FRACTURED AIR

The universe is making music all the time

Posts Tagged ‘Précis

Whatever You Love You Are: Benoît Pioulard

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We are delighted to present our latest installment of ‘Whatever You Love You Are’. Having already featured prominently on Fractured Air during 2013 with an extensive interview and travel diaries, Thomas Meluch (AKA Benoît Pioulard) has shared with us an account of his current inspirations. Benoît Pioulard’s latest album ‘Hymnal’ is one of the formidable albums of the year, released earlier this year on the Chicago-based Kranky label. As ever, beautiful touchstones of ambient, lo-fi folk and drone drifts magnificently along the listener’s headspace. ‘Hymnal’ bears the mark of a true artist that offers endless inspiration. Tom, on replying with his contribution, wrote: “Ok Mark, here’s your fair warning that this is probably going to be a bit sappy or overwrought or something, but I assure you it’s all genuine and so on, too. Things sometimes are.” Like everything created by the hand of Thomas Meluch, things indeed sometimes beautifully are.

Words & Photograph: Thomas Meluch 

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In any case, on the 8th of May my wife and I stopped into the cat adoption facility that we’d been to a few times before, with the notion of meeting a cat that we’d seen on their website – he was a mostly black older cat called Moustachio because of a perfectly shaped curly little moustache on his snout. I would challenge anyone not to do a double take upon seeing it, it was so perfect.

As it turns out, Moustachio had come from the home of a hoarder who had passed away, and this seemed to have traumatised him quite severely; to our dismay he was totally unwelcoming of attention, instead choosing to bury his head in the corner of his crate and avoid any & all contact with us. We were also told that he had a potentially costly heart murmur condition, and being of modest means we weren’t sure whether it would be wise for us to take him on.

Around the time of this sad realisation, though, we caught sight of a tiny little kitten called Charlie, who was just arriving from a different adoption house, and we noticed that he had extraordinarily similar markings to our other cat Baxter…Out of curiosity we asked to see him for a few minutes, which turned into a half hour of playing around and giggling and my wife repeatedly extolling his unmanageable level of cuteness. We made the decision on the spot to take him home.

To make a long story short (“Don’t tell it,” I often joke), it took two weeks of gradual habilitation and introduction, but we renamed him Banjo Edison Bloom (after my wife’s favourite instrument, our favourite inventor and our favourite thing that flowers do) and now he walks around our place like he owns it, but you know, in the best way.

This is all to say that I’ve never had so much exposure to new life (Banjo was just shy of three months old when we received him) and the perspective that it allows you to have ; to imagine seeing & experiencing things for the first time again ; to have such boundless & pure love for everything that surrounds you ; to want nothing more than some food and some intense playtime. Having put music-making on the back burner for a few months I feel more inspired by this than anything else at the moment, and can’t help but feel that I’m internalising it in a way that will only make itself clear after some time has passed.

Oh, and we checked the adoption place’s website the following week, pleased to see that Moustachio had found a home with someone more capable of caring for him.

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“Hymnal” by Benoît Pioulard is out now on Kranky.

http://pioulard.com
soundcloud.com/pioulard
pioulard.bandcamp.com

http://www.kranky.net

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July 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Road Atlas: Benoît Pioulard

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We began ‘Road Atlas’ last year (named in tribute to Calexico; our first contributor was, fittingly, Joey Burns) as a template for musicians to retell their experiences from life on the road. As always, the “brief” (if you could call it so) remained open for interpretation. What we wished for most of all was for some sense of an insight into this life of a touring musician. So, when Thomas Meluch aka Benoît Pioulard embarked on his North American tour (7th March to 7th April playing 25 shows to audiences across America) we were delighted he accepted us on our offer. As Tom himself said so fittingly about the proposal in store: “I feel like it could make for a nice snapshot of an ultimately hard-to-capture experience.”

