happening and conceptual music group
Infonie was created during Quebec/Kébèk's expo '67. Inspired by the concept of hell by Refus global de Borduas, L'Infonie was a concrete manifestation of total acceptance. In the beginning they created a parallel world with a commercial culture, an aesthetic approach diving in all kinds of forms of expression, in a revitalizing happening mad creation.
A book with 333 3/3 pages and 33 illustrations was the curriculum vitae (birth, evolution, ending) of l'Infonie, something that would characterise Kébèk from 1969 until 1973. With 33 artists, all lucid dreamers, L'Infonie became a polyvalent spectacle with paintings, sculptures, theatre, poetry, and music (popular, concrete, electronic and contemporary, folk and free jazz). The first book was followed by 6 others, 8 discs, a dozen of films, painting expositions, 5 theatre pieces.
Walter retlaW uaerdouB Boudreau was the musical motor of l'Infonie, Claude Edualk Ts-Nyamreg St-Germain was the delirious teller, and Raôul luôaR yauguD Duguay was the verbal motor. Together they formed a creative basic trinity.
L'infonie vol 3 ****° As a combination of a beatpoet-group, with some dadaistic anarchy / freedom, with Captain Beefheart's musicians like disciplinarian madness, the Infonie group seems to have created a world of its own. Starting of as a Red Crayola kind of cacophony including elephants, policemen and a vibrantly reacting crowd, this changes within seconds in an atmospheric symphonic free jazz movie like intro. The second track "L'affaire" " is textually an Artaud like odd surrealistic piece. Immediately following, is "J'ai perdu 15 cents dans le nez froid d'un ange bronzé", a variation of Pierre Henry's/ Michelle Colombier's hit. Before one notices, a Sun Ra like solo free jazz sax improvisation takes over, unwrapping the next level of experiences. Some birds and crickets as an overture introduce another free form theatre music scene, then before you realise it, the music gets the structure from an opening movie track, but then, within the oddity of creation, closes the theme as a "Finale". Oddly minded singers start to scream a madness song, on an almost Latin American funky rhythm: let's dance the "OK Là". The crowd answer with sounds as like sheep. Electronic music cinema now, with a background of UFO's and creepy cold monsters from B-movies, suddenly changing into a Moondog like theme (area "Sax Pax for a Sax"), a jazzy orchestra version of "She's Leaving Home" originating from The Beatles. If the B's had eaten mushrooms they might have experienced this kind of version. But also this melody goes its own way into an almost visual theatre piece. Just when I'm starting to like it too much, it abruptly ends, to be followed by a similarly interesting interpretation of Bach's "Agnus Dei". Raôul Duguay concludes with a musically sounding lecture about l'infonie, for the rest of the crowd, an "asylum of the musically insane". The orchestra answers, this time holding a balance between a "real" free form and an almost purely melodic mood which does come through it. Once the melody is adapted the free form became like the 'Tao' in it. Sun Ra like holism then takes over once more, but falls apart as quickly as it came, builds up once more, only to fall down and succeed to appear once more. And that was it. The end. Before you knew that it really had started with a 'new' idea. As bonus tracks there are some interesting "l'Infonie" related textual beat poet performances. Also worth discovering. A highly recommended release.
FRENCH INTRODUCTION OF THE RECORD :
Formé à Montréal en 1967, L'Infonie vécut officiellement jusqu'en 1974. Sept années de pur délire qui se solderont par quatre 33 tours et une quantité de spectacles costumés en forme de 'happenings' multidisciplinaires. Mené par le compositeur Walter Boudreau et le poète / chanteur / trompettiste Raôul Duguay, ce collectif à géométrie variable réunira jusqu'à 33 artistes issus du free jazz, de la musique classique, contemporaine, du rock, des arts visuels et de la poésie dans une aventure créative avant-gardiste qui ne connut pas d'équivalent au Québec.
ENGLISH INTRODUCTION OF THE RECORD :
A sect ? an orchestra ? a Kebek Freak experience ?
33 years later, the mystery remains
Created in 1967 in Montreal, (Quebec) L'Infonie officially existed until 1974. Seven years of pure mayhem with 4 albums recorded (volume 3, volume 33, volume 333, volume 3333) and numerous way-out Shows and happenings mixing jazz, rock, free jazz, contemporary music, visual arts and poetry.
Reissued for the first time on cd this is the first album of the group. Recorded in 1969 in Brossard at André Perry's studio (the blueprint of Morin Heights studio).The jazz of aficionados will recognize the influence of Sun Ra and the explosive free nature of those days. The electronica connoisseurs will find echoes of Pierre Henry's Messe pour un temps présent with the track J'ai perdu 15 cents dans le nez froid d'une ange bronze. As well as bizarro-funky-futuristic-rock with Walter Boudreau's Viens danser le O.K.là !
Always digging deeper Mucho Gusto to find two totally unreleased tracks Claude St.Germain, l'infoniac storyteller and poet supreme gives us a glimpse of what an infonie performance was. L'histoire de la p'tite ch'nifie électrique changéee en belle ch'nille naturelle par la fée Troguorbrotelle and La p'tite demoiselle á la vitrine were recorded live in 1969 at the E pavillion of Man and His World.
Quite the flashback...
"L'Infonie is part of a historical movement that tried to shake the foundations of our culture..Schock, surprise rather than flatter. Rub the wrong wayIn those days the group members weren'tdrop outs but were trying to stir away from the usual artistic conformity. We had seen enough. We went out of our way to appear with toilet seats or coat hangers on our heads : trying to break something.
It might not have been totally articulated, but the affinity between Raoül (Duguay) and myself and all the members of L'infonie wasn't so much in what we had to say but more in the fact we were trying to break free from various iron collars. These iron collars could be found everywhere equally in sex,food,philosophy,music.."
