My new electroacoustic album Land of Waves has been nominated to the French Grand Prix Lycéen des compositeurs 2021 (GPLC) with the piece named Off The Page, a great honour I share with fellow composers Franck Bedrossian, François-Bernard Mâche, Vincent David, Benoît Menut and Frédéric Pattar.
This has been a wonderful opportunity to meet the pupils of a dozen high school's music classes all over France, between January and March 2021. Indeed, I could chat with them during Zoom meetings about what it means to make art and specially music in this context of economical crisis but also to develop a conversation about my way of creating and make a living in the music business.
The ceremony revealing the award winner will take place at Paris Radio France concert hall on March the 25th, 2021, wish me good luck ! : -)
Also, a series of short video interviews as quick Q&As with anecdotes and references for the pupils to get to know me as a composer but also outside my own music and resume are published on the GPLC's YT playlist. A real pleasure doing them.
DOUBLE VINYL + DL
Limited double vinyl edition SOLD OUT
Second pressing scheduled some time this year 2021 !
" (...) Maximin exhibits a knowing and playful approach to electroacoustic composition (...) This theoretical lineage established, Maximin then glides forwards to more contemporary modes of creation; little scratches and glitches pop and crackle like the electrical fizzes, slow textures emerge (...) alongside squiggles of voices and fragments of sentences. Structurally, Maximin keeps her lines of communication clear - there’s a lot going on, but it’s never crowded and soon that challenge implicit to all electroacoustic music - do you listen for the sound source or move beyond it ? - is cleared. The ten tracks on the four vinyl sides of Land Of Waves offer some drama and tempo, but the prevailing mood is of composition created out of focused listening. Performed mostly by the composer - on synths, percussion, « digital chimeras » and Schaeffer-style sound objects, Maximin’s inspiration for this latest album comes not from the vastness of space, as on Dangerous Orbits , but the more quotidian; buildings, derelict and otherwise, parks and the suburbs of the great cities of Europe. These spaces she reclaims for various lives: her sound waves express insect rustles and birds pecking and cawing, and most poignantly, on « Walking Barefoot, Imaginary Quintet », some wistful melody lines that gesture towards new horizons." - Louise Gray, The Wire, UK, June 2020.
"There’s a refreshing bluntness to the way Bérangère Maximin uses field recordings (or electronics that sound like field recordings) on her sixth album, Land of Waves. In many tracks, concrete audio events are presented clearly and literally, as if meant simply to represent the places they came from. “Full Jungle,” for example, actually sounds like one, full of chirping, buzzing, and growling echoes. The album’s centerpiece, a 20-minute montage called “L’Echappee,” offers all kinds of noises and clatter that whirl by frenetically. Yet despite all this in-your-face sound, Land of Waves is capable of great subtlety and surprise, as Maximin creates textured sound environments that change with each listen." - Marc Masters, The Best Experimental Music on Bandcamp: July 2020.
"(...) She dissects and pries at their textures and emphasizes them with a wider horizon of electroacoustic sound, creating a new terrain of her own. (...) The three pieces, tracked in this order, are the longest on the album and provide a representative cross-section of Maximin’s electronic mastery. Maximin’s mimicry perfectly disguises natural sounds as synthetic and vice versa. (...) As a listener, it’s best to let these compositions, the natural sounds with their approximates and rough equivalents, submerge you in its thicket."
- Ian Forsythe, Dusted magazine (USA).
"(...) Self-contained, often playful, serene yet full of unexpected surprises, the world that is “Land of Waves” is a highly absorbing experience. (…)" - The Sound Projector (UK).
" (...) a rich weaving of recordings (...) a strong melodic sensitivity (...) once more very convincing."
- Massimiliano Busti, Blow Up (IT).
" (...) The result is so diverse that it opens up to a wide variety of readings: from the early experiments in the sound laboratories of the 1950s to the advanced techno of today." - Albert Koch, Musikexpress (DE).
" (...) an astonishing wealth of compositions (...) which keep you awake and alert. There is really no better compliment."
- Gonzo Circus (Netherlands).
" (...) Bérangère Maximin's musicianship resides as much in tranquility as it does in the sporadic, glitchy, and frightening potential offered by electronic music manifested to perfection. Land of Waves is a journey to different atmospheres and sonic experiences so viscerally beautiful that they involve the listener actively rather than simply existing in the background. (...) Bérangère Maximin is a fascinating, albeit understated voice in today’s underground electronic scene. (...) Her auteur-like sensibilities (forgive the filmic terminology) send tracks to unique ends beyond the realm of familiarity. Her willingness to push the envelope of traditional song structure speaks to her maturity as a musician. Once a listener heads down the path of experimental music discovery, they will inevitably pursue genres delving further and further into the abstract, itching to find novel and more rewarding places. Land of Waves is a good place to enter the jungle and dive deeper into unknown depths of experimental abstraction.(...)"