Words & Photographs: Thomas Meluch, Illustration: Craig Carry

benoitsketch_craigcarry

Touring in the United States at such a low level on the figurative totem pole is a funny thing; one doesn’t have even a glimmer of hope for federal support or patronage except, I suspect, in very rare cases of good fortune or some kind of questionable nepotism.

For my part I was extraordinarily lucky to have a good response to a crowd-funding initiative I created around the release of my newest record, the end of which found me fully able to rent a car & pay for the petrol I needed to travel the roughly 9,200 miles and play the 25 shows that my schedule demanded.  (Many, many thanks to those folks – I hope you like your records, etc.)

I’ve kept a journal in some form or another since around the age of 11, so if the mood ever strikes I’ve got most of a lifetime waiting to be looked back on and laughed at, filed away in a big, blue polymer box at my parents’ house.  Having done this most recent tour entirely on my own and having dealt with the day-to-day routine of wake up/drink coffee/drive several hours/wait for promoter to arrive/make nice/set up/drink whisky/wait/play/chat/pack out/sleep a bit, I realized only too late that I didn’t engage in nearly enough photography or written accounts of the hilarious & occasionally tiresome minutiae that peppered the entire experience.

All the same, here is what I managed to scribble during some moments of downtime; a meager verbal rendition of an ultimately amazing, baffling & inexplicable slog through what I still believe is the most beautiful, dynamic, and beautifully dynamic country on earth.

NB: Most of this I am re-reading for the first time, and is bound to be regrettable, so any & all remarks/commentary in the present tense will be placed in [brackets].

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benoit_north park

“North park”: Taken in the forest near my mom’s house in Michigan where I spent much (possibly most) of my free time in high school.  Still good for a lovely walk at most times of the year.

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20 March 2013, 4pm, La Carafe (Houston, TX)

Slightly shameful that my first account of the tour comes twelve full days in – even though there’s quite a stretch left to go.  It’s been a dream in all the ways I expected and a few that I didn’t – Portland [where I lived for four years until recently] was a gorgeous few days of greatest hits including the ever-glorious Angel’s Rest hike in the Columbia Gorge with a gang of ruffians.  Oakland was a slightly hazy trip with Forest and Erin [see photo], where I played live drums (for Skate Laws) for the first time in 6 or 7 years, only to find that it’s still one of the best types of catharsis that Jesus himself ever invented.  LA was all too brief, as these things often are; got to see Brian & Stacie’s place for probably the last time [these are dear friends who have been forced out of their amazing loft space by a shitty landlord] and met their charming new cat, Omar… a little grey cloud of exquisite cuteness & tolerance of maximal manhandling.  The bar crowd in Phoenix was mostly a gaggle of chatty dicks, but the show was a success in some ways (e.g. it happened) and there were a few kind & attentive souls there for the music itself.  These included Keith, the dude who’s been to every Phoenix show I’ve played and always has a new record or two for me to sign and a silvery Sharpie pen to hand.  Oh and the drunk girls in the corner singing Happy Birthday to one of their own, which I ever-so-cleverly managed to join on in the midst of whatever song it was that I was playing at the time.  I don’t think they noticed.  The day off with Ryan was truly lovely, as I’d never spent any appreciable amount of time in Arizona; we passed four solid hours at the Musical Instrument Museum [Holy Smokes this place is incredible; go there if you ever have the chance], an absolutely humbling & rich experience that plumbs the amazing depths of human ingenuity & creativity, all categorized neatly by continent and country.  Then a very surprising vegan meal (in the American Southwest? It’s a brave new world) and crayon coloring time with Ryan’s precocious 2-year-old Emma.  Overall I’ve been thoroughly pleased with just about everything, and in fact feel quite detached from that which normally centers me.  Tough to put a finger on, really – to say, “it feels like a dream” is somewhere close [but also horribly trite] … Such abundance of kindness, beauty & memorable moments, and lots of generous & receptive listeners… A few moments balancing this out, in which I feel I’m in some weird existential crisis making me feel as though I’m experiencing this all as a distant memory from the mindset of some future time when I no longer tour or endeavor to make records.  That day is ahead of me somewhere, I suspect, but truly investing myself in that thought is proving to be troublesome.  Nothing I can do will make this last any longer than it will.  But that’s ok.  It’s how it must be.  [Part of this thought process arose after consuming a medicinal product that happens to be legal in California and a few other states, which may help it make a bit more sense.]

