AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Benoit Cancoin – Instants Minuscules Solo pour un [Blumlein A025]

Benoit Cancoin’s first solo release features four improvisations for four people—one of whom was still in utero–performed in four different locations. The improvisations were played as personal concerts for the people involved, in their homes or workshops. Given the closeness of the relationships and the intimacy of the settings, they represent extraordinary collaborations between performer and audience.

All four pieces feature a gestural approach to free improvisation that focuses on the peculiarities of the instrument—its pattern of overtones, responses to changes in bow pressure and articulation, the way different regions of the fingerboard affect the brightness and darkness of tone when fingered, tapped, or bowed a certain way. Throughout Cancoin creates a complex soundworld of drones, multiphonics, glissandi mimicking the Doppler Effect, creaks, slaps, scrapes and more. In the end, there is a kind of portraiture at work beyond that of the person and the space inspiring the playing. In essence Cancoin is painting a sound portrait of the instrument, bringing out its manifold qualities and quirks of personality.

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