Felecia Atkinson, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma; Comme Un Seul NarcisseShelter Press
SHELTER 070 LP
Long Playing Record
French artist Félicia Atkinson teams up with New York-based experimentalist Jefre Cantu-Ledesma for Comme Un Seul Narcisse, their first collaborative effort. Recorded between NYC and the Alps,Comme Un Seul Narcisse is an epistolary conversation of postmodern times between Cantu-Ledesma and Atkinson, who -- strangely enough -- met just once in person, in San Francisco in 2009. But the record is also a detour. Though it follows Cantu-Ledesma's haunting A Year With 13 Moons (Mexican Summer, 2015) and Atkinson's most intimate effort to date, A Readymade Ceremony (SHELTER 055CD/LP, 2015), their combined music sounds like everything but these works, filling in the gaps between their solo outputs.
What is it to wander? What is it to be -- as Baudelaire would put it -- a flâneur from one continent to another? From the subways of NYC to the crooked trails of the Alps, the two musicians exchanged fragments of sounds and melodies, composing and building a new landscape neither bucolic nor urban, just outside nomenclatures or the postcard images of site-specific recordings. Here there's no specific site but a construction built from heterogeneous elements brought together in a virtual ecosystem.
What is it to wander . . . in a non-specific site? Is it a fragmentation? A sedimentation? The title of the album and its tracks are inherited from Susan Sontag's application of Baudelaire's flâneur to photography in On Photography(1977): a flâneur sees himself in the documents and media he uses and integrates them into his own perception, and the act of recording becomes again an act of feeling. Somewhere between some Fluxus collages and more contemporary musicality, this "neither/nor" music confronts abstraction with the impermanence of concrete materials, building something on its own, like a standing still ceramic or a pond.Comme Un Seul Narcisse is a record to live with -- or, as Jacques Rancière would put it, a partage du sensible ("distribution of the sensible") -- standing as it is, unresolved, but not as a simulacra. There's no image to watch here but the possibility of a shared a moment, inviting the listener to complete the experience.
Mastered by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering. Photography by John Wiese after a piece by Félicia Atkinson. Design by Bartolomé Sanson. First edition of 550 copies.