Florent Ghys

Baroque Tardif: Soli

Cantaloupe Music EP

A couple of weeks ago, we highlighted Florent Ghys’ multimedia capabilities on the  homepage. But the first of a projected three EPs for Cantaloupe,  Baroque Tardif: Soli, is an altogether more inward and intimate venture. It involves French composer/bassist Ghys in a project for a virtual ensemble: built out of recorded overdubs of himself performing. While the resulting music is designed for the medium of recording – it would have to be refashioned for an actual ensemble to be replicated live – one never gets the sense of sterility that often inhabits such multi-tracked endeavors.

Instead, Ghys uses his experience collaborating with the Bang on a Can All Stars during their summer workshops in 2006 as a jumping off point for some Downtown music-making, Bordeaux style. On “Soli,” Ghys focuses on basses in an organic, acoustic fashion. But “Simplement” brings a multi-instrument approach that includes vocals as well, with much of the melodic material snazzy in its syncopation and doubled in octaves.

“Coma Carus” takes on a more blurry, ambient cast with washes of dreamily treated sonics juxtaposed against backgrounded bass  ostinati.  Chorused vocals take center stage on “Clignotants,” creating a fetching interwoven pattern of repetitions then taken up by instruments. The EP closes in a more lyrical vein with “Béchamel,” a gentle and lyrical piece consisting of supple arco lines in counterpoint over a slow-moving pizzicato walking bass.

So much variety and material in five short pieces. One is eager to hear the rest of this EP series.

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