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benoit_fuck you, love forest

“Fuck you, love Forest”: Forest is one of my longest-term best friends, and now he lives in California.  This is him being ‘edgy’ by giving me ‘the finger’.  The other two people are his girlfriend Erin (center) and their roommate, whose name I don’t remember because I’m a jerk.

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24 March 2013, 5.30pm, Sixth & I Synagogue (Washington D.C.)

Still plagued by my laziness as a documentarian, not that anyone cares except some future me [?] … but that always results in an experience like this turning into a strange & distant liquid memory-dream afterwards, or maybe seeming like nothing at all once normalcy has taken over again, so that’s ok really.  In four whirlwinded days I’ve passed through New Orleans, Atlanta & Durham, now playing in the nation’s capitol for the first time ever with next to no time at all to actually take anything in.  Oh but I saw the Washington Monument/Phallus from the freeway, as well as some very distinguished-looking roman columns on some building that’s probably quite important.  Recollections of the visit here with Jen Straus something like eleven years ago and all the touristy things we did… Seeing Lucky Lindy’s plane at the Smithsonian, and some stupid irregular hexagon of white cotton at the Hirschhorn, which was supposed to represent the entirety of human suffering throughout time, or something.  And a four-storey Chuck Close thing that was pretty neat.  Anyway NOLA was a great bar crowd (a rare thing indeed) and Atlanta was a dud but for the hospitality of Beau & Emily [these are friends of mine who may be the world’s best hosts; they gave me a pristine, extraordinarily well-decorated bedroom and a perfectly-patina’d antique bucket full of water bottles, fruit, granola bars and a locally-made candle, among other things, you know, “just in case”] … Durham was great altogether, mostly thanks to the quartet of college kids that stole me away to Waffle House at 1am for a meal of greasy hash-browns and grilled tomatoes; very sweet indeed.  Plus, I felt cool, which is obviously weird and wrong.  So here I sit in a quiet green room with the odd hum of the air conditioner, about to play an early show which hopefully means a good night’s sleep at the other end.  It’s gotten quite cold heading up the coast, and evidently I’ve been spoiled by the southern sun.

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benoit_columbia gorge

“Columbia gorge”: Taken at the very peak of Angel’s Rest, my favorite hike in the Gorge, just outside Portland.  From the top you can see a 270º panorama, which is one of the most beautiful vistas I could ever imagine being available to human eyes.

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28 Mars 2013, 6.30pm, Casa del Popolo (Montréal QC)

Again it seems like no time since the last entry but in fact it’s been the touring equivalent of forever, especially during this stretch of 14 shows with no days off… Worlds away from D.C. now, really; Philadelphia found me in one of the most beautiful rooms I’ll ever play, and for a sold-out crowd to boot – this one was in the Unitarian Chapel, all ornate woodwork on every wall and an amazing altar at the front, upon which I respectfully placed my re-amper, warnophone and MixtapeAlpha.  Afterward, some of the nicer remarks I’ve gotten from listeners, including a 7th grade writing teacher who evidently uses my lyrics as writing examples, and illustrates them with the songs themselves, or the videos.  [Being of perhaps the last by-the-book public education generation, this thought hadn’t even crossed my mind before – that teachers now have to adapt their lessons to classes of kids that are constantly gawping at some screen or another.  Wild and a bit sad, if you ask me.  But you didn’t.]  So humbling.  New York was a little disappointing in that almost none of the friends who promised to show up, did so.  But you can’t be upset by that kind of thing, only glad about those who do show up… To that end, Jason [Somma, a good friend and incredible video artist/choreographer] arrived with a big attack-hug, and Ryan Jeffery [also a brilliant filmmaker] came round with a cheery grin and newly salt-and-peppered hair, thoroughly blowing my mind.  Sarah’s Noveller set was stunning – one of the best things I’ve witnessed on this whole trip – and Robert’s hosting impeccable [this is my dear wife’s relative, who happens to live in Brooklyn], so it really wasn’t bad by any stretch.  The small-town show at Hudson, NY’s Spotty Dog Bookstore & Bar was the perfect kind of low-key thing for me, plus the hotel in which I luxuriated [one of four on the entire trip] provided a good respite, spa and all.  Trying to stave off sickness with oranges and vitamin tablets and lots and lots of water.  Too much to keep track of, but there you are.  OH AND ALSO: the New York Thruway Overlook stop at which the little girl ran to the railing & at the top of her lungs repeated the words, “Live to die! Live to die! Live to die!” a number of times, seemingly for no one in particular except the sky herself.

