Boomkat Product Review:
The previously unpublished ’La Plage’ pre-dates Michèle Bokanowski's stunning archival introduction ‘Rhapsodia / Battements Solaires’ offered by Recollection GRM earlier this year, and is formed of a similarly immersive approach that Bokanowski has been developing for half a century since her formative studies at the ORTF Research Department under Pierre Schaeffer, and later with Eliane Radigue, set her on a path into electro-acoustic music’s rarified dimensions.
Bokanowski’s compositions prize a sort of suggestively synaesthetic sensuality unique to her work, perhaps best considered in context of its application on her husband Patrick Bokanowski's films, where they've both work towards a "spiritual search for the overrunning of perception, and thereby oneself. Searches into abstraction in the real, mysterious blanks that recover the daily.”
‘La Plage’ is an ideal place to start scrolling back into Bokanowski’s oeuvre. Specifically realised in four parts for the film, it plays thru a series of tonal hues and aqueous abstractions that evoke a slippage of time and free-floating space with a deeply unusual but broadly appealing sensitivity. Passages of anaesthetising ambience give way to almost midnight jazz-like introspection recalling CC Hennix, and, quite unexpectedly, parts of slowly phasing percussion and glowing organ chord clusters calling Eno & Byrne’s ‘My Life In The Bush of Ghosts,’ before returning to the mystery of holy, levitating drones in the final section. Trust you’ll want it to continue for much longer, but there’s a discrete magic in the work’s cinematic nature, perhaps best compared with aspects of Jane Arden’s films and their soundtracks, or more simply to be taken as exquisite sort of experimental sound poetry.
It’s a real beauty.