Zeitweise leichter Schneefall, Christoph Schiller & Anouck Genthon, Newwaveofjazz Label, 2019

Recording 1 & 2 February 2018 at Atelier Klingentalstrasse, Basel

Composed, recorded and mixed by Christoph Schiller. Mastered at the Sunny Side Inc. studio, Anderlecht (Belgium)

Christoph Schiller, spinet, voice_Anouck Genthon, violin


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Brian Olewnick

A fine and delicate set of seven pieces, I assume improvised from Schiller (spinet, voice) and Genthon (violin). Almost like a series of lines, varying in length, thickness and timbre, suspended in space, not infrequent but not overcrowded either as natural as birds or, in consideration of the title, of sparse snowflakes. In addition to the spinet (admittedly, I’m getting more and more inured to its basic sound), Schiller gives forth calm but steady hums now and then, a surprisingly welcome addition tot he sound-field. Genthon emits strokes of more or less pure tone, tending to be held for a second or two, spare but glowing. Each piece is subtly apart from the others, though all akin. The release is short, some 27-minutes, but that’s just about perfect length here. Excellent, sensitive, probing work from this pair–it’s my first exposure to Genthon, looking forward to hearing more

Spontaneous Music Tribune

« Dwa pierwsze dni lutego ubiegłego roku, Bazylea, Atelier Klingentalstrasse, dwoje szwajcarskich muzyków: Christoph Schiller – spinet (mały, akustyczny instrument klawiszowy) i głos oraz Anouck Genthon – skrzypce. Siedem kompozycji, 27 minut. Przykład – być może – na wykorzystanie technik tonusowych w praktyce muzyki komponowanej w stylistyce minimalitycznej. Zbiór repetycji i wariacji na temat, z krytycznym aspektem ciszy, jako elementem środowiska dźwiękowego. A może alternatywna wersja muzyki barokowej?  Rodzaj eklektycznego eksperymentu? Twórczego redukcjonizmu? Pytania można mnożyć w nieskończoność. Zajrzyjmy wszak do środka – to mniej niż pół godziny.

Opowieść zapisana na czerstwych kartkach z pięciolinią, oparta jest na frazach spinetu i głosu, które z jednej strony generują interwał konceptualnej niemal ciszy, z drugiej wzbudzają skrzypce do posuwistych, małych ekspozycji, pełnych smagłych szarości. Muzyka jakby grana na baczność, realizowana wszakże w błyskotliwych okolicznościach akustycznych. Brzmienie strunowca jest czyste, surowe, niepobłogosławione. Spinet porusza się z dużą swadą, chwilami sprawia wrażenie, jakby był delikatnie preparowany. Wreszcie głos ludzki, który stawia stemple i wydaje certyfikaty jakości. Druga opowieść akcentuje nieco dłuższe opowieści, choć sam stelaż muzycznego konceptu pozostaje niezmieniony. Spinet brzmi tu akurat ubogo, jakby miał jedynie pojedyncze struny w pudle. Minimal chamber without fire! – notuje lekko ziewający recenzent. W trzeciej części skrzypce dodają coś od siebie, pół dodatkowej porcji dźwięku, incydentalny szelest strun. Spinet też minimalnie gęstszy, obok szczypta rechotu wprost z gardła. Przy okazji czwartej części kolejna refleksja – muzycy bardzo się kochają, ale jakby nie potrafili ze sobą rozmawiać. Koncept goni koncept, a uczucia umierają. Intrygujący mezalians wprost z pięciolinii. W trakcie piątej kompozycji recenzent doznaje swoistego deja vu. Czy ja już tego wcześniej nie słyszałem? Szósta część niesie odrobinę brudu w brzmieniu skrzypiec, akord spinetu nosi zaś znamiona delikatnego zadzioru. Ot, konceptualizm trudny do zdiagnozowania. Dwudziestą siódmą minutę osiągamy dość swobodnie, głównie dzięki wciąż pięknemu brzmieniu obu instrumentów.