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benoit_double you & see

“Double you & see”: Taken at the home of my friends Windy & Carl in Michigan, this is an ornate wall piece (I think Windy herself painted it?) reflected in a mirror.  I have had many happy and productive experiences in this house, as we all share an enthusiasm for late-night guitar playing sessions and fancy beers.

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7 April 2013, 5pm, Shine (Boulder CO)

& so it ends here, after thousands of miles, dozens of protein bars & just enough of all the kinds of contingencies that tend to come with an experience like this… The past week has felt like three or four, not in any particularly bad way, it’s just that since having a couple of days off last week I’ve been pining for Nico [my lovely bride] and the comforts of our little home.  And also for a bike ride.  There is nothing like the Pacific Northwest in spring, and no better way to see than on two wheels.  Anyway, Canada & Michigan passed in a blur of reconnection & undue kindness (apart from the overzealous Homeland Security guards at the border who seemed convinced that Warren & I were smuggling drugs or dames or dames made of drugs), and I found the perfect new adornment for our home at a stellar store in Chicago called Wooly Mammoth [it was the skull of a Red Fox, Nico’s favorite animal].  Then a nice but brief visit with Travis in St. Louis, the myriad joys of watching Deerhoof play in Kansas City [we were, for some reason, on the same bill] during an exceedingly drawn-out festival evening… All so unreal, all so unraveling.  The head swims with humbled thoughts of why & how this could come to pass so well, or at all, followed in quick succession by gratitude and not a small amount of exhaustion + the need to shut down for a day or two.  Twenty hours left to drive, then the reprieve of the center, the usual, the familiar.  The same bed, the embrace I’ve been without for almost five weeks.  My darling waiting at the shoreline as my ship returns, our cat in her arms.  [That was a bit dramatic, but the return home was indeed perfect, and somehow managed to erase most of my sense of the preceding several weeks.]

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benoit_oakland tanks

“Oakland tanks”: These are part of a tofu factory that abuts the fence behind Forest & Erin’s house.  I thought they had a certain charm to them.

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The following are two live reviews of Tom’s tour of North America:

Portland: http://www.portlandmercury.com/endhits/archives/2013/03/13/benot-pioulard-at-holocene-sun-march-10

Los Angeles: http://www.restlesscities.com/2013/03/15/benoit-pioulard-at-human-resources-march-14-2013/

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‘Hymnal’ by Benoît Pioulard is out now on Kranky.

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pioulard.com
soundcloud.com/pioulard
pioulard.bandcamp.com
kranky.net

 

benoit_shasta clouds

“Shasta clouds”: I stopped for a view of Mount Shasta in northern California and instead took a photo of the clouds above it. These are those.

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All photos were taken on either Polaroid Spectra or 600 cameras.

Photographs and text © Thomas Meluch 2013.

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Very special thanks to Tom for his kindness, time and support.

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April 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Chosen One: Benoît Pioulard

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Interview with Thomas Meluch, Benoît Pioulard.

“I still love the ways that magnetic tape creates a veil between sound and its origins”.

