Malval

by Christophe Berthet

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1.
03:41
2.
03:44
3.
04:41
4.
06:11
5.
11:50
6.
04:33

about

Christophe Berthet : saxophone soprano et alto.
Enregistré en août 2011 dans la Chapelle de Malval, Dardagny, Genève, Suisse.
221 CD Creative sources recordings.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuE-4_EsQR4
youtu.be/HjMZkhQ9qNg

You can't listen to everything. We try to guide the reader to new music that's coming our way. Sometimes it is even tough for the guides to keep track of what's happening. While browsing again through the hundreds of albums that have not been reviewed, and deciding to ditch from our list all the albums that were not released this calendar year, just to make things more manageable, I came across this little gem from Swiss saxophonist Christophe Berthet.

After studies of piano and flute, he switched to the saxophone in 1986, and still plays in several bands of different jazz styles, and what he presents here, can only make us applaud his choice of instrument.

I only know him from his album "Silo", on Leo, with guitarist Vinz Vonlanthen, but what he does here on his own, playing solo in the Malval Chapel near Geneva, is of an immense beauty. Sure, John Butcher comes to mind, in terms approach, the choice of the setting and the careful exploration of sound dynamics, space and multiphonics. Yet the performance is of a solemn authenticity, as if the artist was describing the pain of experiencing aesthetic beauty, evocating the subtle shades of spiritual purity, deep emotional affection and sonic joy. That kind of thing.
There is not much else to say, I can only recommend that you listen to it on Bandcamp, and then try to get your copy if it's still available at all.

Pure beauty.

By Stef (Free jazz)

Au bord du silence et en dosant le souffle à limite de la vibration du bocal, Christophe Berthet se livre à une méticuleuse exploration du son et des timbres en laissant flotter la musique dans le recueillement de la Chapelle Malval près de Genève. Bien qu’il s’agisse d‘une longue suite improvisée d’un seul tenant, on a édité six plages. Les quatre premières plages sont jouées avec douceur au saxophone soprano avec lequel il utilise la respiration circulaire et quelques multiphoniques avec un réel sens de l’espace. Les notes qui s’éteignent et renaissent du demi-silence sont vivantes et l’ensemble frémit d’émotion retenue. Après une dizaine de minutes d’étirement patient, les multiphoniques s’animent dans des boucles légères et aériennes pour se reposer dans un quasi silence à la fin de la plage 4, 6:16. Suit une séquence avec une harmonique aiguë sur laquelle Berthet superpose des battements de sons obtenus avec des doigtés fourchus, puis il quitte la voie tracée pour se lancer à l’aveuglette dans une recherche de timbres dans l’aigu et conclure la plage 5 (11:40) en construisant subtilement son improvisation avec une plus grande variété de sons et une belle fluidité dans les phrases spiralées. En soufflant doucement comme il le fait, il privilégie une qualité de timbre et un bon contrôle. Les dernières 4:41 de Malval nous font entendre un travail précis et nuancé des harmoniques au sax alto qui demande un bon contrôle de l’instrument. Le chant du saxophone se rengorge en douceur pour prononcer les ultimes arabesques fragiles dans l’apaisement. C’est un beau travail, sensible et cohérent qui montre à quel point de maturité des praticiens engagés dans la musique libre parvienne avec leurs moyens instrumentaux, leurs réflexions et de l’imagination. Remarquable et original.
Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg (Orynx-improv'andsounds)

……Swiss saxophonist Christophe Berthet entirely recorded some sketches on his soprano and alto saxophones (sometimes prepared or recorded by means of close mic techniques) in Malval Chapel, a quite secluded place close to Dardagny in Switzerland nearby French borders. Such an annotation is not a moot detail for a card index, but a tanglible clue which is going to enhance listening experience. Listeners aren't going to make difficult efforts of imagination while "embodying" the musician during his performance, whose role is quite close to a wizard who manages to animate the surrounding setting: peeps, cheeps, tweets, creaks, squawks and squeaks coming out from Berthet's musical instruments and his nimble dynamics on them vividly render surreptitious entities, which provisionally or permanently inhabit the place where Christophe tries to translate into sounds without being considered a gatecrasher by his visible and invisible settlers and sometimes you could even feel that the musician tries to give voice to inanimate objects such as garden tools, rasps, rafters, bricks, stones and so on. A thanksgiving act to a place, whose physical properties could ideally be considered a proper third instrument as well as a precious sonic gift to its temporary guest.

Vito Camarretta,
Chain D.L.K.

................................................................................................................
Christophe Berthet

Saxophones, clarinets, composition.

He studied piano and flute.
Early 80s, turned to the saxophone as an autodidact.

Participates in various workshop and master class, especially with David Liebman, Lee Konitz, Jack Dejohnette and Han Benink.

Since 1989 plays and composes for various jazz and theater for Tours in Switzerland, France, and rest of Europe, including festivals Willisau, Schaffhausen, Grenoble and at the Exposition Universelle of Seville.

Since 1999, orientates its musical experiments to border of the jazz, contemporary music and experimental improvised musics.
Between 2005 and 2009, study contemporary writing with Xavier Dayer, Geneva.
Various pieces for piano, percusion and jazz ensemble

Also creates various projects such as: "Silo" trio with Vinz Vonlanthen and Cyril Bondi

"Grand Frisson" improvisers orchestra with Bruttin Laurent, Jean-Jacques Pedretti, Patricia Bosshard, Dragos Tara, Yannick Barman, Cyril Bondi and Vinz Vonlanthen and also Christian Weber

"Impropovision" quartet with Gerry Hemingway, Michel Wintsch and Vinz Vonlanthen.

ATRL duo / trio with Raphaël Ortis and Sébastien Bouhana

Start solo project since 2011

Currently working on the project "Silo" with Vinz Vonlanthen and Nicola Field,
his solo project, and composition

Also member of the "Meta Insub Orchestra"

Teaches saxophone to the child and Practices of the current musics at the Music Conservatory of Geneva (HEM)

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credits

released July 7, 2012

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