Yves Bouliane, Champ (10 opérations)

Yves Bouliane studied double bass with Roland Desjardins at the Montreal Conservatory in the early 1970s. Not yet twenty, he had been improvising with Robert M. Lepage since 1969. Together, they formed the Trio Expansible, a group that evolved continuously in the early part of the decade (Roger Boudreau, Vincent Dionne and other improvisers succeeded one another during the few years that the project lasted). In 1973, the two musicians met Raymond Gervais and Michel Di Torre with whom they founded Montreal’s Experimental Music Workshop (L’Atelier de musique expérimentale). These initiatives paralleled those of the Jazz libre du Québec – a free jazz ensemble, which Bouliane joined for a short period of time in 1972-73. He then continued experimenting with sound through performances at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Véhicule Art, one of Canada’s first artist-run galleries. In 1977, Bouliane composed “Champ (10 interventions)” and “Champ (10 opérations).” Ensemble SuperMusique recently released their interpretation of the first of these two experimental works. The latter is a work for cello solo. Performed and recorded by Bouliane in 1977, “Champ (10 opération)” was released at the time on a 10 copies limited edition cassette tape. From double bass to cello, Bouliane then turned to painting. He completed a Masters’ degree in Visual Arts in the 1980s, but he did so without abandoning music. With John Heward, he released Masse au 1/3 contrôle in 1985 – a double bass and drums duo, which Gervais describes as “ephemeral yet eternal music.”

This new Tenzier release revisits Bouliane’s late 1970s solo explorations. “Champ (10 opérations)” is available here for the first time on a limited edition 180 gr. vinyl record. Both the music and the artwork are by Bouliane.

Format: LP, 180 gr – Limited edition
Yves Bouliane: Music and artwork

Yves Bouliane: Champ (10 opérations) – Excerpt

Offered in limited quantities (54 copies) with the audio cassette À propos (de); a musical homage prepared by Alexandre St-Onge and Jean-Sébastien Truchy (in collaboration with the Montreal label Los Discos Enfantasmes).

Alexandre St-Onge: À propos (de) – Excerpt

Jean-Sébastien Truchy: À propos (de) – Excerpt

Out of stock

“The two LP sides total just over thirty minutes, providing a complex web of multithreaded intensity, a whirlwind of sound continuously unfolding at a frenetic pace. All available digits are hectically engaged in striking, sawing, and pounding every surface of the instrument simultaneously. Lines of choked notes interweave with a bombardment of percussive textures, and together with the low cello tones create the illusion of an improvised noise trio. On the cassette St-Onge and Truchy appropriately employ the same extended techniques while adding their own twists. St-Onge somehow manages to be even more intense, thumping away on his bass in an all-out assault. Truchy is more relaxed only by comparison, alternating bristly sections with quieter moments that overlay distinct strands in orchestral fashion. Overall, this is a coherent package that rediscovers the past while demonstrating a robust continuation of Quebec’s tradition of improvised music.” – Lawrence Joseph (MusicWorks)

“At the time, [Champ (10 opérations)] was released in an edition of only 10 handmade cassettes. Tenzier, with some help from Los Discos Enfantasmes tape label, has paid tribute to this fact with a limited tape release of their own. Tenzier invited two contemporary Montreal musicians, J-S Truchy (Fly Pan Am, Set Fire to Flames, most recently Avec le Soleil Sortant de sa Bouche), and Alexandre St-Onge (Shalabi Effect, Feu Thérèse), to contribute their own reinterpretations and presented a limited edition of 54 cassette facsimiles of the original to accompany the release. Their reinterpretations capture the intensity and spirit of the original, but coaxing rather different sounds from their instruments.” – Joseph Sannicandro (A Closer Listen)

“[Champ (10 Opérations)] is a mesmerizing exercise in hyper-kinetic, extended technique. It’s a whirlwind of a piece that finds Bouliane wrenching an extreme palette of sounds from his manhandled instrument. For over thirty minutes, the artist plucks, bows, scrapes, palms and hammers the cello in an unrelenting torrent of sound that is at once intriguing and jarring.” – Bryon Hayes (Decoder)

“Montreal’s Tenzier is one of the most laser focused archival labels in Canada with a dedication to the under-documented Quebec avant-garde. Its latest missive is a solo cello recording from Yves Bouliane, a heavily active free-improv musician of the early 1970s. Throughout a relentless 30 minutes, Bouliane bows, plucks, and hammers his stringed instrument into a springboard for all manner of mind-scrambling sounds. The initial run of the LP include a bonus cassette with tributes to Bouliane from modern-day Montreal free-improv heads Jean-Sébastien Truchy and Alexandre St-Onge.” – Jesse Locke (Aux.TV)