Léo Dupleix
Resonant Tree
Black Truffle
Black Truffle 119
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1Resonant Trees 1
2Resonant Trees 2

Black Truffle is pleased to announce Resonant Trees, the first vinyl release from French composer-performer Léo Dupleix. An active member of the international community of younger musicians working with just intonation, Dupleix has composed works for solo instrumentalists and ensembles in Europe and Japan, as well as performing extensively on harpsichord, piano and electronics. His music is distinguished by a formal clarity and elegance of surface, gently shaping pure intervals into delicate melodic patterns and shimmering harmonic planes. Resonant Trees presents two side-long pieces for harpsichord and ensemble, both setting slowly repeating patterns played on harpsichord and guitar within an environment of sustained tones. Dupleix performs on a French double manual harpsichord (tuned to a just intonation scheme of his own devising) and Prophet synthesizer, joined by Juliette Adam (bass clarinet), Johanna Bartz (traverso flute), Cyprien Busolini (viola), Fredrik Rasten (6- and 12-string guitars), and Mara Winter (traverso flute). The harpsichord begins Resonant Tree I alone, slowly sounding out a series of arpeggiated chords that emphasise the unique (and for unaccustomed listeners, sometimes unsettling) harmonic and timbral qualities of justly tuned intervals. Long tones from synthesiser, bass clarinet, viola and Baroque traverso flutes slowly creep into the spaces between the arpeggiated chords, joined after several minutes by delicate patterns of harmonics played by Rasten on acoustic guitars. On Resonant Tree II, a similar structure and ensemble (without the flutes) are used with quite different results. We again hear only the harpsichord at first, but this time playing a series of flowing melodic lines, each of which is repeated several times. Joined again by long tones from the ensemble, here the viola is particularly prominent and its interplay with the harpsichord creates fascinating acoustic effects. In both pieces, repetition gives the music a static, stable quality while, at the same time, the exact shape of the repeating patterns remains difficult to grasp. As Dupleix writes, these pieces dream of music as ‘space and a sound that one could grasp in one’s hand.’ As the near-static quality of the repetitions and long tones with little incident make these two stretches of musical time feel like spaces for the listener to inhabit, the small variations on a narrow range of related material act like a three-dimensional object whose each facet is examined in turn. At once austere and seductive, Resonant Trees takes its place beside the work of contemporaries like Catherine Lamb, while also calling up the languorous melodic world of Mamoru Fujieda, the dignified melancholy of Satoshi Ashikawa’s classic Still Way and the espaliered chamber atmospherics of the Obscure catalogue.