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Michel Godard & Gavino Murgia - Deep

Michel Godard & Gavino Murgia - Deep


Michel Godard: tuba, serpent / Gavino Murgia: voice, soprano saxophone / Walter Quintus: sound


  • Édition: CD
  • Année: 2007
  • N° Réf.: INT 34152
14,99 €  *
TVA incl. Weight: 0.07 kg

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Description

Monsieur Tuba, Jazz, and the Scorching Heat of Sardinia

It has long since ceased to be a secret: jazz has many fathers. Certainly its cradle is in New Orleans, and the contribution of black America to jazz is still dominant. Nevertheless, jazz is not judged by the number of releases but by the frequency of its creative impulses, and hence European sources are gaining in influence. For decades now the French tuba player Michel Godard has been one of the protagonists of a European jazz aesthetic. He is, quite simply, Monsieur Tuba. The sensitive master of the bass range has always sought his impetus more in Mediterranean ethnic music and in the tension between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance than in the Mississippi Delta. Now he is extending this perspective with the Sardinian singer and saxophonist Gavino Murgia.

Michel Godard is primarily known as a musician who lends a dancing legerity to the ponderous brass monster that is the tuba. In Deep, however, he employs the tuba only as his second instrument. His main instrument here is the serpent. The serpent is a historical wood instrument whose name already suggests its snakelike form. In Renaissance music it was responsible for the bass lines, and hence it can confidently be considered a precursor of the tuba. This twisted tube found use most recently in French military bands of the nineteenth century. In the 1980s the Renaissance instrument experienced its own renaissance, thanks to the early music boom. Michel Godard discovered it for jazz and thus introduced it to a completely new context.

For Godard, it was only logical to turn primarily to the serpent for his dialogue with Murgia’s ancient songs. “I have been playing serpent for many years, and in every concert I play at least two pieces on it, because it is a precursor of the tuba,” he explains. “It is a relatively simple instrument with qualities that modern instruments don’t have. For me personally, its sounds are simply a wonderful supplement to the tuba’s sound. It gives me an opportunity to create a direct connection to the past. I try to do that with the tuba too, but on the serpent I already have the original sound of past centuries. When you sing, you have this connection as well, for the human voice as such has not changed, and people have sung in every age. It is no coincidence that many jazz musicians are introduced in medieval song, because those days saw phenomena similar to today’s jazz – namely, instruments imitating voices and vice versa.“

Gavino Murgia’s voice possesses a good sound in Mediterranean music. Together with Godard, he has also worked with Rabih Abou-Khalil. His gravelly bass can be reminiscent of a Jew’s harp, a deep shawm, or the chirping of a cicada in Sardinia’s scorching heat. As a result, it truly challenges Godard’s serpent to a vocal-instrumental duel. Deep, however, is far more than a conversation between two musicians with an affinity for the sound of the south. It is a journey into the history of Western music from the Renaissance to the present. It is a lively trip, which for all its archaism does away with the dearly cherished prejudice that improvisation is causally linked to the Afro-American musical tradition. “I met Gavino in Sardinia,” Godard recalls. “At first I knew him only as a traditional musician. It was through him that I discovered Sardinian ethnic music in the first place. I immediately felt a deep connection between traditional Sardinian music and the early French music I was playing on the serpent. We decided to start a joint project. Only later did I learn that Gavino is also a fantastic jazz saxophonist. That enabled us to produce a comprehensive mix of all the cultures that have influenced us.”

But Godard and Murgia do not want their jazz to be misunderstood as the dowry for a kind of avant-garde neo-ethnic music. Even if its roots extend deeply into the European tradition, they describe their music with utter conviction as jazz. “The term ‘jazz’ is already problematic, since no two people understand it to mean the same thing,” Godard concedes. “A traditional jazz musician from New York understands ‘jazz’ to mean something quite different that we do, and he would surely vehement object that there is any kind of musical connection between him and us. Nevertheless, we need the term, because at the moment there is no better word for the music we play. We perform at jazz festivals, and jazz lovers listen to us. In that sense we have no problem with being categorized as jazz. In general, the differences between the various musical directions are not as great as it might appear. What matters is which building blocks each musician selects in order to formulate a unique language from them.“

One could certainly come up with many terms for this unusual music. But from whichever side one approaches these dialogues, there is a beauty inherent in them that is exotic and moves one to a creative, summery lethargy. And it does so even though the pieces are movingly simply. “Although we wrote the pieces ourselves, Gavino was inspired by Sardinian ethnic music, and I by the early music of France. Hence it made sense to perform certain pieces just with voice and serpent. No doubt we could as easily have rewritten them for piano and saxophone, but it wouldn’t have been the same thing. Certain pieces demand as much simplicity as possible in order to develop their beauty fully. The quality of the sound says a lot about the make-up of the piece. Virtuosity did not help us out at all there. On the contrary, we had to forget it. The title Deep refers to the fact that we wanted to penetrate as deeply as possible to the roots of our music.“

But Godard and Murgia are not satisfied simply to delve into the pass. When Godard reaches for his tuba and Murgia for his saxophone, they establish a bridge from history to the present. Listeners can decide for themselves whether to see the album as a journey to tradition with quick tours of the present or as a profound gaze from the edge of the modern era into the deep blue of the past.

