Cécile Broché: 3D@Paris

Electric violinist, keyboard player and percussionist evoke a journey around Paris, referring to blues, rock, world music and Claude Debussy

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Using Paris as the inspiration, this is a journey through the city, from Arrival at Gare du Nord to Departure at Gare de Lyon; musical images of places linked by a circuitous Metro route.

The Metro and subways take the form of short connecting pieces, composed of murmurs, snippets of conversation, railway announcements and the sounds of tube trains and doors, some actual, others replicated.

Belgian violinist Cécile Broché is joined by American Russ Lossing, whose piano is used as lead in a fairly formal acoustic way, as at the start of Lully’s Dream, on Café –Croissant and Guillotine’s Waltz. His other keyboards tend to serve as broad textures and infills. Satoshi Takeishi’s drums and percussion add to the mix, occasionally laying down a rock beat, on Back To Future and on Prélude À L’Après-Midi, a variation of Debussy’s composition, the disassembly of melody and a repeated riff making it less impressionistic.

Broché’s violin ranges from experimental and electronic to punchy blues-inflected, as on Message Bar, and her additions are imaginative and interesting. The tracks have subtitles, referring to places, and the music often reflects their character. Guillotine’s Waltz is linked with Conciergerie, the site on Île De La Cité where a prison held those awaiting their fate. Menace and discord make way for a very brief calm.

Nouvel An Chinois (Chinese New Year) is celebrated at Bastille, the violin adopting a slightly oriental feel. Sous Le Pont Mirabeau has as its subtitle Coule La Seine, referencing Apollinaire’s poem – the river and love running away under the bridge; Broché’s tone is appropriately melancholy. D’s Market is placed at Barbès, where the high Metro is a canopy for Asian and African traders, characterised by street shouts and percussive elements.

An intriguing release that evokes the feeling of the city, avoiding romanticism, but conjuring up the charm and vitality that it still holds despite the modernisation and societal issues.


Discography
Sunrise; Lully’s Dream, Lully’s Nightmare; Arrival; Bonjour; Saint-Paul; Café -Croissant; Saint-Sulpice; D’s Market; Prélude À L’Après-Midi; Message Bar; Interlude; Guillotine’s Waltz; Saint-Fargeau; Nouvel An Chinois; Saint-Lazare; Sous Le Pont Mirabeau; M’s Time; Departure; Back To Future; Sunset (59.16)
Broché (soundtracks, elvn); Russ Lossing (p, keyb); Satoshi Takeishi (d, pc). No date given.
Discus 156CD