France Jobin - Singulum

LINE_075 | CD + Digital | limited edition of 400 | February 2016

Returning to LINE after her critically acclaimed 2012’s Valence (LINE_054), France Jobin brings us the four sparse elegant works that comprise Singulum.

Quantum physics inspires me to draw a parallel between the fundamental building blocs of physics, sounds and music. I put field recordings through a series of editing and manipulation processes which result in very different sounds from their origins. These manipulations affect time, timbre, harmonics and the essence of each sound, whereas composition influences how they relate to each other.

Singulum represents an unattainable goal, the process of decay while conserving a continuation of information.

All sounds recorded at various locations in North America, Europe, and Japan and at EMS (Stockholm) using the Serge and the Buchla 200 modular synthesizers as well as the Nord Modular.

Cover image: Mark Hogben.

Thank you to EMS (Stockholm), Sporobole (Sherbrooke), EMPAC (Troy), Andreas Tilliander, Argeo Ascani, Fabio Perletta (Farmacia 901), Ennio Mazzon (CConfin).
Special thanks to Richard Chartier and Mark Hogben.

Tracklisting:

1. n (16:58)
2. l (06:30)
3. m (08:55)
4. s (13:35)



France Jobin is a sound / installation / artist, composer and curator residing in Montreal, Canada. Her audio art can be qualified as “sound-sculpture?, revealing a minimalist approach to complex sound environments where analog and digital intersect. Her installations express a parallel path, incorporating both musical and visual elements inspired by the architecture of physical spaces.

Jobin has created solo recordings for popmuzik records (JP), bake/staalplaat (NL), ROOM40 (AU), nvo (AT), DER (US), ATAK (JP), murmur records (JP), Baskaru (FR) and the prestigious LINE label (US). Jobin’s sound art is also part of countless compilation albums, notably on the ATAK (JP), bremsstrahlung (US), Mutek (CA), murmur records (JP), and/oar (US), tsuku boshi (FR), everest records (CH), and Contour Editions (US) labels. She is also featured in the influential book and recording, Extract, Portraits of Soundartists (book + 2 cd), released on the nonvisualobjects label (AT). The collaborative album ligne, created with sound artist Tomas Phillips, was released on the ATAK label (JP).

Her installations and screenings have been shown at museums and festivals. Most recently, her work P Orbital was presented at CONTEXT-ing / Listening as CONTEXT at the Miami Art Fair in Florida. An invitation to the AIR Artist-In-Residence program in Krems, Austria enabled her to create und transit, a sound installation set in the MinoritenKirche cloister in Stein (AT). A recent collaboration with artist and musician Cédrick Eymenier (FR) resulted in “EVENT HORIZON?, an audio/video piece, which was screened in Paris (2010) and the Venezuela Biennale in Merida state (2010), and performed live at the Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles (2010), as well as at ISEA RUHR 2010 (DE). In 2011, Jobin was one of five international artists selected to present her sound installation, Entre-Deux, in the new media exhibit Data/Fields, curated by Richard Chartier at Artisphere in the Washington, DC area, along with Ryoji Ikeda, Mark Fell, Caleb Coppock, and Andy Graydon. Her proposition received critical acclaim from the national press. Her latest audio visual collaboration: “Mirror Neurons? with sound artist Fabio Perletta (IT) and xx+xy visuals (IT) was screened as a world premiere at A x S / ak-sis / FESTIVAL 2014 | CURIOSITY as part of the Synergetica Screening in Los Angeles in September 2014. In October 2015, France was invited to take part in an artist residency at EMPAC (Troy,NY) which resulted in the creation of a new light sound work entitled 4.35 – R0 – 413, a collaboration with Alena Samoray, lighting designer.

She has also participated in numerous music and new technology festivals such as Mutek (Montreal, 2001, 2004 – 2009), EM15 (Montreal 2014), Portobeseno (Italy 2014), Interferenze – Liminaria (Italy 2014), Flussi Media Arts Festival (Italy 2014), le FIMAV de Victoriaville (2002), Ver Uit de Maat (Rotterdam, 2002), SEND + RECEIVE (Winnipeg, 2003, 2005), Les Digitales (Brussels, 2004), Club Transmediale (Berlin, 2004), Shut up and Listen (Vienna, 2009), ISEA RUHR 2010 (Germany), EMPAC (US 2011), surface tension tour (Japan, 2012).

She initiated “immersound?, a concert event/philosophy, which proposes the creation of a dedicated listening environment by focusing on the physical comfort of the audience within a specifically designed space. The premise of “immersound? is to seek out/explore new perceptions in and experiences of the listening process by pushing the notion of “immersion? to its possible limits. She produced the first “immersound? in 2011 at Oboro in Montreal and continues to curate / produce the event.

