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Discography


“Movement + Rest is the result of two years work listening, collecting and arranging sound. My recordings attempt to blur the distinction between electronic, acoustic and ambient sources. Analog or acoustic instruments are used because of the direct physical process with which they generate sound. I take field recordings from sounds that habitually go unnoticed in the daily environment (airplanes overhead, trains passing in the night, the broken radiator at the end of the hall, falling snow), as well as those which are less accessible for hearing (the abandoned subway tunnels of Toronto, a muffled cab ride through Guadalajara, contact mics on Jacques Cartier Bridge, etc.). I combine nondescript omnipresent noises that surround us with instrumental and vocal recordings to create a landscape of sounds that unites the properties of both musical and everyday contexts”. -JODA CLÉMENT

Order on-line at Alluvial Recordings $8.00 p.p. in North America, elsewhere $10.00.

REVIEWS:
VITAL WEEKLY 489 (Frans de Waard)
Somehow Alluvial knows where to find young and exciting and above all serious composers. Joda Clément (1981, Canada) started out when he was fourteen and ever since he has been working with sound. On this CD he works with instruments (Harmonium, Korg MS-20, PS-3200 & Polysix Synthesizers) as-well as field recordings. Everything goes into the computer and is melted together in a very good, but, I must admit, also a very traditional drone fashion. Things move unearthly deep in the low end, and on top, occasionally, there is something of a melody humming, such as in ‘Song Of Threes’ or traces of a small rhythm in ‘Heliotaxis’. That makes the music of Clément only slightly different from that of Monos, Ora or Mirror (and such like), but it also means he has thought about where to put the icing on the cake. Next to Keith Berry another promising new name in the world of drone music.

Vital Weekly

WIRE 261 November 2005 (Jim Haynes)
The Montreal based composer Joda Clément works in a mode familiar to contemporary ambient, minimalist,and drone based artists, as he seeks to bridge natural and synthetic sounds through an atomodpheric wash of blurred details. Within his debut album Movement + Rest, Clément buries field recordings of broken radiators, trains passing in the night and snow falling within a murky grey soundfield built from reverb and the sustained vibrations from a couple of synthesizers. While reverb is often employeed to give the illusion of space within a recording, Clément effectively flattens each and every one of his sounds into a monochromatic smear. Ghostly fragments of a melody, a rainstorm, or a vocal chorale occasionally emerge only to drift back once more into the shadows. While artists such as Jonathan Coleclough and Thomas Koner have succeeded in their mediated marriage of natural and synthetic sounds, Movement + Rest is a tentative first step that with time might develop into something transcendent.

The Wire

Paris Transatlantic December 2005 (Dan Warburton)
“All songs by Joda Clément” it says, and that word “songs” is a clue. Strictly speaking none of the six tracks on this album, which were principally sourced in field recordings made in Toronto, Montréal, Paris, Guadalajara and Kabul (this latter a public domain recording), is a song (as in “a brief composition written or adapted for singing”), even if four of them feature additional voice courtesy of Natasha Grace. The second dictionary definition of “song” however does apply “ “a distinctive or characteristic sound made by an animal, such as a bird or an insect”“ provided one redefines “animal” as “man in his environment.” “My recordings attempt to blur the distinction between electronic, acoustic and ambient sources,” writes Clément, whose list of instruments used includes harmonium, bells and a whole battery of synthesizers and effects units. “Analog or acoustic instruments are used because of the direct physical process with which they generate sound. I take field recordings from sounds that habitually go unnoticed in the daily environment (airplanes overhead, trains passing in the night, the broken radiator at the end of the hall, falling snow), as well as those which are less accessible for hearing (the abandoned subway tunnels of Toronto, a muffled cab ride through Guadalajara, contact mics on Jacques Cartier Bridge, etc.). I combine nondescript omnipresent noises that surround us with instrumental and vocal recordings to create a landscape of sounds that unites the properties of both musical and everyday contexts.” Those words “blur”, “muffled” and “nondescript” are also significant here “ Clément’s work has more in common with the more meditative / introspective work of Andrew Chalk and Keith Berry than it does with that of Eric La Casa or Michael Résenberg. It’s beautiful and evocative, if a little heavy on the reverb (but I’m not complaining), and I look forward to hearing more of it to come.

Paris Transatlantic

Touching Extremes January 2006 (Massimo Ricci)
Can you say “high class in treatment of sorrow”? That’s what came to my mind while listening to the gloomy atmospheres of Joda Clément’s music, which is often comparable to greyish funerals for the light-hearted, slightly dipped in pre-Lustmord sauce. Nevertheless, your approach with this composer should avoid any lateral esoteric thought, since Joda does not indulge in easy emotional tricks; his field recordings are treated and mixed in a rarefaction of drones – multieffect processing and various synths are used extensively – that reveal slow movements of disillusion in the agony of a futureless serenity. Furthermore, Clément works masterfully with time stretching, giving a sense of stasis even to the few moving blocks of his desolated quarters; over there, textural mud evolves into fascinating low-frequency densities, rarely enhanced – better, distracted – by some subtle pulsating sequence or a couple of lamenting synthesizer notes. Keep your eyes open.

Touching Extremes

Cherry Beach Project “silo 11” ( MS35 )

Cherry Beach is located at the end of a small, artificially created peninsula on which various heavy industrial facilities and toxic no-man’s lands decay. The area is infamous as a site out of public sight for police to engage in ‘off the record’ activities. Our location was within a complex of vacant waste oil storage facilities on Cherry Beach. While recording on the night of June 5th, 2004, we were forced to abandon our equipment after discerning that violent activities were taking place in one of the seemingly abandoned structures nearby. We returned at dawn to retrieve our equipment, which we were able to do successfully, only to be pursued out of the area and down the beach by two unidentified men. Fortunately we escaped unharmed, with our recordings intact. Since this time the entire compound and all of its reverberant structures have been demolished, leaving only an empty lot. The material presented here has been selected from two days of recording on site, but otherwise left untreated and unprocessed.”

– Joda Clément/Nigel Craig, November 2006

Sold out from Mystery Sea

REVIEWS:

THE WIRE # 278 – Outer Limits | Jim Haynes
Cherry Beach is located in a lakefront region of Toronto that had once been a heavily utilised industrial zone. When the area was abandoned and left to a toxic fate, it also developed an unsavoury reputation as a site for the police to intimidate homeless and drunk denizens. Despite the warning signs, Canadian sound artists Joda Clément and Nigel Craig were attracted by the decayed resonance of the vacant buildings on Cherry Beach back in 2004. Armed with branches, empty bottles, wine glasses and whatever else was lying around, the two surreptitiously recorded a quiet ritual of acoustic activities. Closely responding to the natural reverb of the cavernous metal architecture, Clément and Craig emerged with a wonderful set of slow progressing bellows, sweeping gestures and protracted chimes. More often than not, the Cherry Beach Project offers a far more mysterious and evocative atmosphere than the abandoned building strategies of the celebrated Japanese improvisor Kiyoharu Kuwayama.
The Wire

TOUCHING EXTREMES | Massimo Ricci
Joda Clément and Nigel Craig had a dangerous experience in Cherry Beach, an isolated place in an artificial peninsula “on which various heavy industrial facilities and toxic no man’s lands decay”. After realizing the recordings heard here – which include nocturnal stillness, metallic scraping, insufflations into bottles, dragged objects and breathtakingly evocative distant airplanes – they had to escape after becoming aware of ongoing “violent activities” in one of the nearby structures. Even after having rescued their equipment in the early hours of the morning, Clément and Craig were fronted by two unknowns who expelled them from the area. Knowing this story is important for a better appreciation of these untreated, unprocessed sounds, which seem to represent the voices and the whispers of hidden presences advising the two comrades to leave the place before it’s too late. The connection between the raw harmonics of the metals and the passing planes is absolutely intriguing, the threatening reverberant thuds heard in the fifth section letting even the listeners at home raise their heads in alerted preoccupation. Overall, an enigmatically fascinating piece of suburban sound art.
Touching Extremes

EARLABS | Larry Johnson
Definitely furthering Mystery Sea’s goal of releasing “highly immersive music” and of the fascination with the “archetypal liquid state”. Joda Clément and Nigel Craig bring their own version of deep listening to the label’s “night-sea drones“ conceptual series by way of their Cherry Beach Project – Silo 11 CD-R. Anymore I hesitate before I label a release “experimental” because it’s an adjective that has been considerably over applied and now tends to encompass such a wide range of sounds that it no longer carries the weight that it once did. However, in the case of Cherry Beach Project – Silo 11 there’s enough unpredictability present in which the outcome relies more on randomness than on a carefully laid out path or deliberate editing that “experimental” is an appropriate descriptor.
Using the natural reverberation properties of an empty waste oil storage tank as the audio processing tool, various objects (branches, bottles, wine glasses, stones, cymbal, bow, finger piano, water, voices, plastic tubes, structural remnants, etc.) are played/manipulated within its confines and the reflected sounds are recorded directly to digital audio tape. It shares some similarities with Jeph Jerman’s animist orchestra approach except for the important difference that the sounds of the played objects don’t remain pristine because they are unintentionally processed as a result of being affected by the intrinsic acoustics of the storage tank itself.
Even though there are a variety of incongruent and discordant sounds competing with one another, the six untitled tracks come across as highly listenable with some evanescent moments of surprising concord. Deep drones, metallic chimes, bowed tones, distorted timbres, forlorn groans, reverberating drips, deep bass resonances, sporadic percussive bursts, and even the real sounds of an airplane flying overhead making for almost forty-minutes of fascinating listening.
Earlabs

OSTINATO 11 Limited Edition CDr

1 Freida Abtan vs Joda Clement – Untitled 28:29
2 Anonymous – Untitled 12:17
2 Kolumkilli vs Aidan Baker – Untitled 10:13
3 Gyges vs Vromb – Untitled 22:32

Recorded live at Inter_act 2
MUTEK 2006, Montreal, Québec June 2, 2006
Curator: Eric Mattson

————————————————————————————-

OSTINATO 20 Limited Edition CDr

1 Joda Clément – For Henri Michaux 14:59
2 Alexandre St-Onge – Joseph Carey Merrick 19:39
3 Freida Abtan – Orpheus 19:15
4 Erin Sexton – Homer & Steina Vasulka 15:06

Recorded at Epoxy 3
Sala Rossa, Montreal, Quebec May 2, 2007
Curator: Eric Mattson

Ostinatos: series of thirty works by artist Jérôme Fortin and limited edition of thirty CDrs, thirty copies each, containing live recordings from concerts produced by curator Eric Mattson.

Comes on a carbon CDr with info insert and two two-color artprints, one of which is hand-numbered and signed by the artist.

Available from Oral Records

 


U09 | Joda Clément | The Narrows

format : CD ltd to 200 hand numbered copies
release year : 2011
length : 35’13

Available now from Unfathomless (sound samples online)

>>> order via Paypal : chalkdc@unfathomless.net

(Europe) : 14 € (inc.postage)

(World) : 15 € (inc.postage)

REVIEWS:

“I’m in love with field recordings. The sounds of the forest, chirping birds, the incoming storm. The audio postcard of a particular setting brings the listener directly into the scene. It does not begin with an abstract representation of the artist’s mind – it begins in the forest, with chirping birds, and the incoming storm. Now something descends upon the plain, swallowing textures and sounds in its ginormous glow and humm. The rain brought more than just the water. It carried within this invisible something, that dissolves the air like liquid night. The atmosphere changes, rising in velocity, voltage and volume. Drone sets in, crawling through the fog, like an incoming migrane. Two realities, percieved and yet to be imagined, merge into one. This is the place of The Narrows as I envision it to be.

The musician behind this journey is Joda Clément, a Toronto based sound artist working with experimental music for over 10 years. Clément is an avid collector of found objects and sounds from nartual and urban environments, “investigating hidden properties of sound, space and recording techniques that transcend a distinction between audio and source.” His previous releases include Movement + Rest released by Alluvial Recordings in 2005, and a collaboration with Alexandre St-Onge, Freida Abtan and Erin Sexton on Ostinato 20 (Oral, 2008). On The Narrows, Clément explores his father’s idea of ‘environmental music’:

“Merging various threads into one mass, the construction of the piece seemed to take on a life of its own. As hundreds of sources blurred together to the point where I forget where many originate, I slowly came to look at the piece as a continuation of my father’s idea of ‘environmental music’ – coloured by memories and impressions of those early years in north Ontario, yet re-imagined through the dense and shifting sound pallete of Toronto, where I live and work.” -Joda Clément

The 35-minute long single piece gradually evolves as if it was its own form of weather, changing the landscape and soundscape from within. The Narrows is released on Unfathomless – a sister label to Belgium based Mystery Sea run by Daniel Crokaert (who, incidentally, is responsible for the album cover design on both labels). Unfathormless releases limited edition CDs (about 200 hand numbered copies), focusing on “phonographies reflecting the spirit of a specific place crowded with memories, its aura & resonances and our intimate interaction with it…“”

Headphone Commute

~

“…I have spent considerable time with a clutch of releases from the past several months that, to varying degrees, can be considered as fine examples of works that touch such nerves in this listener. Two issue from the conceptual maps provided by Wandelweiser composers Antoine Beuger [un lieu pour etre deux, realized by Barry Chabala and Ben Owen] and Manfred Werder [ deux trois choses ou presques, realized by Bruno Duplant]; three seem to be concerned with that most potent site-specific subject, home [Joda Clement‘s The Narrows, Yannick Dauby’s Taî-pak thiaⁿsaⁿpiàn, and Lee Noyes and Sally Ann McIntyre’s to orient themselves with coastlines]; and one [Patrick Farmer’s Like falling out of trees into collector’s albums] shares with kindred field recordist Jeph Jerman anartistic praxis that might be characterized as whatever is happening within 100 feet of your porch is probably as worthy of your attention and microphone as what lies beyond.

I’ll begin by telling you I have spent far and away the most time with Joda Clement‘s The Narrows, not as I was privileging it over the others, but because I have had the unusual opportunity of hearing it from germination to its fully-embodied form heard now on the lovely Unfathomless imprint. Clement sent me the incipient version in 2008, a mere 13 minutes at that stage, and four further iterations between then and now. I can say, then, with certainty that The Narrows has been painstakingly assembled, disassembled and at times almost completely re-imagined, as I have heard every stage of Clement‘s obsessive process unfold. That Clement‘s father was an environmental musician himself who was frequently accompanied by his son on field trips, and that the fields of Ontario were the germinal basis for this highly narrative work, means, of course, that The Narrows is deeply personal and felt. I can assure you, however, that its folds and plies allow plenty of space and ambiguity in which the listener can stand and soak it all in. The Narrows is tinged in melancholy, vibrant with the sense of recollections held close and long, and is smeared with fine ash. Like Asher Thal-Nir’s work, The Narrows owns a spatial quality difficult to describe other than to say many of its fine events seem to occur at a distance; I haven’t a clue how Clement conveys this aural equivalent of a far horizon, or a distanced memory, but it grips me with every listen, and is absolutely enthralling…

[full version of this review article entitled “The Sounding World“, here]
Jesse Goin
Crow With No Mouth

~

“Labels tend to acquire a certain character after a while. When something arrives from Unfathomless I, fairly or otherwise, tend to expect something in the line of treated field recordings with a drony ambiance. That particular field sometimes works quite well for me, other times seems lacking, a mere collection of effects, made palatable by leavening with some tonal agent. This makes it all the more difficult to pin down what attributes make one work, for me, better than another. Surely some connection to the world, the hard world not the ideal, pastoral one, helps in my case. That may come in the form of “grit”, as Simon recently observed, however introduced or it may be more abstract, a feeling that the real world is somehow “out there”, if not directly referred to.