Vital Weekly webzine

When I bumped into Dirk Serries the other day he handed me these three new releases and he told me more about his ‘mission’ if you are willing to call it like that. His ‘jazz’ has very little to do with jazz actually. It rather deals with the world of improvised music, free jazz, classical music, graphic scores and perhaps also a bit of the old ‘we can do that too’ spirit, which is part of Serries’ background. This is all not the easiest music around, and I am taking these at a one-CD a day approach. I started with the one that is the first not to include Serries as a musician on his label and that is the duo release of Christoph Schiller on spinet and voice and Anouck Genthon on violin. I have heard the music of the first in various forms of improvised music with others (Birgit Ulher for instance; see Vital Weekly 1155), whereas the name of Anouck Genthon is a new one for me. She is part of the large Insub Meta Orchestra, and so I surely heard her play before. Both of them are from Switzerland and recorded their music about a year in Basel. The seven pieces on this release take ‘only’ twenty-eight minutes, and while not a lot seems to be happening with all the silence between the notes, this is an all-attention demanding release. The title can be translated as

‘occasionally light snowfall’, and that’s how we could regard the music; a bit of snow that falls.  Here and there, and sometimes a bit more, sometimes not much at all. Schiller very occasionally adds a bit of voice, not using words or long-form sounds, but a hiss or a sigh, placing an accent in the music. The violin plays longer sounds, while the spinet places carefully were chosen notes

here and there. It is all very ‘Wandelweiser’ here, which is something that Serries very much wants with many of the releases on this label and that is to break down barriers between worlds that don’t know of the existence of other worlds. Wandelweiser composers, improvisers, auto-didactic, modern classical; this release seems to me a perfect example of that approach.

We Need No Swords

The seven brief pieces that comprise ‘Zeitweise Leichter Schneefall’ are intense doses of meditation in which the concentration of its performers demands equal focus in the listener. Under Schiller and Genthon’s guidance, violin, spinet and voice release their sounds gradually, moving towards and away from each other like icebergs guided by deep oceanic currents. This is sound that is not so much organized as unmoored, whose slow drift belies the dedication and restraint required to actualise it in such a compelling fashion.

If the prevailing atmosphere of ‘Zeitweise Leichter Schneefall’ is somewhat frosty, Schiller’s inclusion of the voice in his compositional palette ensures that the presence of the human is constant and undeniable. Lung-driven wafts soothe the glassy tang of his spinet (a relative of the harpischord) while plosive blurts punctuate Genthon’s woody arcos. Nevertheless this is sparse, uncompromising stuff, with melody eschewed in favour of monotonal expressiveness: slowly bowed, vibrato-less strings; solitary bursts of brittle, resonant spinet; and breathy, wordless mantras. Ego-free moments within the tumult of the present.

À Pied Nu, TANDEM, La Belle Borgne, 2018

Recorded in April 2017 at Honolulu Studio & PiedNu by Emmanuel Lalande.

Mixed by Emmanuel Lalande. Masterised by Ed Williams

Ed Williams, guitar_Anouck Genthon, violin_Tom Malmendier, percussion

Order : anouck[dot]genthon[at]hotmail[dot]fr

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Choices & melodies, Insub Meta Orchestra, Insub. Records, 2018

Recorded in july 2016, at Studio Ernest Ansermet, Geneva, by Jean Guillaume Teheux.

Mixed by d’incise. LP mastering by Adi Flück. Artwork by d’incise. all compositions by d’incise and Cyril Bondi.

