Martin Saint-Pierre

Les Corps Sonore

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Argentine percussionist and world traveler Martin Saint-Pierre brings a unique perspective to drumming, drawing in from a myriad of influences. Le Corps Sonore finds him in Bangkok with a large cadre of about 150 Thai musicians, for another outing that blends ethnomusicology traditionalism and the avant-garde on these 11 short untitled tracks that often segue into each other. Like earlier work, Saint-Pierre coaxes an incredible variety of sounds and textures out of the stretched skins, but at the same time this is much more the work of a group ensemble. Some of the best tracks have an army of percussionists pounding away on various drums with flutes, whistles, and group yells and chanting as accompaniment. Gongs often punctuate the tracks and even can be heard cascading in the background over the gleeful din. Other pieces on the album are more subdued, trance-rhythms over a bed of strange sounds, even a couple of pieces of French spoken word, that are more in the way of sound-art than straight poetry. Even at its most radical moments, the music retains some Asian music culture, whereas track four comes closest to traditional Thai folk music. The album is a wonderful collision course of musical worlds.

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