- Patrick Ford Bowering on Earlyworm (USA).
I'm feeling feverish but not from what you think... "Frozen Refrains" (Atlas Realisations/Pias, 2017) gets a feature as hidden gem on Bandcamp Daily, VERY appreciated this end, thanks to Jesse Locke.
(...) But for all of the attention she’s received from both critics and fellow musicians, Maximin’s stunning 2017 release Frozen Refrains remains criminally overlooked. (...)
Out in July 2020, 'Ultrablack of
music', Publication directed by Achim Szepanski, Mille Plateaux Books :
" In this essay, I don’t aim at analyzing a specific genre of music: my goal is rather to grasp a musical configuration encompassing musicians as different as Gérard Grisey, Sunn O ))), Thomas Köner, Chloé, Emptyset, or Bérangère Maximin. Paying attention to the spectral technique of composition, drone metal, and electronic music, the musical configuration I attempt to define obviously doesn’t consider the full extent of contemporary music, but sheds some light on a Grundstimmung – a basic mood, a fundamental tone that, I argue, is at stake in crucial contemporary musical works." - Frédéric Neyrat.
Private residencies in Southern France to work on the finish of my new solo album to be released this Spring. More details soon !
Solo Performance at Akousma festival, Montreal (Quebec, CA), Usine C, Thursday October 24th, 2019 !!
Photos by Caroline Campeau.
The album Ernstalbrecht Stiebler Reworks which includes my piece ‘Innocence’ is mentioned on The Best Electronic Music on Bandcamp list for the month of May. Thanks to Joe Muggs !
A very nice mention of my piece in German Groove Mag as well, pleased : "Die interessanteste Bearbeitung kommt von Bérangère Maximin, die mit ihren kargen, formstrengen und doch frei wirkenden Synthesizerdrones Stieblers Arbeit zugleich respektiert wie in aktuelle Elektronik transformiert."
[updated on O6/27/2019]
Out tomorrow, May the 24th, 2019 is this album of reworks celebrating the German composer Ernstalbrecht Stiebler's 85th birthday on Karlrecords. I've composed a piece for it !
"Frank Bretschneider, Bérangère Maximin, Jasmine Guffond, Phonosphere, and Kammerflimmer Kollektief celebrate Ernstalbrecht Stiebler's 85th birthday with exclusive reworks of compositions by the German minimalist composer.
Ernstalbrecht Stiebler (born March 29th, 1934) is one of the first German composers involved with minimalism and ranks among the pioneers of reductive, repetitive, sound-oriented music. Although honored with several prizes (e.g. the "Bach-Preis der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg"), up to the current day only true connoisseurs of contemporary music are familiar with his oeuvre. On the occasion of his 85th anniversary this year, Karlrecords launches a series of albums with original pieces by Stiebler who besides his compositional work served as director for new music at Hessischer Rundfunk for over 25 years (where he supervised recordings of Morton Feldman, John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Giacinto Scelsi, amongst others) and published numerous essays in Musik-Konzepte, MusikTexte, and other music journals.
The new Stiebler series, however, kicks off with Reworks -- five artists from different musical backgrounds present their approach to and understanding of Stiebler's minimalist aesthetics for which he cites "sonority, rhythm, and duration" as his three principal compositional concerns."
Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. 180 gram vinyl, includes download code.
Nice to see that I'm mentioned twice in this month's issue of The Wire Mag [June 2019, The Wire n°-424] when I'm not really being in promo mode. The first one is in the feature about Ernstalbrecht Stiebler with the announcement of the forthcoming album of reworks on Karlrecords where the writer says Stiebler is "clearly pleased" about it and the second one is a short review of the 4fakultät collective concert in Hambourg last March with my 100% improvised solo set qualified as "fragile, yet forceful" (a compliment since it's the contrast I wanted, silences and precarity, air between the layers but nervous development and cuts) and the final trio with Felix Kubin and Mark Boombastik being "a eureka moment". All good !
New Mixtape broadcast on NTS London, channel 2, now available for online listening :
"SHAPE presents an hour of thrilling electro acoustics from Parisian sound artist and composer Bérangère Maximin."