—Thomas Meluch (AKA Benoît Pioulard)

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry

benoitpioulard_craigcarry

“Sky’s in the puddles and sun’s in the window pane
Rise from the rudders adrift in the baleful rain”

Ext. Leslie Park’, 2006 (taken from the album ‘Précis’)

The songbook of Benoît Pioulard is one of uniqueness, beauty and originality. Benoît Pioulard is the pseudonym for Seattle-based artist Thomas Meluch, whose gorgeous blend of ambient and folk casts light and inspiration on all us fortunate music collectors. I have always felt that with each and every Benoît Pioulard album, a tremendous sense of solace is embedded at the heart’s core. The songs quietly dissolve into your bloodstream and soon circulate your consciousness long after the music has faded into the dusk of night. The works of Thomas Meluch belong to the realms of drone and song-writing, inhabiting a past we have not yet to arrive at.

I think belonging to the Kranky label is a symbol and testament to a musician’s songcraft in itself. ‘Hymnal’ will be the fourth full-length album under the Benoît Pioulard guise, released March 4th 2013 on Chicago’s Kranky label. The ethos and inspiration floating around the Kranky roster of talents is simply overwhelming. The likes of Grouper, Stars Of The Lid, Loscil, and Tim Hecker, alongside Benoît Pioulard, represent some of the most affecting and inspiring music in the modern age. Meluch’s Kranky debut was ‘Précis’ and this was my first introduction to the ethereal, lo-fi soundscapes of Benoît Pioulard.

To say ‘Précis’ is a cornerstone to my record collection is a slight understatement. I remember the first moment coming into contact with this divine music. My local recordstore, Plugd (during this time located on Washington St) provided my path to Mr Thomas Meluch. ‘Triggering Back’ (the fourth track on the album) poured from the speakers, providing warmth and solace from the Autumn’s cold outside. An album I immediately fell in love with, that soon became a part of me. I feel this album (as well as all the proceeding releases) possesses an otherworldly realm and an honesty that is rare to find in music. Treated acoustic guitars, bells, bass, dulcimer, old tape, samples, field recordings and a myriad of other sources provides the ebb and flow of Benoît Pioulard’s sonic canvas. At its heart, I love just how you hear a musician’s love and fascination with sound, where as a child, armed with tapes and 8-tracks, and “falling in love with that soft fidelity.” Each album represents its own document in space and time, where the endless possibilities of music are successfully sought.

The newest album ‘Hymnal’ represents the latest chapter for Thomas Meluch. Europe served the inspiration and more specifically, the omnipresence of cathedrals and statues. The song ‘Margin’ is the first taste of this new record, and what a special song it is. Beautiful reverb is drenched in the mix of acoustic guitar and warm electronics, percussion and found sounds that encapsulates life, death and the human condition. Limited editions of ‘Hymnal’ are available now that come with a bonus instrumental cd entitled ‘Roanoke’. A work of art awaits us.

“Oh beneath the throne of God
Subtle sighs singe a silent sky
Through which drifts a post-full hazen moon
Into clouds of our own creation”

—’RTO’, 2010 (taken from the album ‘Lasted’)

benoitpioulard_hymna_craigcarryThomas Meluch Interview.

The new album ‘Hymnal’ is your fourth full-length album for Kranky. Please tell me about this new sonic venture and how you see this record in the Benoît Pioulard songbook?

It’s a funny thing – every time that I’ve finished a record in the past ten years, I have some nagging feeling that it could well be my last… This began when I was still using a 4-track as a teenager, before I’d even endeavored to send songs or a demo around to anyone. So it’s always a pleasant surprise when, after a while, a new wellspring of inspiration appears. In the case of Hymnal it was a move to the UK that spurred things on, as I found myself surrounded by an entirely different kind of religious presence than one finds in the states and, since I was raised in the Catholic church up to a certain age, this brought about a lot of long-dormant thoughts and recollections.
Every record that I’ve made – especially those for kranky – has become a diary of the time period in which it was recorded, since I do everything at home whenever I have time and energy and inspiration to make something… It all seems to arise and pass pretty naturally, and this is something that I have always valued, and will value as long as it persists. This is to say, the new album fits in to my catalogue nicely as a document of my time overseas in the same way Précis is a document of the first serious (and ultimately disastrous) relationship I was ever in.

