Franck Vigroux & Ars Nova Instrumental
Broken Circles Live
D’Autre Cordes CD
French composer and electronic musician Franck Vigroux has done a number of projects that straddle the boundaries between avant-pop and experimental concert music. His latest recording, Broken Circles Live enlists the help of the chamber ensemble Ars Nova Instrumental. It also features vocalist Geraldine Keller, keyboardist Matthew Bourne, and electric guitarist Marc Ducret. Vigroux contributes live electronics.
Broken Circles is a five-movement suite of pieces that feature moments of free improvisation and electronics interwoven into a composed score. Keller, in particular, is a standout. Her part is written like Pierrot Lunaire plus Circles on a psychedelic, steroid-tinged cocktail. Filled with swoops, shrieks, and sprechstimme, it is a daunting part for any soprano to assay. Keller makes a formidable and committed interpreter. Ars Nova and the instrumental guests weave a supportive accompaniment, creating a sound world that dips into both second modernist constructions and free-wheeling avant jazz excursions. Often, they match Keller’s intensity: one is particularly drawn to the dissonant crunches and soaring interplay of the suite’s final movement.
Thus, Broken Circles serves as an excellent starter kit for Vigroux’s music, as well as a bracing excursion into post-millennial polystylism.