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ARCHIVES | 2008 | MUSIQUE | THE CJ BOYD SEXXXTET


Biographie

Et s'il n'en restait qu'un ce serait lui! Qui ça? CJ Boyd, pardi ! Le dernier des bardes. Comprenez : toute l'année le gaillard sillonne les States avec sa basse fleurie, il sème la bonne parole de la contre-culture et de l'amour du beau. Souvent, quand il pose ses valises à Nashville ou à Chicago, il s'entoure d'amis rencontrés sur les routes chères à Kerouac et ils jamment ensemble jusqu'au bout de la nuit.

 

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Parfois l'expérience collective s'installe et dure plus longtemps laissant alors place au CJ Boyd Sexxxtet. Pas exactement un groupe mais « une communauté de musiciens intéressés par l'exploration des liens entre la musique et la sexualité » (dixit mister Boyd). Un bassiste, quatre ou cinq violoncellistes, un percussionniste, une espèce d'orchestre de chambre au service d'une idée fixe : musique et sexualité sont inextricablement liés. Il paraît que le message passe sur scène. Tout un programme !

A l'inverse de la discographie de CJ Boyd, qui est pléthorique (6 LP en 6 ans), celle de son Sexxxtet se compose pour l'instant d'un seul album, Fleur du Mal sorti l'an dernier. Mais quel album! Une merveille où dominent les crescendos lents et tristes des violoncelles bâtis autour des mélodies hypnotiques de la basse et des transitions rythmiques des percussions. On pense à Silver Mount Zion, surtout quand le Sexxxtet pousse le volume des vocalises incantatoires, mais également au minimalisme répétitif de Steve Reich et John Adams, voire à des compositeurs plus expérimentaux comme Penderecki ou Gorecki.

 

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C'est une chose rare quand la musique est capable d'entraîner l'auditeur/spectateur vers un tel voyage. CJ Boyd et ses acolytes en seront les guides précieux et talentueux. Premier passage en Europe, à ne pas rater !

 

Discographie

-) 2007 : 'Fleur du Mal' (auto-produit).

Ce qu'en pense The Silent Ballet :

The CJ Boyd Sexxxtet are an experimental art collective, performing ambient chamber music on bass and many cellos. They also have an affinity for playing in the nude, and feel that music is inextricably linked to sexuality, something that is conveyed by their driving, thrusting compositions with or without the accompanying nude press photos. I think most reviewers would spend time discussing the press photos and the eros/nudity theme, and for this reason I would prefer to ignore it. However, I don't think that would be fair, as the sexual themes are linked with our understanding of the music, and it is not as gimmicky as it may seem on first look. The band does not attempt to be an avant-garde/instrustmental Pussy Cat Dolls, playing up porn star poses and showing off cleavage and curves for the sake of selling records; instead, the cover communicates a sensuality and comfortability, as well as a playfulness, all mirrored by the music the group makes. The band is sincere and genuine in their art, dedicated to exploring the connection between music and sexuality, as well as playing with the paradox of a sexual repressed culture obsessed with the cult of celebrity.

Fans of CJ Boyd are surely aware of his virtuosity and versatility, having crafted impressive albums of compositions exclusively for bass, acoustic bass over dubs, and hip-hop oriented instrumental music. Boyd's latest album, The Greatest Weight, did an excellent job of crafting powerful songs of complex overdubbing bass. The Sexxxtet is distinct from his solo records, but is still clearly in the tradition of minimalist arrangements, evolving chord progressions, and relaxing and/or invigorating music, dependant on one's mood. Boyd is the foundation on which these songs are built, but the rotating musicians make their presence felt, giving Fleur du Mal a unique feel. These three songs, each about 20 minutes long, take the listener on a journey without feeling cinematic, and have the vibe of a jam session without the (complete) lack of structure. These three tracks, building slowly over time, are not going to suit everyone's taste, and are not always appropriate due to their length. As background music, or as a soundtrack to whatever it is one might be doing, the Sexxtet makes for a tranquil ambience.

The first track, “At the End of Breath,” begins with the ringing of a Tibetan singing bowl, whose tone underlies much of the rest of the track. An acoustic bass solos over the ringing of the bowl, while gentle chords are sustained in the background. After over three minutes, the cellos come in, and the record begins to take off. The slow, mournful crescendo of the strings will likely appeal to fans of Godspeed, and is reminiscent of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich, who rely on repetition and subtle changes over time to propel the piece. Track two, “Here's to Thanatos,” is the most well-composed of the three, transitioning from rhythmic and engaging to absolutely beautiful and lulling by the end. Last is “And Indeed There Will Be Time,” a powerful piece which layers strings and other instruments on top of a repetitive bass melody, culminating in the entire band chanting a Buddhist Mantra in Sanskrit, taken from the Heart Sutra. "Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha." (Gone, gone, gone all the way over, everyone gone to the other shore, enlightenment, rejoice!) As the Sexxxtet's voices fade out, the listener truly does feel as though we have reached the other shore. It is a rare thing when music is capable of taking the listener on such a journey, and CJ Boyd is a rare talent indeed.

Joseph Sannicandro - site.

fleur du mal

 

Audio

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Web

-) Site officiel.
-) Myspace.