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BERNARD FORT - Fractals / Brain Fever LP

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Recollections GRM’s revered series introduces acousmatic artist Bernard Fort with sides of macro-to-nano fractals and transfixing collage of Brainfever Birds in southern India that epitomise his working practice since the late ‘70s.

Bernard Fort (b. 1954 in Lyon, France) is co-founder of the Groupe musiques vivantes de Lyon (GMVL, France) since 1976 and has dedicated much of his artistic oeuvre to the study of natural soundscapes, with a particular focus on that classic muse of french electro-acoustic and acoustic music, ornithology. His entry to the hallowed GRM series also characterises his fascinations with boundaries of distinction between “abstraction and figuration, natural and cultural”, with a poetic touch that feels very much of the gallic school of practice and gives his works, even at their most challenging, a sense of logic and meta-narration that lures deep into his work.

The one to check here is a continuation of his work found on the CD ‘Paysages Sonores De L'Inde Du Sud’, with  ‘Brain Fever’, so named for the Brainfever Bird, or Common hawk-cuckoo resident to the Indian subcontinent, whose three-part call almost sounds like it says its name in increasingly louder repetitions (if you squint your ears a bit). Using sound images caught in the Aurovillian forest, near Pondicherry and the Bay of Bengal, Fort manipulates the bird’s calls in a setting that morphs from foreboding to humid and febrile, entangled with its synthesised reflections in an increasingly fraught call-and-response that works up to a sci-fi soundtrack intensity, only to pull back and leave us back in nature again, and then plunge back into echoes of raga strings and choral drift a la FSOL’s Amorphous Androgynous.