- Walter Boudreau (in Raoûl Duguay ou: Ie poète a la VoiX d'ó 1979.)
The main characters of this neverending trip are still very active. Raoûl Duguay records and publishes. Walter Boudreau (Director of the SMCO : Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec) recently orchestrated and directed the ambitieus and sucessfull Symphony Du Millénaire with its 333 musicians. L'Infonie is no more, but yes, the Infoniac spirit lives on...
IN STORES: NOVEMBER 33,3333...
TGCD027 - Barcode 068944040926
You want to know more about the l'infonie project ? Go back to page 3 of Raoûl Duguay.
resume with info on this album :
Not reissued yet. This piece is based upon Riley's in C, with Raôul Duguay, trumpet. It should have been perfect for my show in many ways. "In C" is like a kind of mantra in favour of life and its manifestation. Still inspired by the '67 expo, where new ways of living were considered (meditation, drugs, macrobiotic cooking,..) this meant another modification of our perceptions within the time limitation of a music piece. "In C" has the advantage of being able to be repeated to express that all in all manifestation ("touttt é to bouttt" / everything is in everything). Musically it was inspired by La Monte Young's "House of Dreams", performed by musicians like Terry Riley, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Bob Ashley, John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen ("Mantra" & "Stimmung"). With Pandit Pran Nath from Tibet La Monte Young and Terry Riley sang the "Ôm" pulsation, expressed trough "in C" in 53 motives. Express everything or "Express toutt" becomes the life impulse of a kind of locomotive of life calling "toutt-toutt-toutt", followed by 53 wagons. All motves, languages are reassembled and dissembled by one another, as a symbol of the eternal change, an omega of evolution. The goal through this piece was to get to that ever changing evolution pulse, transforming into a hymn to life. Life and its creation are celebrated through the forming of each cell and atom.
I heard the album is reissued as bonus tracks, with original artwork
(05/Corti 2) Artist: Riley, Terry/L'Infonie. Title: Reed Streams: Untitled Organ, Dorian Reeds, and Mantra (based on In C) by L'Infonie (organ of Corti 2)released on the label Organ Of Corti
In 2000 Duguay and Boudreau decided to do this in C version on Manbtra over, in its complete score.
This version is reviewed at my webpage on in C
vol 333 is the following item :
Mucho Gusto Rec. L'Infonie vol 333 (CAN,1972)**°'
On this release musically the feeling of dealing with an organically working group has been lost a bit, and only finds itself here and there in bits. Now it's like mostly one composer is leading most of the composition. Perhaps this is Walter Boudreau's part/contribution now, more in the forefront than before, in combination with a kind of great semi-jazz(rock) band playing most of the music. Some of it is more in the direction of a contemporary music piece, in an avant-garde classical music way. Poet, singer, trumpeter, Raôul Duguay left the group around this period to start his solo career. Nice to hear his contribution, especially on part 2 (-section 1-17) of "Paix" with his particular syllable play, a defining that was worked out further on his early solo work, recorded soon after. On this track he's accompanied by some kind of jazzrock band. (WFMU airplayed the whole part ; listen here) After this, we hear mostly instrumental music, sometimes avantgardistic, improvised, between jazzrock, contemporary music, avant prog rock and such. In all aspects, although a bit more loose going at times (like a chaotic end, or a more slow evolution on some parts) it still makes sense only after a number of listens. "Paix" basically is based upon a poem from Raôul Duguay written back in 1970, originally sung as a litany, while the orchestra improvises through some directed forms of development. Within this structure a feeling of unity is achieved through symbiotic successful evolution. The indicated parameters to get to this were generally well adapted.
The second LP/CD, starts with Bach "Concerto en re mineur (both the allegro & adagio)"rearranged for this semi-jazz band. "Prelude XXII" after that starts in the same vein, but then changes into weird improvisations with odd vocals, theatre like actions, reminding me of J.A.Caesar's kind of theatre madness a little. "Kyrie" after that, is again semi-Bach arrangements with brass. "Ubiqtal" thereafter, is a contemporary dodecaphonic? piece, a bit long to appreciate easily. Last track starts as avant-garde jazz, in a melodically pretty weird way, and is then combined with another Infonie group's recording, a theatre performance. To listen to, it's not that appealing musically to finish this release. All in all it takes some time to go through this, to find sense and structure. But there are elements in here that still makes this part weird enough to investigate, if you are into the more avant kind of content in music.
A collector friend of mine said it's the most avant-garde release he knows coming from Canada. Who knows.
vol 3333 : I don't know much about this last album. I only know it's without Raôul Duguay.
From interview from François Couture with Duguay : "when will Vol. 3333 be reissued?"
R.Duguay : - "Walter Boudreau holds the rights to this one and he has no intention to reissue it."
F.Couture's remarks about the album "Vol. 3333 is a live version of PAIX which sounds even better then on Vol. 333. Paix stretched out to close to 60 minutes, better studio recording, almost entirely rewritten. Raoul Duguay's vocal sections are out, the original members of L'Infonie have been replaced with Conservatory musicians. It lacks some of the madness, but it's MUCH tighter and fully developed."
"Also, there is some film footage of the Infonie. The film is called "Nuit de la Poésie 1970" (Poetry night 1970) and is available from the National Film Board of Canada. The Infonie is playing house band for this poetry night and
has two feature spots and the beginning and end of the film. Raoul Duguay makes one of his memorable apparitions, in an incredible costume."
A review of two radiophonic projects from 1985 in cooperation, one with Brégent and another one with Boudreau : "Atlantide" and "Golgot(h)a" you can find at the next page. radioshow playlist Infonie / Duguay here a separate page and website on in C (here related with Mantra/vol 33) will be made soon Go back to the first page of Duguay