Détails
Contenu du texte: Ambre
Adarre
Gorropu
Chloris
Deep
Pane Caiente
Abba Mama
choying
Intrighinu
Les Sorcières
Anninia
Durée de la performance: 51'46"
Maison d'édition: Intuition
UPC: 750447341524

Monsieur Tuba, Jazz, and the Scorching Heat of Sardinia

It has long since ceased to be a secret: jazz has many fathers. Certainly its cradle is in New Orleans, and the contribution of black America to jazz is still dominant. Nevertheless, jazz is not judged by the number of releases but by the frequency of its creative impulses, and hence European sources are gaining in influence. For decades now the French tuba player Michel Godard has been one of the protagonists of a European jazz aesthetic. He is, quite simply, Monsieur Tuba. The sensitive master of the bass range has always sought his impetus more in Mediterranean ethnic music and in the tension between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance than in the Mississippi Delta. Now he is extending this perspective with the Sardinian singer and saxophonist Gavino Murgia.

Michel Godard is primarily known as a musician who lends a dancing legerity to the ponderous brass monster that is the tuba. In Deep, however, he employs the tuba only as his second instrument. His main instrument here is the serpent. The serpent is a historical wood instrument whose name already suggests its snakelike form. In Renaissance music it was responsible for the bass lines, and hence it can confidently be considered a precursor of the tuba. This twisted tube found use most recently in French military bands of the nineteenth century. In the 1980s the Renaissance instrument experienced its own renaissance, thanks to the early music boom. Michel Godard discovered it for jazz and thus introduced it to a completely new context.

For Godard, it was only logical to turn primarily to the serpent for his dialogue with Murgia’s ancient songs. “I have been playing serpent for many years, and in every concert I play at least two pieces on it, because it is a precursor of the tuba,” he explains. “It is a relatively simple instrument with qualities that modern instruments don’t have. For me personally, its sounds are simply a wonderful supplement to the tuba’s sound. It gives me an opportunity to create a direct connection to the past. I try to do that with the tuba too, but on the serpent I already have the original sound of past centuries. When you sing, you have this connection as well, for the human voice as such has not changed, and people have sung in every age. It is no coincidence that many jazz musicians are introduced in medieval song, because those days saw phenomena similar to today’s jazz – namely, instruments imitating voices and vice versa.“

Gavino Murgia’s voice possesses a good sound in Mediterranean music. Together with Godard, he has also worked with Rabih Abou-Khalil. His gravelly bass can be reminiscent of a Jew’s harp, a deep shawm, or the chirping of a cicada in Sardinia’s scorching heat. As a result, it truly challenges Godard’s serpent to a vocal-instrumental duel. Deep, however, is far more than a conversation between two musicians with an affinity for the sound of the south. It is a journey into the history of Western music from the Renaissance to the present. It is a lively trip, which for all its archaism does away with the dearly cherished prejudice that improvisation is causally linked to the Afro-American musical tradition. “I met Gavino in Sardinia,” Godard recalls. “At first I knew him only as a traditional musician. It was through him that I discovered Sardinian ethnic music in the first place. I immediately felt a deep connection between traditional Sardinian music and the early French music I was playing on the serpent. We decided to start a joint project. Only later did I learn that Gavino is also a fantastic jazz saxophonist. That enabled us to produce a comprehensive mix of all the cultures that have influenced us.”

But Godard and Murgia do not want their jazz to be misunderstood as the dowry for a kind of avant-garde neo-ethnic music. Even if its roots extend deeply into the European tradition, they describe their music with utter conviction as jazz. “The term ‘jazz’ is already problematic, since no two people understand it to mean the same thing,” Godard concedes. “A traditional jazz musician from New York understands ‘jazz’ to mean something quite different that we do, and he would surely vehement object that there is any kind of musical connection between him and us. Nevertheless, we need the term, because at the moment there is no better word for the music we play. We perform at jazz festivals, and jazz lovers listen to us. In that sense we have no problem with being categorized as jazz. In general, the differences between the various musical directions are not as great as it might appear. What matters is which building blocks each musician selects in order to formulate a unique language from them.“

One could certainly come up with many terms for this unusual music. But from whichever side one approaches these dialogues, there is a beauty inherent in them that is exotic and moves one to a creative, summery lethargy. And it does so even though the pieces are movingly simply. “Although we wrote the pieces ourselves, Gavino was inspired by Sardinian ethnic music, and I by the early music of France. Hence it made sense to perform certain pieces just with voice and serpent. No doubt we could as easily have rewritten them for piano and saxophone, but it wouldn’t have been the same thing. Certain pieces demand as much simplicity as possible in order to develop their beauty fully. The quality of the sound says a lot about the make-up of the piece. Virtuosity did not help us out at all there. On the contrary, we had to forget it. The title Deep refers to the fact that we wanted to penetrate as deeply as possible to the roots of our music.“

But Godard and Murgia are not satisfied simply to delve into the pass. When Godard reaches for his tuba and Murgia for his saxophone, they establish a bridge from history to the present. Listeners can decide for themselves whether to see the album as a journey to tradition with quick tours of the present or as a profound gaze from the edge of the modern era into the deep blue of the past.

Contenu du texte: Ambre
Adarre
Gorropu
Chloris
Deep
Pane Caiente
Abba Mama
choying
Intrighinu
Les Sorcières
Anninia
Durée de la performance: 51'46"
Maison d'édition: Intuition
UPC: 750447341524
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