Turning the odds
A mosaic novel based on the Tarot cards. 22 short stories describing an optimistic view of mastering one's own individual life by taking control over coincidences and occurrences. We shall not be slaves of the events happenning in our lives, we should create our own opportunities and chances. Tomorrow is the consequence of today, a repercussion of our own choices, an echo of our acts.
One by one, the cards were drawn randomly. Each track was made one at a time, the card giving the parameters to be respected: name, number, colours, elements and symbols shown and of course, the meaning of the card. Using randomly programmed grain synthetizers, random patterns or arpeggios, collected field recordings and various samples from foreign collaborators, each card was musically painted, giving a personnal interpretation of the card.
Mainly minimalist, the work covers different techniques: polyphony, polyrhythms, phasings, ostinatos and western musical and oral linguitics schemes, such as counterpoint, modal harmony, tonal harmony and different lingual phonemes. Tracks are linked to each other using a glossary made of footstep sounds, water sounds, birds singing, bells ringing and voice samples.
The album is an essay on controlled randomness. Some tracks are totally controlled, some are partially controlled and some aren't controlled at all. Several takes were done on the tracks and a final choice was made. The album may be performed live, but the tracks will never sound exactly the same on each performance. The set would also be based on a random draw of the cards, giving each track order in the set. So, any given performance would be different from one to the next.
The listing of the album represents the exact order in which the tracks were written. On the original draw, odds went on cards VII-Le Chariot and VIII-La justice for the begining and kept XXI-Le Monde for the closing of the 78th release of internationally oriented netlabel, Etched Traumas.
In order to recreated the main concept, this album should be played on random mode.
Ophed is the artistic project of Sylvain Desfossés from Québec, Canada. Aside from his work in the music education field, he is a composer influenced by various genres of music, ranging between 20th century classical composers to contemporary popular, popular dance styles and from south American rhythmic to the simple complexity of polyphonic African music or polyrhytmics of the tribal dances of Indonesia.
He seeks a perpetual fluid motion element as he always tries to build a consistent shape out of a fluid, a never ending energy. He has been composing for about 20 years and has worked with visual arts and musical experimentations. Basically using minimalistic techniques, he uses random set patterns, reverse audio, spoken samples, detune, distortion, and explores polyrhythmic and polyphonic soundscapes. For him, music is a language therefore he gives priority to the message he wants to communicate.
An Etched Traumas release December 2014 ET78
Tracks 1 to 21: performed, recorded and programmed by Ophed.
Track 6: Featuring french nursery rhyme « La Terre nourrit tout » (Earth feeds all) performed by students from St-Fidèle elementary school, Quebec City.
Track 22 Featuring "Syksy" by Katajamäki, voice samples from Nobodisoundz, BroodingSideOfMadness and Ors. Programming, polyrhythmics and bells by Ophed.
Artwork: John Sugahtank