Sophie Agnel

Rouge Gris Bruit

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Recorded by François Dietz in Vandoeuvre-Les-Nancy where Sophie Agnel had a residency, Rouge Gris Bruit introduces a touch of conventional sound in the work of Lionel Marchetti and Jérôme Noetinger. These two have been playing as a duo for ten years, walking the thin line between free improvisation and electro-acoustic music. The acoustic piano of Agnel, however unorthodoxly played, brings a rare sense of humanity to their art. Yet, the match is not perfect. The two men's microphones, speakers, low-grade electronics, and tapes speak for themselves, rarely engaging the pianist in a tripartite exchange. She makes the best of the situation, using preparations to match the strangeness of her partners' sounds when she is not building complex harmonic structures by hammering chords. Rouge Gris Bruit is not a bad album, but the alchemy between musicians never rises to the level found in Double_Wash, Marchetti and Noetinger's session with Voice Crack. Both CDs share a similar structure, the music being split between "morning" and "afternoon" sessions with blank tracks slipped in-between. The sense of drama found in Marchetti's electro-acoustic compositions is cruelly missed, except in the "Après-Midi" track, where something special happens as sounds cross each other through three different planes (a tape runs far away in the distance, listen with headphones to catch it). Interesting, but not essential.

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