Aerials is a suite of solo clarinet improvisations that utilizes several distinct extended techniques that I have acquired, developed, and perfected over the last 20 years. These techniques overlap, collapse, clash and permutate into an intricate sonic web, pushing the performer to the brink of chaos.
Stylistically, I have attempted in my improvisational approach to achieve a fine balance between the physicality required in the execution of these techniques and their resulting emotional value. thus creating an environment where the extreme conditions faced by the performer lead towards a form of transcendental, out-of-body experience.
My fascination (obsession, really) with the sense of urgency and the sheer physicality that emerges from the execution of these ideas has led me to think of my instrument as a transmitter, akin to television aerials, hence the title. The notion of the performer as a medium (guru, shaman), a concept present in the music of many cultures, is somehow omnipresent here. The ritualistic quality in this music is not accidental, as most of the inspiration for my musical vocabulary on the clarinet is drawn from an eclectic range of sources, such as Solomon Island bamboo flutes, Sardainian Launeddas, Tuvan throat singing, new music clarinet repertoire, and free jazz (Evan Parker, John Carter, among others).
FRANÇOIS HOULE 5+1
François Houle 5+1 - video 1 is from the demo session in 2011, which served as our first meeting as a group, with Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet, Michael Bates on bass, and Harris Eisenstadt on drums. Video 2 is the culmination of me composing music for these amazing musicians over the winter, in anticipation of a recording and tour in the summer of 2012, at which point the group expanded to include Samuel Blaser on trombone and Benoît Delbecq on piano.
Benoît Delbecq & François Houle - Because She Hoped