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James Blackshaw - Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat (2014)

James Blackshaw - Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat (2014)

Artist: James Blackshaw
Title Of Album: Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Tompkins Square
Genre: Modern Classical, Folk, Soundtrack
Total Time: 1:14:26
Format: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks)
Quality: CBR 320 kbps / Lossless
Total Size: 179 mb / 350 mb

In celebration of the centenary of Louis Feuillade's Fantômas silent film series, James Blackshaw was invited by Yann Tiersen to perform a live score to the fifth and final film, Le Faux Magistrat, at the beautiful and prestigious surroundings of the Théâtre de Châtelet, Paris on October 31st 2013.

Fantômas - a master of disguise and symbol of terror - is one of the most popular characters in French crime fiction, as well as a favorite with the avant-garde, particularly the surrealists.

Tim Hecker, Amiina, Yann Tiersen and Loney Dear also performed during the event (which was broadcast live on the European ARTE channel) each bringing their own unique sonic perspective to the other installments in the series.

Written during the course of a few months, Blackshaw drew influences from French impressionist composers, Brazillian guitar music, musique concrete and the works of other film composer such as David Shire and Pino Donaggio, to create a noirish score that is in turns sinister, quietly profound and thrilling.

Personally invited by James Blackshaw, experimental musicians Duane Pitre and Simon Scott (also of Slowdive) contributed drums, electronics, synth, bowed guitar, bass and more to Blackshaw's nylon string guitar and grand piano, with multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Glasson adding violin, vibraphone and several wind instruments to the 75 minute long work

Director Louis Feuillade's 1913 five-part silent film serial Fantômas is one of the most beloved entries in French cinema. Centering on the antihero of the title, each film commences with a recap of the previous film, is divided into multiple chapters, and usually ends with suspense. The films were based on novels by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre (they ended up writing 32 in all) — further episodes were adapted by French filmmakers later in the 20th century, but none are as well-made or beloved as Feuillade's. Composer Yann Tiersen was invited to curate performed scores to accompany the screening of these films, in celebration of their centenary. He did one and chose Tim Hecker, Loney Dear, Amiina, and James Blackshaw for the rest. Blackshaw's was for the final film, Le Faux Magistrat. The performance took place on Halloween. Though he has established his reputation as an acoustic guitarist, it is his skill as a composer that is foremost here. Playing nylon-string guitar and piano, he is accompanied by electro-acoustic composer and sound installation artist Duane Pitre; drummer and sound designer Simon Scott (of Slowdive); and Charlotte Glasson on violin, reeds, winds, and vibraphone. Seventy-five minutes in length, one section seamlessly flows into the next. This ambitious affair is introduced by a brooding piano in "Pt. 1," later joined by repetitive, almost minimalist violin and sonic effects in a slow, suspenseful waltz. Tom-toms, lower-register piano lines, and a wailing alto saxophone add a jazz noir feel to "Pt. 2." On "Pt. 4," Blackshaw pairs his guitar with a bassline and skeletal but noisy ambience. When the strings and brushed snare and vibes enter, the piece suggests harmonic extension, but though there is drama, it remains thematically tethered. The sublime interplay between flute and guitar on "Pt. 7" gives way to a unsettling, near rockist dissonance comprising electronics, bass, vibes, and drums in the subsequent section. The chiming E-Bow guitar on "Pt. 11" is underscored by processional drumming, middle-register piano, and tempered feedback. The elliptical strings that commence "Pt. 12" are gradually adorned with wonderfully unsettling sound design, creating a tension that is eventually replaced by an increased tempo, percussive aggression, minor-key modalism, and a snaky near-wailing alto in "Pt. 13." It suggests a cliffhanger for a finale, but concludes with a crash, followed by a near whisper. On 2009's Glass Bead Game, we heard bits and pieces that suggested Blackshaw was capable of a more expansive work, but nothing that hinted at the exquisite juxtaposition of tension, texture, tone, and harmonic color that Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat delivers.


01] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 1
02] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 2
03] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 3
04] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 4
05] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 5
06] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 6
07] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 7
08] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 8
09] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 9
10] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 10
11] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 11
12] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 12
13] Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat Part 13



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:: CBR 320 kbps ::

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