She was a finalist at the Sonic Arts Awards 2014 (IT) in the Sonic Research category. In January 2013, the Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM) awarded the prestigious Opus Prize for Concert of the year in the Catégorie Musiques Actuelles, électroacoustique to France Jobin for her concert at AKOUSMA 8.

francejobin.com

REVIEWS

Beautifully sparse modular studies. RIYL Richard Chartier, Eliane Radigue
(boomkat.com)

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Subtle, non-intrusive pieces you’re hardly aware of, but with a lot of details to be discovered if you listen carefully.
(ambientblog.net)

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Across her rather substantial career, Jobin has displayed work in galleries everywhere from South Africa to Japan, as well as releasing on a number of different labels. Singulum sees her return to an old residence, LINE Recordings. The label has hosted the likes of Alva Noto, Mark Fell and Yves De Mey since its founding at the start of the millennium, and Jobin’s work finds a fitting home here.

Take the washing flourishes of piano across the opening track, ‘n’. Between fragile buzzes of phone-line glitch, modem scratches linger in the backdrop. Jobin also uses her drawn out structures to give shifts in the production full impact. On ‘I’, creeping arps and digitised chimes linger as long as possible before giving way to Jobin’s faintly ominous drones.

The timidly developing soundscapes of this release build up to its closing piece, ‘s’. The track makes for one of Singulum’s boldest statements, meditative pools of ambience are left void of further embellishment in an offering of streamlined introspection. Towards the tracks latter half a swelling chord makes repeat appearances; a feature that wouldn’t sound out of place in Deepchord or Fluxion’s output.

Jobin has cited quantum physics as a strong inspiration for Singulum. She uses a range of audio processing tools to remove her carefully selected field recordings from their original context. In this pursuit, Jobin has endeavored to highlight just how flexible sampling materials can be, creating a release which lingers, its subtle yet graceful motifs rattling around the brain for hours after the final track.
(straylandings.co.uk)

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Like a sluggish mummification process, the light and creamy textures of Singulum are gently wrapped around the body, embalming the slowly developing ambient music. On Singulum, Montreal sound artist France Jobin gently nudges her music forward, and it’s so hushed it’s hardly there at all; it’s an incredibly subtle approach.

Inspired by quantum physics, Jobin uses a series of quiet field recordings that are in turn manipulated, processed and lightly looped, the latter enjoying a healthy, liberal amount of space and freedom (an open loop, if there is such a thing), her modular synthesizers rearranging and transforming the music beyond all recognition. Science, sound and music are inextricably linked, so close as to resemble sons and daughters. They are elegant, despite the stuttering glitches that occasionally pass by. Reshaping both the timbre and the tonal quality of the original recording results in an entirely new entity being created.

Shapes inside the music are gently rearranged, changing beyond recognition but never entering their final state of being. As Jobin says, ‘Singulum represents an unobtainable goal, the process of decay while conserving a continuation of information’. Slowly shifting, and almost meditative in its breathing, the music is a secret ocean of calm. As soon as the pale, soft tonal intakes are taken, the exhalation of the music is the only thing that can follow. The non-intrusive sound of a bass frequency passes through, feeling heavy and yet somehow light, stuck in its black ice, and the lighter tones suddenly disperse, vanishing without a trace.

Singulum’s music is filled with a special kind of light. Translucent notes ghost around the music. And like a good friend, a lower bass accompanies the transparent ambient lines as they continue their journey. If you wanted to be technical, I guess you could call it microscopic ambient minimalism. To an extent, you need to concentrate to pick everything up; the ambient music flows easily and, on the surface at least, it holds a good deal of simplicity. But belying that simplicity is an all-consuming intelligence. After all, this is not an easy thing to produce – far from it. It’s easy to access and goes down nicely, but you can go deeper and deeper, too. In that sense, the listener can make it a challenging listen if he / she chooses to, and it’s a pleasurable record no matter how you decide to approach it. Everything falls into place at just the right time, and that’s not a coincidence. It may have been inspired by and rooted in science, but the slightly metallic drones are mystical, too. Like the pyramidal structures that lie inside Area 51, surrounded by nothing but a clear lake and the arid Nevada desert, they have a mask of the unknown hovering around them. Trance-like, the music progresses slowly. A soft hiss of static kisses the music as it travels along, keeping it steady. As the record draws to a close, a soft, glowing chord pulses at regular intervals. This being a LINE release, a pair of headphones is not only recommended but essential. (James Catchpole)
(acloserlisten.com)

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Typical of the Line label, the latest release by Montreal-based sound artist is ultra-minimal, but it contains moments of beauty. You need to turn it up loud, but it’s worth it, it sounds amazing. The opening track (“n?) fades in slowly, and has very beautiful piano loops and granulated effects. Eventually the loops sort of dissolve into a cloud, but they still retain their beauty, and it ends with an echoing, pulsing bass tone. The other pieces are shorter. “l? starts out with another gorgeous, minimal loop and gradually adds some haunting, engrossing synthesizer drones. “m? starts out a bit darker and more haunting, and eventually seems to drift towards something brighter and calmer, but then it ends up more chilling than before, concluding with a lightly piercing sine wave. “s? doesn’t change too much for the first half, just slowly layering in different synth pads, but the second half has more tonal variation, giving it a half-remembered-melodies feel. Very calm, slow moving, and tranquil.
(theanswerisinthebeat.net)



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France Jobin - Singulum





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