Exposé Online banner

Un Ensemble & Jean-Luc Guionnet — Points sans Surface
(Circum-Disc LX 012, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-04-07

Points sans Surface Cover art

Sometimes promos come to me that are pretty far out there, so far in fact that regardless of how many times I listen to them, I’ll probably never catch the wavelength, and Points sans Surface is certainly one of those. The composer is Jean-Luc Guionnet, who our readers have heard from before, most recently with his 2016 Quelque Chose au Milieu with the ensemble Bi-Ki?, but this one is a very different animal, scored for the 29 musicians of Un Ensemble playing just about every instrument imaginable, plus spoken vocals, including all kinds of horns, saxes, bass clarinet, contrabasses, violins, cellos, flute, electronics, drums, percussion, even electric guitar and more. This is really a small orchestra, sounding like they are performing some kind of random improvisation most of the time, sometimes so quiet that the result is barely audible, then one of the voices will speak some nonsense and a few instruments come to life all of a sudden. The loud sounds (percussion, horns, etc.) and quieter sounds (all strings and some of the quieter woodwinds and such) seem to be tied together with the quiet electronic sounds that pretty much permeate the entire piece at various levels. There are tracks, so to speak, but these just seem like random divisions in the program that occur prior to some ‘event’ like a spoken part, otherwise one can consider this to be one long continuous 65-minute piece. What’s happening here might make a lot more sense when experienced live in a three-dimensional acoustic space, but coming out of the speakers of my cheap stereo I find myself just scratching my head in wonderment and occasionally experiencing the jarring feeling the low pitched instruments and drums occasionally shaking the room. Still, it is possible to like and enjoy something that one doesn’t fully understand, and that’s sort of where I am with this.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Jean-Luc Guionnet

More info
http://unensemble.bandcamp.com/album/points-sans-surface

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kenso - Kenso II – Another welcome reissue, prices for original LPs of Kenso's extremely rare first and second albums have been soaring skyward in the last few years, beyond the reach of the average progressive music...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues