Loïc Blairon


w.m.o/r 34
released October 2009

Download: flac

Pour contrebasse et texte, 2008-2009

J’ai un postulat.


Je considère que je n’ai pas d’idée pour faire de la musique, mais qu’en écoutant, je me pose comme un réceptacle du réel.

Cependant, tout m’échappe, car je n’ai pas les capacités d’un contenant.

Donc avant toute chose, j’écoute.

Puis j’agis en retour de ce que j’entends.

En quelque sorte, je superpose des sons à ce que je considère être mon écoute du réel, imparfaite car de-tout-bord.

Tout ce que je tente m’échappe donc aussi, comme forme et résidu excédentaire de ce que j’entends.

Je n’attends jamais rien.

Encore, pour casser une quasi-mystique latente et silencieuse, symptôme de mon écoute, je tente de restituer au réel ce qu’il me refuse : des sons que j’actionne comme autant de variables qui agissent sur l’épaisseur du négatif.

Ainsi, je me refuse à mettre en place une musique-comme-coupure du réel.

Je veux rester en relation au réel et je dis non à un comme.

En quelque sorte, je dis non à la musique, mais ce non est la relation unilatérale que je tente de stabiliser par et avec le son, mais selon le réel, en négatif et forclos ; ce que je tente d’y superposer agit comme autant d’inconnues pouvant à la fois échapper à l’ensemble tout en le constituant, en dessous mais aussi au-dessus de toutes choses.

Je tente quasiment le pareil au même, tout en sachant que c’est mon échec présupposé qui motive cette hypothétique répétition.

English (translated by Ray Brassier)

I have a postulate.

I listen.

I believe I have no ideas for making music ; but that by listening, I turn myself into a receptacle for the real.

Yet everything escapes me, since my capacities are not those of a container.

So I listen, before anything else.

Then I act in response to what I hear.

In a way, I superimpose sounds onto what I consider as my listening to the real, which is imperfect because it comes from all sides.

Everything I attempt thus also escapes me, as surplus form and residue of what I hear.

I never wait for anything.

Again, in order to break the latent, silent quasi-mysticism, which would be the symptom of my listening, I try to restore to the real what it refuses me: sounds which I activate as so many variables acting upon the thickness of the negative.

I thereby refuse to put in place a music-as-cut into the real.

I want to remain in relation to the real and I say no to any ‘as’.

In doing so, I say no to music, but this ‘no’ is the unilateral relation which I attempt to stabilize in and through sound, but in accordance with the real, as negative and foreclosed ; what I attempt to superimpose onto the latter acts as so many unknowns which would at once escape the whole even as they constitute it, beneath but also above all things.

I effectively pit the similar against the same, knowing all the while that it is the presupposition of my failure that compels this hypothetical repetition.

Castellano (traducido por Mattin)

Tengo un postulado.
Yo escucho.
Yo considero que no tengo ideas de como hacer música,
pero escuchando, me convierto en un receptáculo de lo real.
Sin embargo, todo se me escapa, ya que mis cualidades no
son las de un container.
Por lo tanto, primeramente y ante todo, yo escucho.
Despues actuo en respuesta a lo que escucho.
De alguna manera, sobrepongo sonidos en lo que yo considero mi
escucha de lo real, imperfecta ya que viene de
todos los lados.
Todo lo que yo intento también se me escapa, como una plusvalía de forma
y residuo de lo que escucho.
Yo nunca espero a nada.
Otra vez, para romper la silenciosa quasi-mística latencia, lo cual
seria un síntoma de mi escucha, intento restaurar en lo real lo que
el me niega: sonidos que yo activo como tantas variables actuando en
la densidad de lo negativo.
Yo por lo tanto rehuso poner en su lugar la música-como-corte en lo
Yo quiero permanecer en relación a lo real y decir que no a cualquier
Al hacer esto, yo digo no a la música, pero este
no es la relación
unilateral que yo intento estabilizar por y a traves de la música,
pero en concordancia con lo real, como negativo y prescrito; lo que
yo intento sobreponer en este último actua como tantos desconocidos
que enseguida se escaparian del conjunto, incluso como ellos
lo constituyen, por debajo pero también por encima de todas las cosas.
Yo tiento lo casi parecido contra lo mísmo, sabiendo
que en todo momento la presuposición de mi fracaso
fuerza esta hypótetica repetición.


