Reinier van Houdt - Bruno Duplant - Lettres et Replis (elsewhere 008) HD
Lettre 1 (excerpt 1) / Replis 1 (excerpt 2)
Reinier van Houdt - Bruno Duplant - Lettres et Replis
1. Lettre 1 11:02
2. Replis 1 9:44
3. Lettre 2 8:31
4. Replis 2 8:08
5. Lettre 3 8:00
6. Replis 3 12:47
Lettres et Replis (2017-2018)
scores by Bruno Duplant
composed and realized by Reinier van Houdt
piano recorded by Kees van de Wiel at Willem Twee Studios in Den Bosch on January 22, 2019
and Reinier van Houdt in Rotterdam on August 8, 2018
field recordings by Reinier van Houdt made on John Cage's 100th birthday on September 5, 2012 along the Maas Harbour in Rotterdam
mixed by Reinier van Houdt
mastered by Bruno Duplant
design by Yuko Zama
produced by Yuko Zama
p+c 2019 elsewhere music
Bruno Duplant's scores 'Lettres (pour Reinier van Houdt)' (2017) are three letter-form scores personally addressed to van Houdt containing letter sequences distributed across the page. 'Trois replis d'incertitude' (2018) are also three letter-form scores but with the notion of 'repli' (meaning 'fold' in a Deleuzian postmodern baroque sense as well as 'withdrawal' of incertitude and reactionaries toward the neglect of ecology, humanism, and culture). Duplant's scores also reflect Mallarmé's notion of textual space and chance, leaving a large room for the interpreter/performer.
Van Houdt’s realization of these scores are like his ‘reading’ and ‘replying to' Duplant’s scores, with composing three ‘Lettre’ pieces with multi-layered recordings of his piano sounds, and three ‘Repli’ pieces with his piano recordings and his field recordings. Van Houdt’s delicately nuanced piano sound, translucent overtones and rich resonances increase nostalgic colors and melancholic shadows as the record develops.
“I composed my realizations around the fundamentals of reading and writing. The Lettres are connected to melody spelled out and read in all directions propulsed by memory and gaze. The Replis are connected to the harmonies from a place as they permeate and unravel through the metaphorical holes made by writing, linearly arranged again with recordings of a walk along the river that traverses this place. Letters cannot be erased, they affirm the materiality of language. Words (like music) are not envelopes containing clear messages, nor are they loaded guns as Sartre would have it. The possibility of meaning is rooted in the dark side of language where destruction and meaninglessness precede all possible worlds.” (Reinier van Houdt).
All About Jazz review by John Eyles
The joint credit for Lettres et Replis is fully justified by its music. The six tracks—three "Lettres" and three "Replis" ("repli" translates as "fold," not "reply")—are performances of letter-form scores by France's Bruno Duplant, personally addressed to Dutch pianist-composer Reinier van Houdt, containing letter sequences distributed across the page. As so often, listeners do not get any glimpse of the scores themselves, so are in no position to judge the realisations on the disc. But Duplant's scores are not prescriptive, and left a lot of interpretation open to van Houdt as the performer.
The three "Lettre" tracks are effectively van Houdt's replies to Duplant's scores, in which he multi-layered his piano sounds. In "Lettre 1," he makes extensive use of the extremities of the piano keyboard, which would have been physically difficult, if not impossible, without multi-layering; the piece soon becomes a dialogue between the high and low ends, with some movement away from the extremes but no rapprochement between the two. Houdt allows plenty of space for the music to breath and notes to resonate, imbuing the piece with an impressive sense of drama. Although significantly different, "Lettre II" shares many of that track's strengths including its sense of space and drama; with many of the notes sounding damped, at times it gives the impression of prepared piano. "Lettre III" is different again, but is unmistakably of the same family, the three hanging together beautifully as a threesome.
The three "Replis" pieces are sufficiently different from the "Lettres" to be distinguishable but, like them, work together as a group. On each of them, van Houdt combined his piano recordings with field recordings he made on John Cage's 100th birthday, September 5, 2012, along the Maas Harbour in Rotterdam, a combination which works well and produces some distinctively memorable passages. As with the "Lettres," these three have a consistent sound and style, largely down to those field recordings, which colour each of them. "Replis III," at nearly thirteen minutes the album's longest track and its closer, typifies the three and merits special mention; opening with the sounds of an outdoor field recording, it soon adds deep rich bottom-end piano which creates an atmosphere that persists throughout the piece, one that will conjure up different emotions for different listeners, all of them dark, melancholy and persistent. All in all, a haunting piece that brings this excellent album to a fittingly fine conclusion.