privateMichel Moglia (presentation cdr) (F,2010)****
I once witnessed Michel Moglia's fire organ from a distance during an Antwerp harbor's yearly's fireworks. The fireworks were massive and huge, completely over the top. In the middle of the water one of the boats had the fire organ on them. It is only because I heard already from Michel Moglia through the mechanical music compilations, that I recognised his appearance, but he was a little bit too far away to give the same impression to everyone ; the music had become part of a bigger concept. Michel Moglia agreed to send me a CD compilation from his works, which could have been an impressive CD release, but no attempts of releasing anything from this sound artist (on LP, CD or DVD) has been made yet, so I prefer to describe what I hear on this compilation to give you an idea.
The physical aspect of the meeting point between breathing, sound and heat is what matters most for Michel Moglia : “I am very interested in how sounds are created on our planet without separating music from it. Everything regarding energy interests me : fire, breathing of animals until motors and electricity. I try to create full contrasts from high to low, loud and quiet without dealing with harmony theory in an aesthetic way.”
On the first 16 minute track you can hear the more quietly vibrating tones of the pipes mixed with the more aggressive powerful breaths/breathing accents. The tones interact as a living creature, while a dark undertone like a fire dragon with one eye open now and then showing himself to be the dominant creature watching over the situation. When the breathing stills, the overtones regroup to find more tone combinations and harmonies. While the dragon seems to sleep in through the use of these higher tones, a finer energy emerges being able to show itself as a living entity with its own beauty.
On the second short track, recorded live, you can hear what I call the “sounds of danger” because intuitively it will surely ask this kind of alert attention in listeners. It is recorded live. You can hear aggressive and fastly changing breathing rhythms in pipes in a few different tones.
The next track shows again a different aspect of Moglia's sound world. It used 'thermal continuo' with a MIDI wind controller connected to a Yamaha VL1M synthesizer, and also singing bowls, metal and glass played by Daniel Foury. Some of the metal sounds were changed to a brass-alike effect, while the percussive sound-aware glass and metal percussion slowly shows its sound range spectrum in a meditating and breathing way. This sound evolution is also not following the rules of restricted harmony and rhythm, this still sounds natural and harmonious, like a growing process.
The fourth, also short track shows again a different approach. The sounds from breaths and tone harmonies are mixed in this time in rhythmic proportions by DJ Gaudi with, after some introduction, some additional electric bass and drums.
The next track shows Michel Moglia's interest in natural sounds. It consists of ocean sounds recorded in Bretagne, France with whales sounds controlled by MIDI and VL1M Yamaha. That way the sounds of the whales become more controlled like a brass instrument with some breathing tone variations.
The penultimate short track is a combination of meditating heat breathing sounds combined with a piano improvisation by Marc Vella.
The last over 13 minute piece is an improvisation with all sorts of interesting near-whistling and percussive sounds. It includes the whales midi approach as well I think. Strange vibrating breathings and trumpet-alike sounds are building up its tension. Then the percussionist group called Uakti takes over with a colourful afro-percussive improvisation until the fire organ shows a new part, quietly and like an almost religious meditation, with the group one more time interfering, and concluding the sonic experience together. This was recorded during an art festival in Brasil.
I don't understand why no label found it interesting enough to release an album with CD and DVD and photo book with this work. It could have been an art work object to keep and enjoy. Michel Moglia's music has something physical to experience even though the sound evolutions alone are worth hearing simply sonically too. But this needs good equipment or headphones.