Pierres du Seuil
The latest release from this French sound artist finds his most magnificent and fully realized work to date. Utilizing his usual bevy of sources from wind to water to minerals and properties of the human body such as breathing and skin surface, La Casa has produced a masterful collage of minuscule and enormous events phenomenally bound in an ether of unaffected ambience. Without the use of any studio effects, the sheer palpability of the various textures and the sounds' simultaneous refusal to generate singular identities propagates in the recordings a marked air of unsettling, organic volatility. Yet far from simply documenting the sonic properties of the spaces and events La Casa has utilized, these painstakingly recorded and mastered sound events give way to a dreamy if not sometimes disturbed immersion in unmitigated aural space.
Stephen Fention, Edition
This may be La Casas best release yet. As is often the case, this series of related pieces centers on the sounds of water. But as La Casa listeners know, his approach is far from traditional. These compositions are constructed from, as he likes to say, "only field recordings", but the way he layers and builds the pieces is quite unique. Hes more interested in the emotional and dynamic qualities of these sounds, than in documentary purposes of any kind. Expect to be taken on a sonic journey of unusual subtlety and power. From tiny syncopated drips and crackles, to encompassing roars that swell and dissipate, La Casa has a way with editing that is by turns disarming and utterly fascinating. Unlike many experimental soundscape composers, he also makes a point of not using electronic transformations; his adds resonant harmonics from a variety of sources, sometimes mechanical, sometimes natural, sometimes made by "instruments" conjured from found objects.
Jim Cumming, EarthEar
Eric La Casa's release Les Pierres du Seuil (Parts 4-7) is a continuation of the series he began on his Ground Fault release Stones of the Threshold (the English translation of the title). In many ways it sounds like a straight environmental recording, but the sound processing is very subtle and effective throughout. Beautifully packaged in an oversize plastic wallet with several color photographs, the release concentrates on sounds and pictures of wind and water. "Part 4" uses predominantly rain sounds, quiet at first, bursting with a sudden thunderstorm, then lingering, with the thunder in the background. The processing also includes his improvisations on violin springs, seeds in resonators, and metallic ores, and incorporates an electro-acoustic improvisation by Jérôme Noetinger. The last half of this piece layers several different rain sounds, from locations in Croatia and France, on top of each other in a beautiful evocation of a rainy afternoon. "Part 5" also concentrates on watery sounds, but this time more running water from streams, ponds, outflows, and trenches, as well as waves and louder forms of running water. "Part 6" and "Part 7" concentrate more on wind, from stormy nights in evergreen and oak forests to cities and radio towers, into which he layers train sounds and parts of an organ improvisation by Jean-Luc Guionnet. "Part
7" only includes sounds from one windy night; a quiet and tranquil close to a superb collection. Caleb T. Deupree (All music guide)
Water seems to be the main ingredient in this new release by Eric La Casa. The CD comes in a plastic wallet, together with several photographs of water and the sounds listed in the liner notes mention a lot of it too, besides some instruments and electronics. The disc contains four tracks that are all strongly based on field recordings, much as in Lopez' work, for example. One big difference between the two is the addition of instruments and electronics in the work of La Casa, although one would have to listen extremely carefully to recognise them. I consider this a strong point, because it tends to make wonder about the nature of sound and all its qualities. Another difference between Lopez and La Casa is the structure of the pieces: in general Lopez takes a long time (however subjective) to develop his pieces smoothly, whereas La Casa builds his pieces up faster and with more dynamics (when speaking about volume). Also La Casa uses more cuts and shorter 'interfering' sounds. It is acctually a very nice experience to play these two after each other. It shows how composers work in a very personal way with similar material. La Casa is just as able as Lopez in keeping the listener captivated in an 'inner outside world'.
roel Melkop, Vital, Number 290
Esce, un po' a sorpresa e a distanza ravvicinata dai precedente "The Stones Of The Threshold" (BU#24), il nuovo album di Eric La Casa, La fascjnazione stavolta è innanzi tutto acqu8, Piovana, fluviale, temporalesca, marina, solo incombente, Acqua che è fonte primaria d'esistenza, la catarsi finale di un musicista che ha scelto di dar vita a nature dalla morte apparente, cose, per esalarne il continuo respiro, Acqua inafferrabile, scusciante, virulenta, docile, tenue acqua. La gran parte dei suoni del nuovo album ha questa natura, pertanto. Field recordings e concretissima musica che s'avvale anche di fulmini e saette, pietre che rotolano, una mano che scorre sul corpo, un microfono in bocca. Oualche 'live electronics' carpito a Jérôme Noetinger e un filo d'organo rubato a Jean-Luc Guionnet. Nulla cambia nella vita e nell'esistenza, e La Casa sa bene. Nulla potrebbe cambiare nel suono della vita - ed é il suo suono. E vento. 'Vento in una notte tempestosa' che chiude il CD portandosi via tutto quanto come un tempo era l'acqua - a mondare, lui sa, i peccati del mondo. (7/8) Stefano I. Bianchi, Blow Up
I got your CD and i already presented a part of it in a radio broadcast. I like the piece very much, these dense low frequencies really get to the bone.
Armeno Alberts, radio producer at VPRO/NPS