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I was very interested to read how you wrote ‘Hymnal’ while you lived in Europe, and churches across the countries in particular. Can you please discuss how living in Europe sparked your creativity and how it led to the becoming of ‘Hymnal’?

As mentioned above, it had a lot to do with the omnipresence of cathedrals and statues… From my American perspective it’s abundantly clear that Europeans are imbued with a much greater sense of continuity and impermanence based on the history that surrounds them, whereas we in the states are still quite young as a country, born from a spirit of rebellion and youth that seems to create a certain stubbornness and some bizarre certainty in some people’s minds that we’re the “greatest” country on earth, which is a status that’s just not possible.
At the same time I began my tenure in Holland and England, my paternal grandmother passed away – she was essentially my family’s religious core, so when she passed I found myself writing a lot in my notebooks about this fact. The song ‘Litiya’ is about her and the descent that all my grandparents experienced last year. Each of them entered hospice care within a short window of time, and as of a few weeks ago they’ve all passed on.

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‘Roanoke’ is a special bonus cd of instrumental music that comes with ‘Hymnal’. What is the relationship between these instrumentals and the songs on ‘Roanoke’? Were they written during the same time?

The two pieces that make up Roanoke were made during my last trip to Portland in October of 2012, which included a huge number of rainy days and afternoons spent creating guitar loops in the living room while my friends were at work or sleeping. I’d been reading a book about the lost colony of Roanoke & felt it was a perfect kind of inspiration for something that sounded as decayed and distant as what I was making… The songs are intended to sound like remnants of something left behind, or maybe something mysterious coming over the horizon, possibly disappearing over the same.

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I immediately fell in love with your Kranky debut ‘Précis’ back in 2006. The album has been a cornerstone in my record collection; an album I come back to all the time. Your unique blend of ambient and folk, etched on a hazy lo-fi canvas of sound. I hear pop sensibilities throughout interwoven with field recordings and beautifully layered acoustic guitar and vocals. I can’t begin to explain my love for this music!
Can you please discuss this unique sound of yours and the creative process by which you make your music?

Wow, that’s incredibly flattering, thank you… A lot of the ‘sound’ that I end up with is accidental, since it’s an amalgam of lots of discrete ideas that I kind of pile into a given song… Sometimes it’s more structured and I’ll have a definite idea of what I want something to sound like, but most of the time I approach the recording desk with only the guitar and vocal parts written, and the rest arises through messing about and experimenting with the instruments and devices that I have to hand. The sad thing is, a few people have approached me over the years with requests to produce their albums, but I don’t know the first thing about something like that. I just use GarageBand and play with things until they sound good.

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Songs like ‘Ash Into The Sky’, Palimend’ and ‘Sous La Plage’ are my favourites. The use of instrumentation is something that is a precise and delicate art you have mastered over the years. Can you discuss please the instruments and analog devices you have collected over these past years?

I took piano lessons from the age of five, but when I got a second-hand acoustic guitar at the age of 10 I finally began to develop what I think is a personal sensibility about music. I sold that particular guitar long ago, but at the moment I have a pretty basic setup involving a Japanese Stratocaster, Fender Jazz Bass, some off-brand classical guitar that barely stays in tune, and a beautiful steel-string parlour guitar that a friend made custom for me a few years ago.
For sound processing I heavily rely on a pair of microcassette recorders that I’ve had for ages – one of which recently self-destructed and now sits on the shelf of my friend Kyle Bobby Dunn – as well as a reel-to-reel that my wife gave me for our first anniversary and an old Sony carry-cot tape player that creates some weird and lovely grain artifacts, no matter what you put in it. I suppose this all comes from growing up with tapes and 8-tracks, and falling in love with that soft fidelity. I still love the ways that magnetic tape creates a veil between sound and its origins.