Alexis Degrenier (hurdy-gurdy) – Anna-Kaisa Meklin (viola da gamba) – Angelika Sheridan (flutes) – Antoine Läng (voice) – Anouck Genthon (violin) – Bertrand Gauguet (saxophone) – Brice Catherin (cello) – Bruno Crochet (laptop) – Christophe Berthet (saxophone) – Cyril Bondi (harmonium, bass drum) – d’incise (laptop) – Daniel Tyrrell (acoustic guitar) – Dorothea Schürch (voice, singing saw) – Eric Ruffing (analogue synthesizer) – Gerald Perera (electric double bass) – Hans Koch (clarinet) – Heike Fiedler (voice) – Ivan Verda (electric guitar) – Jamasp Jhabvala (violin) – Luc Müller (floor-tom, melodica) – Maxime Hänsenberger (bowl, harmonium) – Raphaël Ortis (laptop) – Regula Gerber (double bass) – Rodolphe Loubatière (bowl, cymbal) – Sébastien Branche (saxophone) – Sandra Weiss (bassoon) – Steve Buchanan (saxophone) – Thierry Simonot (laptop) – Violeta Motta (flutes) – Vinz Vonlanthen (electric guitar) – Wanda Obertova (voice) – Yann Leguay (electronics)

Busta Bauletto.eps

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Tǝɣǝrit, Jacques Demierre & Anouck Genthon, Confront Recordings Label, 2018

Recorded February 27, 2017 by Blaise Favre in Yverdon les Bains, Switzerland, mixed and mastered by Blaise Favre at Vietnet Studio, original compositions by Vincent Barras & Jacques Demierre reworked by Jacques Demierre & Anouck Genthon

Jacques Demierre, voice_Anouck Genthon, violin



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Guillaume Belhomme © Le son du grisli

Sur son « intérêt pour la voix, le rapport entre la langue et la musique, le lien avec l’expérience de la linguistique (…) et, par-dessus tout, le rapport au sonore que sous-tend l’universalité de l’expérience du langage, qui ouvre sur un champ de possibles où créer du sens, mettre en forme, composer avec des matériaux appartenant à des mondes différents »*, Jacques Demierre a bâti une partie de son œuvre. Et Tǝɣǝrit est l’une des références de cette partie. Composé en compagnie du fidèle Vincent Barras et réinventé, en quelque sorte, au côté de la violoniste Anouck Genthon, Tǝɣǝrit délivre des messages qui nous échapperont forcément, autant sur la forme que sur le fond. S’il s’agit de Voyelles, c’est par exemple bien un mot qu’on croit ici entendre, un mot forcément déformé à loisir : d’ « orgie » en « bougie » possibles, l’auditeur hésite alors et, s’il tarde trop à prendre une décision ou si la prononciation à peine entamée d’un nouveau phonème le distrait, se fera reprendre d’un coup d’archet. A défaut de pouvoir déchiffrer le langage parlé de Demierre – de sa nouvelle mouture, en tout cas –, s’inquiéter de hiérarchie. Ainsi le violon de Genthon semble-t-il encadrer les expériences du vocaliste en tenant compte de ses stratagèmes et de ses effets : un mot déformé, un cri soudain, un grognement, une interjection valant repli… L’archet peut être franc, gratter la corde de façon plus « expérimentale », imiter le shamisen, agacer le partenaire… Ainsi, malgré la différence des gestes et des formulations, voix et violon, violon et voix, tissent des entrelacs qui, peu à peu, structurent un réseau musical des plus attachant.

Bad Alchemy 100 Rigoberto Dittmann

Krasser Stoff, sowohl der Sound-Poetry-Part von Demierre als auch die Kratzebogentraktate seiner Partnerin. Demierre ist mit seinem neutönerischen Hand- und Zungenschlag eine eingeführte Größe, erst kürzlich habe ich ihn wieder ausgiebig gewürdigt anlässlich von seinem « Abécédaire » auf Lenka-Lente mit ›Reeling and Writhing through Demierre‹ (-> BA 98). Genthon, neben ihrer geigerischen Präsenz beim Grand Chahut Ensemble, der Grand Fou Band, dem Ensemble Maât, dem Insub Meta Orchestra oder dem TANTEM Trio, ist zudem eine ausgewiesene Klangforscherin und ethnomusikologische Spezialistin für Musique touarègue. Mit Demierre hat sie bereits « The languages came first. The country after. » realisiert. Für ‘Voyelles’, ‘Umno(p)’, ‘Homère’, ‘Racines’ und ‘Septem’, die fünf Teile, die zusammen « Tǝɣǝrit » bilden, lehnt sie, während Demierre den poetischen Ausdruck von Sprache und gesungener Poesie in seine Bestandteile zerlegt, ihre klangliche Begleitung an den rosshaarigen Ton der Imzad an, der einsaitigen, nur von Frauen gespielten Spießlaute der Tuareg. So dass ihr Bogen sahelrau an den Halterungen sägt, an denen die Zelte dieser Klangwelt im Sandsturm der Zeit erzittern. Wenn ich es Art Brut nenne, archaisch oder exotisch und Demierres lautmalerische Artikulation von quasi dem Tamascheq abgelauschten Lauten urig oder einfach bloß fremd, wird das der Mirage dieser fünf Klangbilder nicht mal annähernd gerecht. Zumal das ‘berberisch’ Raue dem weicheren Lalula von « au »-, « o »- und « u »-Silben weicht, tonlosem Anhauch, vorsprachlichem Räuspern und undefiniertem « ai », und Genthon das mit geigerischen Kürzeln und Pfiffen akzentuiert. Demierre üt ein « ü » und noch ein « ü » und noch ein « ü », würgt Laute aus wie Gewöll und zieht Luft und Spucke durch die Zähne, die Geige zieht tonlos mit. Um zuletzt nochmal kakophon zu schillern zu nun auch temperamentvoller Jaap-Blonkerei von rhythmisierten Lautstümmeln. Das muss man so nehmen, wie es kommt und kann man so nehmen, wie es ist. Mir ist es nach einer Weile sogar so, als ob ich da weit Menschlicheres und weniger Sinnloses zu hören bekäme, als bei den oralen Flatulenzen der Schlagzeilen machenden Phrasenfurzer. Viva Dada!

13 & 27, Insub Meta Orchestra, Another Timbre Label, 2017

Recorded in july 2016, at Studio Ernest Ansermet, Geneva, by Jean Guillaume Teheux.

Mixed by d’incise. LP mastering by Adi Flück. Artwork by d’incise. all compositions by d’incise and Cyril Bondi.

Alexis Degrenier (hurdy-gurdy) – Anna-Kaisa Meklin (viola da gamba) – Angelika Sheridan (flutes) – Antoine Läng (voice) – Anouck Genthon (violin) – Bertrand Gauguet (saxophone) – Brice Catherin (cello) – Bruno Crochet (laptop) – Christophe Berthet (saxophone) – Cyril Bondi (harmonium, bass drum) – d’incise (laptop) – Daniel Tyrrell (acoustic guitar) – Dorothea Schürch (voice, singing saw) – Eric Ruffing (analogue synthesizer) – Gerald Perera (electric double bass) – Hans Koch (clarinet) – Heike Fiedler (voice) – Ivan Verda (electric guitar) – Jamasp Jhabvala (violin) – Luc Müller (floor-tom, melodica) – Maxime Hänsenberger (bowl, harmonium) – Raphaël Ortis (laptop) – Regula Gerber (double bass) – Rodolphe Loubatière (bowl, cymbal) – Sébastien Branche (saxophone) – Sandra Weiss (bassoon) – Steve Buchanan (saxophone) – Thierry Simonot (laptop) – Violeta Motta (flutes) – Vinz Vonlanthen (electric guitar) – Wanda Obertova (voice) – Yann Leguay (electronics)


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The shift from music as a way of showing off the wealth and splendour of royalty, aristocracy, or principality to music as a way of generating private profit brought with it a corresponding downsizing of the typical ensemble. Today, a few large, 100-piece orchestras still retain a precarious existence as museum acts; meanwhile, the vast majority of new music is composed and performed by individuals or small groups, with fewer ways to cut the profit pie meaning bigger slices all round (and, for many musicians, the difference between being able to eat or not). No doubt technology has played a role in this too — it’s now possible for a single individual with access to a computer to compose, record, and master a piece of music as grand in scale as anything by Mahler. Plus, isn’t it just easier to get things done when there’s only yourself to organise?

