Colleen Et Les Boîtes À Musique by Colleen
Formats: CD (BAY 53CD) Digital (BAY 53E)
Release Date: 2 October 2006
“It seemed like a dream opportunity to explore further the miniature continent of sound that music boxes in all their variety generate” says Colleen’s Cécile Schott in response to the carte blanche handed to her by national radio station France Culture’s Atelier De Création Radiophonique to record music for a special broadcast.
The commission would have remained just that, but Schott was so pleased with the results she decided to give the nod for the recordings to be released on this 38-minute EP, under a temporarily revised artist name.
No stranger to the use of music boxes in her recordings and live performance, the consciously limited palette yields extraordinary dividends; this is arguably the most intimate and wonderfully melodic release of her career to date. Composed entirely using music boxes (but for one track), the pieces use everything from miniature boxes hidden in 1940s birthday cards to large Victorian boxes. Not content with the orthodox sounds produced by the boxes, Schott hijacked them, playing them with her fingers or with mallets on the comb. She re-sampled and affected pitch and delay in a quest to produce unique sounds and melodies.
Utilising the natural loop in each box, the different boxes move in and out of time, evoking memories of childhood. This playful nature ebbs and flows throughout the EP like a stream unsure of its chosen path. Sounds reminiscent of harps (‘What Is A Componium? Part 2’), xylophones and Fender Rhodes (‘Your Heart Is So Loud’), and electronics (‘Calypso In A Box’) appear and then disappear on the landscape, fooling the listener into believing that the noises emanate from more than one type of instrument.
The material is all new with the exception of the final track, ‘I’ll Read You A Story’, which can also be found on 2005’s The Golden Morning Breaks.
A video clip for ’I’ll Read You A Story’, made by Jon Nordstrom lekplats.com, can also be found on the EP as CD-ROM content.
1. John Levers The Ratchet
2. What Is A Componium? - Part 1
3. Charles's Birthday Card
4. Will You Gamelan For Me?
5. The Sad Panther
6. Under The Roof
7. What Is A Componium? - Part 2
8. A Bear Is Trapped
9. Please Gamelan Again
10. Your Heart Is So Loud
11. Calypso In A Box
12. Bicycle Bells
13. Happiness Nuggets
14. I'll Read You A Story REVIEWS