The Watchful Ear (U.K. Richard Pinnell)

Wednesday 21st October


Not really being one or brevity when it comes to sharing my experiences with music, it always knocks me sideways when I listen to something that really leaves me clueless what to say about it. When I finally woke today (I got home from work at 7AM this morning and promptly spent much of the rest of the day in bed) I listened to a few piece so of music, but only one new item that I am able to write about here, though as I say I’m not really sure what to write.  Loic Blairon’s x\0 is a new release on Mattin’s w.m.o/r label, which is described as a work for double bass and text. There isn’t a lot of text involved, just a paragraph on the back of the sleeve written twice, once in French, once in English. There’s an awful lot more text than there is double bass though…

The music (if indeed it is music… I certainly think it is, but many wouldn’t agree) on x/0 is minimal. very, very minimal. The only sound to be heard on the recording, apart from the hiss of microphone gain if you turn the volume up very high, is an odd, decidedly un-bassy plinking sound, not unlike what you might hear if you dropped a small coin onto a glass tray from a few inches above it. The sound is probably made by plucking a string behind the bridge of the instrument, but if I didn’t know this music was played on a double bass I don’t think I would have guessed for one minute.

In fact if I didn’t know that a CD was even playing at all I probably wouldn’t have guessed. Throughout the half hour long piece there are maybe twenty of these plinks of sound. To begin with, as the dosc begins we hear three or fur  quite soon after one another, but then we have to wait five minutes before they appear again, just a couple of them this time before another four minutes pass. You can probably guess how the album goes on from here, just one or two (often just one) of these sounds with long silences between the,. later in the piece, around the twenty minute mark the gaps between single sounds seems to get shorter, and three or four come with maybe just thirty or forty seconds between them, but beyond this sudden crescendo there is little different to hear on the CD.

And that’s it. I don’t know what to say otherwise. The relationship between this music and that of Sugimoto a few years back is obvious, and in many ways x/0 is very similar to the music of Principa Sugimatica, maybe Sugimoto’s quietest and most atonal solo release. There is no melody, no aesthetic beauty in these single shards of sound Blairon makes, as if he is trying to avoid the entire history of the double bass. Why drag around such a huge heavy wooden instrument so as to make music that quite frankly could be accurately replicated with a 2p coin and the slightly sticky plate next to me that I just ate a cheese and tomato sandwich off of?

Clearly there is a fair amount of conceptual jiggery pokery going on (or not going on) here, and the accompanying text gives clues to Blairon’s motives, but I still don’t know how to respond to this CD. Normally when I sit down to listen to, and maybe write about music certain things happen- even with the quietest music I sit and listen carefully, taking in the spaces and letting the anticipation try and increase my enjoyment of the work, but somehow, for some reason that just doesn’t work here. The sounds fall flat when they arrive, and right from the start it didn’t ever feel like I would be doing anything other than clockwatching, waiting for the next sound to arrive just so I could time the distance to the next one.

So I don’t feel tension, I can’t hear beauty, and I have heard this kind of thing before. So really, I don’t know what to take from this release. I refuse to accept that it is a joke in any way (It clearly isn’t) and I refuse to dismiss the intentions of the musician out of hand. As one half of the Narthex duo with Marc Baron that released the great disc on Potlatch earlier this year Blairon is clearly capable of making music that is more involved with this (though the accompanying text suggests otherwise) Also, appearing on Mattin’s label it joins a line of releases that have some pedigree, so for now I am going to accept that I am missing something subtle, or that if I listened to this in a less dozy state of mind I would take something more from it. In the absence of having any idea what to write I’ll just reproduce the first few lines of Blairon’s text here for now, simply beacuse I can relate to what he writes here-

I have a postulate. I listen. I believe I have no ideas for making music; but that by listening I turn myself into a receptacle for the real; for everything escapes me, since my capacities are not those of a container. So I listen, before anything else. then I act in response to what I hear.

Just Outside (U.S.A. Brian Olewnick)

And then we have Loïc Blairon's "x/0". A half hour during which, every so often, one hears a sharp plink, something like a guitar string plucked below the bridge with no sustain though, in that Blairon's a bassist, perhaps it's from that instrument. (Richard has written in greater detail on all three of these releases in recent weeks, btw. I find, looking back, we make many of the same points) Several minutes of silence often pass between audible sound, making "x/0" eminently forgettable even as it's playing. Not a bad thing, necessarily, though I felt little tension in the waiting, unlike quasi-similar efforts from, say, Taku Sugimoto, who most will think of while listening to this. Plinks and silence, far more of the latter.

number 701
week 43

There is an extensive text on the cover of this CD, which I'd like to quote in full, but its not online yet, and I am too lazy to retype the whole thing, so I'll get you the drift of this: One Loic Blairon writes that he listen and responds, but the way I read his text, he's not interested in doing music: 'In doing so, I say no to music, but this 'no' is the unilateral relation which I attempt to stabilize in and through sound, but in accordance with the real, as negative and foreclosed; what I attempt to superimpose onto the latter acts as so many unknowns which would at once escape the whole even as they constitute it, beneath but also above all things'. Etc etc etc. Perhaps Blairon plays double bass as it says on the cover, but perhaps not. His CD lasts thirty minutes and consists mostly of silence. Real silence (whatever that is), and some dry, high pitch click coming every now and then, at what seems to be irregular intervals. I guess all this time we can contemplate about the text and how that relates to this bare minimum of music. Alternatively you could decide to play a nice CD. (FdW)