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You are a self-taught musician. Take me back please to your beginnings with your fascination in sound and what instruments you first played with? What ways did you experiment with sound?

I used to buy packages of 3 or 4 off-brand cassettes from Target for $1 when I was 8 or 9 years old, after I noticed that my radio/cassette boombox had a little opening labeled ‘MIC’ through which you could record your own voice, or the TV, or anything you like. I would spend hours wandering the forest behind our house, whapping trees with sticks, crunching leaves and talking to myself while the tapes recorded everything… I kept them all in a little box so I could listen to them later or on headphones if I was having trouble sleeping, which I often did. I think some of these may have resulted in a set of dreams I once had that still recur quite vividly from time to time.

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You have a fascination with natural sounds and the textures of decay. Listening to your music I can feel this; the embers of flames, drifting memories and fleeting emotion embedded in old tape samples, field recordings and layered sounds, in what makes for a divine sonic tapestry.
What triggered this fascination for you and how it filters into your music?

I reckon my response to the last question suits this one pretty well !

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You are based in Portland, Oregon. How does this place influence your music?

I was in Portland for almost five years, but now I’ve moved a couple hundred miles north to Seattle… The two cities are similar in certain ways, the most striking of which (for me) involve the natural scenery, which is just mind-bending. In Seattle – even from the city center – you’re not more than 20 minutes by car from the ocean or the mountains, and it’s a glorious landscape of trees, mist, dynamic topography and overwhelming calm, despite having most of the trappings of a normal city. I don’t suppose I could specify the ways in which the Pacific Northwest has guided my music, but I do feel that there’s something about it that has imbued all the recordings I’ve made here with a certain dewy, overcast environment.

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I love your approach to promoting the new album ‘Hymnal’, where pre-ordering the album will enable music fans to get a host of exclusives (instrumental album, signed editions.) I have pre-ordered mine and can’t wait for its arrival. You have released your albums on the prestigious Kranky label. What is it like being on this label, alongside many like-minded artists and where your art is appreciated?

Yeah, thanks for that! Such support means the world to me, really and truly… and as for being with kranky, I still sometimes can’t believe it. Along with Warp Records, kranky was one of the first labels I really ‘trusted’ in terms of their catalogue. Once I discovered Labradford and Windy & Carl in my early teens, I recognized the kind of consistency that some labels could offer, and I became a collector. Once they responded to the 7” demo that I sent in 2005 and we agreed to a release deal, I felt someone must have been pulling a joke on me. But here we are at LP number four.

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What are you currently listening to?

This very moment I’m listening to some drafts of a record that I’m making with the aforementioned Kyle Bobby Dunn, which will hopefully be released before we both leave this mortal coil. When I started answering these questions I was listening to his album “A Young Person’s Guide”, but that ended & my playlist transitioned into some of the pieces he sent me last year. That guy’s a genius, as far as I’m concerned.

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Do you have a European tour planned for 2013, Tom? (I sincerely hope so.)
I would love to organize to have you perform here in Cork, Ireland at whatever time suits you in terms of touring schedules. In fact, I have the venue in mind! The cafe that is on the same floor has a series of vinyl covers adorning the walls. One of those vinyls is ‘Précis’ by Benoît Pioulard:)

Not yet, although I was very pleased to have gotten to play so many shows while I was in the UK and Europe in 2012… For now I’ve got a US tour to attend to, and some vague hopes of cobbling something together for the autumn of this year across the ocean. Thank you again for the amazing support & well wishes – I’ve never been to Ireland but would love to make something like that happen !

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The highly limited edition of ‘Hymnal’ (along with signed copies of the standard cd/lp versions) is available for pre-order through an indiegogo campaign

http://pioulard.com
soundcloud.com/pioulard
pioulard.bandcamp.com

http://www.kranky.net

Written by admin

February 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm