Monday, October 26, 2009

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

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Christian Vasseur – Poemes Saturniens (Humming Conch)

Posted: 26 Oct 2009 02:17 AM PDT

Christian Vasseur is a bit of an oddity for Cyclic Defrost. He just scrapes through the “interesting music” front with tracks like ‘Epanchement du songe’ which holds a strange, mangled precision that unfolds to reveal a guitarist who can wield patterns of dissonance. This ten track album of guitar instrumentals includes many pieces that flesh out his excursions through classical guitar and flamenco, displaying a honed, controlled sense of improvisation.

Vasseur was something of a self taught guitarist until he met a few knowledgeable teachers and has since extended his range into the lute. It is not difficult to hear on Poemes Saturniens and the name-checking of the guitar craftsmen is a dead giveaway of his dedication. However, what resonates more clearly through this recording is a sense of Vasseur’s humanity. You might take it as a stretch that the tonal qualities of music express anything beyond exactly that, in a scientific sense. For a generation which has been raised on the graphic representation and manipulation of sine waves, that the conveyance of waves through space is the sum total of music’s form seems to be the all of it. That Vasseur has spent 15 years teaching musical theatre to children, adults, teenagers in custody and disabled children is also somewhat of evidence for the type point I am trying to make.

To say Poemes Saturniens displays the essence of a deep humanity is about the best description I could give you, beyond cataloguing the techniques of instrumental guitar he uses. If a comparison is in order, think Fripp with more improvisation, or Pat Metheny without the clichés.


Christian Vasseur – Poemes Saturniens (Humming Conch) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.