ~ featuring art by Daniel Crokaert ~ contributes a memo-rable visual identity.
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. These lyrics, penned decades past, lamented the destruction of nature for commerce. But what happened next ? Flavien Gillié attempts to an-swer this question with the single-track Nonante-neuf fragments harenois (roughly translat-ed 99 fragments of sound from Haren). This Brussels community became industrialized, but then the industry left: factories razed, airport deserted. While walking through the ruins of this area, one can sense the sedimentary weight of history, which no longer seems like progress. And yet its future is already written: a new “mega prison” will soon open, and the local gardens will be restored, an unusual, if not heartbreaking combination.
Like many artists before him, Gillié sets out to preserve a record of his sonic environment. But like few artists before him, he realizes that the sonic clock has almost struck midnight. This lends the project a strange melancholic air. To whom might dilapidated industry appeal ? Com-pare this, perhaps, to the wreckage of a relationship, which possesses its own sullen allure. His recording is beautiful : peaceful as the wind, the quiet rustle of tattered paper, the hum of lonely generators. Mid-composition, the drones grow more insistent, while respecting the distance of the listener. When they recede, birdsong enters, as tentative as an exile returning home. In the end, creaks and clanks lead to the sound of a slow, slow, rail, a town beginning to re-awaken. But to what ? The next chapter remains unwritten.
A Closer Listen
Now here’s a release by someone I truly, honestly (double checked) never heard off, despite his (digital) releases by Bruits de Fond, The Field Reporter and Green Field Recordings, and probably you could gather from that he works a lot with field recordings. I believe this is his first ‘real’ CD and it deals with recordings Gillié made in Haren, Belgium, part of his hometown Brussels. I never heard of this area, but apparently it has a lot of abandoned industries, an unused airport and soon there will be a mega-prison in this area. So Gillié came at the right time to capture some of the loneliness of the place, as heard under railways and airplanes (the in-use airport Zaventem is nearby). So while this is a desolate area, it is still part of the city and that’s not so nearby, but Gillié does whatever he can do to record the far away city. We hear mostly the rumble of traffic, as filtered down through tubes and below arches, or even inside buildings. Then, in the process of creating this forty-two minute composition, it is a bit unclear as to what he does, but somehow I don’t think there is extensive processing going on here, but there might be, to certain extent, be more sonic filtering of certain frequencies, to make it all darker and perhaps a bit louder.
Gillié puts emphasis on the lower frequencies here and there and the other thing I think he does is to layer various recordings over each other and create this great intense piece of solitude. It is all quite dark and remote, but it is also of great beauty I think. It is all quite drone based, with the occasional crackle of leaves or gravel mixed at a very low level; there is even some humming that is vaguely melodic (around the 27-minute break) and reminded me a bit of Oren Ambarchi, perhaps oddly enough.
Excellent introduction, I’d say, to this man’s sound world and great to see Unfathomless releasing this !
Frans de Waard