With pieces from Autechre, Ekoplekz, Forest Swords, The Buffalo Daughters, Pierre Henry, Marie-Hélène Bernard, Agnès Poisson, Fred Frith & Janet Feder and more.
My Mix for the excellent Secret Thirteen is out ! With lovely, thoughtful words from Paulius Ilevicius, many thanks !
(...) 'Bérangère Maximin is a French sound artist who creates textural electroacoustic soundscapes that are both abstract and intimate. Her dense and rich compositions speak to the listener with their utter emotionalism, depth and vivid colorfulness. (...) Her last LP, Frozen Refrains came out on Craig Leon’s Atlas Realisations and it’s also a powerful offering that explores emotional dissonances, subjectivity, memory and their complexities. Its multi-angled compositions are like contemplations, providing as many questions as they do answers. (...) Secret Thirteen Mix 268 has a similar attention to detail as her own music. Over one hour Bérangère leads us across myriads of soundscapes, creating the effect of a kaleidoscope or a stream of film stills, with images of past and present intertwining. She divides the mix in three parts, the first part being more textural, the second more intensely expressive and political, while the third is a sort of mixture between the first two.' (...)
A new music piece that I composed last Summer is included in Below The Radar CD+DL that SHAPE Platform has compiled for The Wire mag's digital and print subscribers - Track 12 ‘The Broken Shoe’ !
With : SWAN MEAT / DJ Morgiana / Karolina Karnacewicz / Lifecutter / NAKED / Ewa Justka / TESA / Umbra - / Jung An Tagen / ISAMA ZING / Piernikowski / Golebiewski / RED trio / Berangere Maximin / Kinga Toth / Kathy Hinde / TUTU.
My copy has arrived ! David Stubbs' book ‘Mars by 1980, The Story of Electronic Music’ (Faber & Faber, Aug. 2018) with a mention on page 401 : « Parisian sound artist BERANGERE MAXIMIN whose best work sounds like meditated, artificially generated additions to the world of nature ». It’s spot on, all the more that I’ve been working on a series focused on re-creating the peculiar mix of the urban and the pastoral in the city with ‘fictional’ sounds in a sense that it’s neither figurative nor recorded sounds in specific sites, so this will have a musical development in the near future.
Next Wednesday, I'll be supporting my long time friend Colin Johnco at the release party of his new album named "However Far Away" that I've recorded and mixed. It will be nice to play live versions of 5 new pieces AND also to get to see Colin perform again on the instrument he's built himself with a few pedals and reverbs and groove boxes, this after a few years hiatus in solo. I'm very glad that he's asked me to take part. So it's going to be at Paris La Mano club, from 10 pm to 3 am, in sandwich between three DJ sets including Johnkôôl Records' co-founder's. You now know everything, come have a drink with us !
'However Far Away' : release date April 6, 2018 on Johnkôôl Records / Limited K7 edition + DL. / All songs written and performed by Colin Johnco. / All tracks recorded and mixed by Bérangère Maximin at the Ina-GRM studios. / Guest on 'Emperor M' and 'Earth G.' tracks : Damon Eliza Palermo. / Artwork : CHARGE 063473 (detail) by Théodore Fivel. / Mastered by Mathieu Berthet.
Following the mixtape on The Attic, I've made a new one exploring the themes of "true and false melodies, fake soundtracks, determined optimism " for SHAPE Platform on London Resonance fm, which got aired last night 7.30 pm and is now available on streaming, with The Advisory Circle, Oliver Coates, King Midas Sound & Fennesz, Gudrun Gut, Tomonari Higaki, Pansonic, Simon Fisher Turner, Trevor Wishart, Dedekind Cut, Flying Saucer Attack, Annie Anxiety and myself. Enjoy !
Have made a mixtape with comments for the excellent The Attic magazine, check it out ! Music pieces from Günter Schickert vs Mica Levi, Colin Johnco, Helm, Valerio Tricoli, Perc, David Toop and more.
I was the guest of Electrons Libres/Epsilonia two hour radio show recently, on the legendary Parisian Anarchist radio station Libertaire. I chatted with my hosts about my albums and ongoing projects together with playing great music from Rodolphe Alexis, Beatriz Ferreyra, Gas, Rashad Becker, Terre Thaemlitz and many more, have a listen !
The first performance of the year will take place at Hamburg's Bunker in the Elbphilharmonie's ePhil concert series with a brand new solo, on Feb 01, 2018, 9 pm, hope to see you !
Personal picks including the new 2020 album's single, enjoy :
[update on 04/11/2020]