I was thinking of these things while listening to “The Narrows“, a piece that straddles those lines. Clément includes field recordings that encompass both natural and man-made sounds, almost always gentle yet possessing a burbling sense of activity, through which are woven subtle, changing electronic tones that fill the drone role in a tonal manner that sometimes gives me pause, sometimes fits quite well. There’s just enough sinew, enough depth in the twinings, to propel things along with sufficient force yet to have enough drag to satisfy the need for grain. Sometimes the throb itself oozes to the fore and carries the weight for a few moments, effectively so. Even if ultimately, I’d prefer something abstracted out another level or two, the music works pretty well here and will doubtless more than satisfy fans of this area and label.”
Brian Olewnick
Just Outside

~

“Daniel Crokaert’s Unfathomless label, an offshoot of Mystery Sea, has gone from strength to strength since making its debut in 2009. Joda Clément‘s The Narrows has taken twice that long to record. During that time, Clément traveled around Canada and Austria, carrying on in the tradition of his father, who led him on field recording expeditions when he was a child. It’s a wonderful thing to think of a father’s love for his art being passed on like this. The result is less a sound map than a sound mulch: reality, memory, and distorted remembrance all pressed into one 35-minute track. The piece is toned down, almost dronelike yet still above the frequency levels of a “pure” field recording. While listening, one struggles to make identifications, but Clément does as well, admitting that he can no longer identify all of his sources. Electronic fields vibrate, distant voices echo, objects are dragged. For those who regard memory as a mystery, The Narrows will be a source of intrigue; for those who view the onset of confusion as an intruding cloud, the piece will serve as a dark disturbance.”
Richard Allen
A Closer Listen

~

““The Narrows” by Joda Clément is a 35minutes soundscape based on field recordings captured by the author in various locations (Ontario, Quebec, Austria).
The raw recordings are no longer easily recognizable, they have been blurred and stretched and their massive superposition forms a flowing and impenetrable mass of frequencies. There are no foreground sounds, there is no clear distinction between “figure” and “ground”, every detail has been melted into a resonant cloud of sonic particles that grows minute after minute assuming different shapes and colors.
Despite this work cannot be defined “phonographic”, it nevertheless preserves a solid link to the environment and its characteristics. While listening to this album the environment is perceived as a space that carves the sound, and the sound itself becomes the essence in which all the information and emotions are retained.
Dense, dark and metallic would be the words If I had to choose three adjectives to describe this album. But the overall sonic result is far from being cataloged as oppressive or claustrophobic. In contrary it preserves a high emotional potential and there is an evident nostalgic theme that often rises from the smithereens of the original recordings.
The rumble of a distant thunderstorm opens this audio work and from there the complex soundscape grows becoming more and more articulated, alternating quiet passages with louder ones until towards the end a quick and isolated childish laugh illuminates the horizon for a brief moment putting back the listeners into a weightless state of mind while the solitude of the Canadian wilderness resounds in the ears.”
Elliot Loe
The Field Reporter

~

““Next to Keith Berry another promising new name in the world of drone music”, I wrote back in Vital Weekly 498 on the first release by Joda Clement, but then he went quiet, not releasing anymore until now, ‘The Narrows‘ (aside from his Cherry Beach duo – see Vital Weekly 560). Some people release a lot, and very few don’t. This new album is inspired by sounds from his childhood on a remote farm in Canada, where the electricity came from a generator 400 feet away, and later on his father took him on field recording trips (why never work on music together?), resulting in a whole library of sound sources which he no longer remembered where they came from, sounding like that old sound generator. So what did six years of silence deliver? His first CD reminded me of Monos, Ora and Mirror, which are of course mighty fine references, but this new work doesn’t make me think otherwise. Its still very much a work of drone music. Clement does a great job, and you can hear the work shifting through lots of smaller, detailed sounds, with quick moves from sound to another. That perhaps is the aspect that makes this album a bit different than those other three bands do. If you play this with headphones you will be noticing the details much better, but in general I’d like to use speakers. I am not entirely sure about this album but by and large this seems to me ‘another’ work of field recordings melting into drone music. Good, fine and a crowded area of composers.”
Frans de Waard
Vital Weekly

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