|LNL|GCK| is a contemporary French composer based out of the sewers of Paris who writes “noise pollution mindf**k music.” The sound collage piece 15/10/12-01/03/13 for 12 voices, flute, piccolo, violin, viola, toy piano, piano, and double bass (but actually is all electronically manipulated samples?) certainly fits well within this description. Get ready to have your ears travel to some strange places that they have probably never been to before (in a great way). I would ask that you keep all hands, arms, legs, and feet inside the ride at all times until it has stopped.
15/10/12-01/03/13 explores some really incredible textures of sound. The opening of the piece features a brash, colorful clang of sound made of lots of different sound bytes that rapidly repeat irregularly over held woodwind sonorities. What gets me though is when after 27″ of incredibly dense noise, |LNL|GCK| allows a single flute to hold over for almost 40% of that length with a single held, bent note. The texture from 56″ to 1’13” is similarly memorable because how you get to savor the samples and the little nuances from the number of exposed repetitions over super cool chopped up piano sound. The slow bend of the notes in the player piano sample from 1’33” to around 2’17” is surreal and a delight. This whole piano section builds to an absurdly cacophonous section with extremely fast piano runs over what sounds like playing the piano with both arms. This texture exists for almost 10″ until a climactic intrusion pure silence from 5’11” to 5’13”, which is followed by what sounds to be the arm on piano sound lowered in pitch tremendously. By lowering the pitch, it makes it sound more like thudding of tom toms than any piano sound anyone has ever heard. It is a strangely calming sound following such a stress inducing section of music. Because this last section is created by lowering the pitch of previous piano sounds and the timbre of the pitch lowering process, I feel it creates a satisfying conclusion to this trip of a piece.
Additionally, it also runs the gamut of source materials from the Nancarrow player piano studies to James Brown to Nas (who I actually just had the chance to see go through Illmatic top to bottom live, which was an incredible experience) and melds them together in surprising ways. It’s in many ways like listening to a well produced hip hop album like J Dilla’s Donuts or the third movement Berio’s Sinfonia, where, paradoxically, the quoted material becomes so altered by its new context that it almost has no semblance of its original context while simultaneously reminding the listener of that original context because it is a quote.|LNL|GCK| just recently wrote a piece called Stealing Berio that I suspect may play with this idea even more.
This was my first time coming across this composer’s music, but it will certainly be interesting at the very least to hear what else they come up with. Got thoughts or questions about the post? Feel free to comment below!