Into this context step the Insub Meta Orchestra, a 50-piece ensemble with members from Switzerland, France, Belgium and Germany that operates in the fertile space between formal composition and improvisation. 32 musicians contributed to their new album “13 and 27”, and for the piece ‘13 unissons’ were split into 13 subgroups, each of which plays just one note in unison, repeated as often as they like. Most of the tones are long in duration, and the various unisons often create faint beating, resonance, or haze around a tone. Silence is used to separate out the playing into distinct moments, resulting in several sustained chords with various configurations of pitches. It’s pleasant enough, but not necessarily groundbreaking; maybe I’ve just heard too many pieces of a similar ilk.

‘27 times’ is a more complex piece. Each musician was asked to choose his or her ‘most unique, personal sound’, which they then repeated 27 times across roughly half an hour. Many of the chosen sounds turn out to be faint, dissonant, and/or quite rough in timbre, with the low volume and tentative pacing keeping things tense and muted rather than aggressive or harsh. The effect is like walking through a deserted city at night, one form morphing into another in the dark-obscured unfolding of urban topology. The repetition here is even stronger than in ‘13 unissons’, in the sense that form, pitch and duration are more closely matched between repetitions, but paradoxically this serves to underscore subtle differences in timbre, pitch, and resonance. This is certainly the more engaging and evocative piece of the pair for me.

The logistical (not to mention financial) challenges of convening and organising such a large group of musicians would be enough to put many people off, but as Insub instigators Cyril Bondi and d’incise and their collaborators have discovered, it prompts new ways of thinking about how to make music together with others. From a listener’s point of view, it widens and diversifies our musical world still further.

Méditation#4, Ensemble Maât, 2017

Recorded live on April 29th 2016 by Sébastion Bedrunes at La Générale, Les Soirées Tricot, Paris, all composition by Yves Arques, artwork by Kátia Sá

Yves Arques, piano, composition_Francisco Cossavella, percussions_Alexis Coutureau, doublebass_Anouck Genthon, violin_Gabriel Lemaire, saxophones_Luise Volkmann, saxophone

maât album


Au 7ème ciel, Grand Fou Band, Le petit label, 2016

Recorded 27th February 2016, Studio 7ème Ciel, Issy les Moulineaux

Augustin Brousseloux, guitar / Xavier Camarasa, piano / João Camões, viola / Jean-Luc Cappozzo, trumpet & flugelhorn / Marialuisa Capurso, voice & electronic / Jean-Marc Foussat, voice & synthesizer AKS / Anouck Genthon, violin / Jean-Brice Godet, clarinets / Sylvain Guérineau, tenor saxophone  / Soizic Levrat, cello / Fred Marty, doublebass / Michael Nick, violin / Claude Parle, accordion / Alexis Persian, trombone / Jean-Luc Petit, doublebass clarinet & sopranino saxophone / Makoto Sato, drums / Nicolas Souchal, trumpet & flugelhorn

GFB album


Grand Chahut Ensemble, Thödol Label, 2015

Recorded November 2014, Monastère de Sainte Croix by Damien Guitare, mixed and masterised by Damien Guittard, all compositions by GCE, text by Benjamin Colin, Artwork by Edward Williams, Design by Vincent Capes

Anne Montagnard, clarinets_Thérèse Bosc, saxophones, voice_Lionel Garcin, saxophones_Olivier Germain-Noureux, saxhorn, tuba_Emily Tissot, oboe, voice_Nathalie Gouailler, cornet, voice_Thomas Ostermann, trumpet_Anouck Genthon, violin_Vincent Copier, guitar_Lionel Malric, keyboards_Amanda Gardone, doublebass_Sébastien Bouhana, drums_Fred Galland, drums


Musique touarègue. Du symbolisme politique à une singularisation esthétiqueL’Harmattan, Paris, 2012 



Agamgam 2004Bombino, Label Reaktion, 2010

Booklet by Anouck Genthon

bombino album