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coverpic flag France - Full Moon 245 - 08/18/16

Quentin Sirjacq
Far Islands And Near Places
Karaoke Kalk

'I believe music today should allow us to care more about our inner life and self-understanding in order to become more peaceful individuals and acknowledge the complexity and mystery of the human being.'

Quentin Sirjacq is a Parisian composer and pianist (and multi-instrumentalist) who studied at the Royal Conservatory in Haag (The Hague), Netherlands. During his time in NL (1999-2004), he played with a number of groups, and he also met the legendary experimental guitar player Fred Frith [of Henry Cow, Art Bears, Massacre and several more, plus he's also been a collaborator with numerous artists such as Robert Wyatt, Brian Eno, The Residents, John Zorn, Mike Patton, Lars Hollmer, Bill Laswell, Chris Cutler, the Golden Palominos, Jad Fair, Kramer, ... yes, the list is lo-o-ong...] in Amsterdam's avant-garde music circuit. Far Islands And Near Places is Sirjacq's first release under his own name for the way cool, German Karoake Kalk label. His fourth (?) proper solo album since his 2009 debut album La Chambre Claire (on the Brocoli label). So, if you are up for some Neo-classical, modern chamber music, ambient grooves this could be your treasure island.

Quentin Sirjacq has also collaborated with a number of artists such as Antoine Berthiaume, The Norman Conquest, David Darling, Dakota Suite (a.k.a. Chris Hooson), Joëlle Léandre, for several labels (Ambiances Magnétiques, Canada; Brocoli, France; Glitterhouse, Germany; Schole, Japan) over the years, among them with Dakota Suite on the beautiful There Is A Calm To Be Done two years ago. Far Islands And Near Places is a harmonic, 9-track album that is cruising the ambient fields. From the aquatic opening of "Aquarius", Sirjacq paddle his instrumental vessel far off, yet sounding personal and nearby. Like with the album's title, holding the words 'far' and 'near'. The piano is his main 'weapon', but he is also armed with several other instruments such as Fender Rhodes, synthesizers, marimba, vibraphone and glockenspiel for his musical endeavours (which are quite easily accomplished), or travels in a spellbinding musical environment. The steady, pulsating beat/drive of "Bodies"; the careful glow and spark of "Far Islands" (one of my favourite tracks from the album); the excitement of "Wolves"; the circling joy of "Round Dance"; the distant wind of "Cold Lands"; the calming and comforting caress from "A Dream In A Dream". Or... maybe it all was just a dream...? Far Islands And Near Places will probably be a perfect album (a soundtrack) for the early autumn to come. Except that I won't let go summer. Yet. Maybe it is an ebb-of-summer album as well. Enjoy.

Far Islands And Near Places is due out on 26 August 2016.

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