Press comments on the Logos Duo CD 'Works'
Translated from the dutch original by Joachim Brackx
Pure experience, no pamphlet
The Logos Duo from Ghent is celebrating its 25th birthday. For 25 years, not only as concert-organizers, but also as performing composers, they have been reaching out for everything that is new and experimental in music. This jubilee is being celebrated by the release of their CD LOGOS WORKS.
The Logos Duo has created a place in Ghent where the most varied kinds of new music can be heard. Next to this their own work has been heard all over the globe. From Brazil to Japan to the US. Still Godfried-Willem Raes and Moniek Darge operate on the fringe of the music-business.
The duo met in the early seventies in as university students (Raes in the dept. of musicology and Darge in archaeology) in an atmosphere of social and political protest.
Music is a 24 hour/day activity for Moniek Darge and Godfried-Willem Raes. Their personal lives and artistry are intricately intertwined. But in the course of the years their aesthetic views have changed, and have now become almost opposite. They solve this conflict on the LOGOS WORKS CD by alternatingly presenting their respective works. Raes' algorithmic music is hereby confronted to the nature-sounds and ritual tableaux of Darge.
(Frank Pauwels, De Gentenaar)
What Sounds Can Do
Musical vanguard or plain nutty? Whatever the judgement is, Logos makes even the most distant places on earth unsafe with unheard and unseen musical experiments.
Moniek Darge and Godfried-Willem Raes, both 43, are the incarnation of the Logos Foundation. They met during the years that followed May '68. Both militants, politically engaged, on the streets as well as on the campus, both unabashed and pamphletary. Amazingly enough sediments of it remained. Where other one-time revolutionaries got back to the shed, the Logos Duo stayed on the musical barricades. No sound too distant or they will reach for it, no artistical opinion too docile or they will break it, no instrument too weird or they will build it.
Raes holds a doctors degree in Musicology, is a talented sound-engineer and teaches composition and avant-garde chamber music at the Ghent Conservatory. Darge teaches ethno-musicology at the same Conservatory and leads project-seminars on non-western cultures at the Ghent Academy of Fine Arts.
"The political element that was so important in our early music, is still somehow present. But no longer in the form of messages. We got to the core of the case. To the question: what is music all about? You can go on playing clarinet or piano, prepare the instruments or apply extended techniques. But even then you are still repeating or extending the past, procrastinating the future. Therefore we say: let's make new instruments."
One of the results of this quest is so very unique and ingeneous. To keep things simple we can say the Godfried-Willem Raes derived a system from military (sonar) technology, that allows him to control a computer, and thus digital sound-generators, without direct connection, by mere body movements. This results in a visual and aural show that even impresses the most initiated of avant-garde musicians and composers.
Some of the works by Raes and Darge can be heard on a CD that was recently released by the New York Experimental Intermedia Foundation. Those who are not satisfied with the mere sounds can witness it all happening at one of the many concerts organized by Logos in their own concert-hall.
(Laurens De Keyzer - Standaard Magazine)
A Quarter Century of Contemporary Music Contemporary music still is for many of us a strange and consciously unexplored territory. People are not open to it, they cannot or will not understand it, they are being irritated by it. The often upsetting, apparent cacophony of sounds challenging the unwilling listener, is considered by the latter to have nothing to do with music, and to be absolutely unenjoyable and will therefor almost always meet incomprehension. 'Blaazuit' will be your guiding light in the darkness...
The absence of openness for contemporary creations is in fact a very sad thing. A lot of what are typed as modern or contemporary classic compositions offer the listener not only an extension of the musical horizon but will above that provide an introduction into intriguing and adventurous creations, offering the possibility to explore the mysterious unknown. Inaccessibility is too often and too easily refered to whenever the subject is contemporary composition. Often barricades are raised even before audition. More often even there is no audition at all, only reproachful attacks on the intellectualism, the complexity and of course the far-fetchedness of the music.
We would strongly recommend the recent release by the Logos Foundation of the CD Logos Works, on the New York XI label, which looks back on 25 years of collaboration by Moniek Darge and Godfried-Willem Raes as the Logos Duo, to fanatic lovers of new music, but also to those who are apprehensive of experimental creations.
There are many reasons that make the purchase of the record a must. Logos Works refers to an inexhaustible multitude of musical experiments, without however losing unicity. The gathered compositions of Raes and Darge owe obviously a lot to John Cage, but this does never mean cloning.
Both Raes' compositions, whether they are for traditional instruments or of the algorhythmic kind, and Darge's more mystical earthly sound, fascinate 8 tracks long, thanks to their inexhaustible multi-layerness. These are not far-fetched experiments with new-age sonorities, nor over-intellectualised attacks on the listener's traditional aural memory, but much more an exploration of a transcendental reality. The composers chose to apply a minimal amount of means to a maximum amount of effect, which may (maybe a bit too easily) reveal an affinity to bouddhism. In these compositions you can drown in an all-encompassing universe of meaning-layers, which at the same time induce introspection and exploration of the created musical frame. In case you didn't know the Logos Duo before, you will want to make up for the loss after the audition of this CD. The amazing DDD-perfection of the recordings will cause the unlimited amount of aural impressions to hit you in such a manner that you will almost automatically want to repeat the audition-experience endlessly, looking for more of the same.
Unless you badly need a sensitivity-training course, this music will not fail to move you. Elementary experimental beauty seems to be the most suitable description of the compositions on the Logos Works CD. Although released by XI (Experimental Intermedia) in New York, you can fortunately enough get the record in Europe too, at the Logos Foundation (09/223.80.89). We advise whoever is in need of a confrontation with him/herself to make a quick call.
(Peter Pelckmans, in Blaazuit - Financieel Ekonomische Tijd)
De Standaard - Magazine
Ils n'ont pas de télévision, pas de voiture, pas de permis de conduire, pas d'enfants. Un choix conscient. Ils ne perdent pas de temps. Travailler, composer, voyager, concerter, éduquer, organiser - jamais ils ne s'arrêtent. Pourquoi ? Cela sert-il à quelque chose?
Raes: "Je connais ce genre de question. Ils disent: cela ne sert à rien, car vous n'êtes pas assez nombreux, vous êtes trop marginaux. Mais de cette façon vous pouvez supprimer l'ensemble des mathématiques. Non, c'est ce qui n'occupe qu'un petit nombre qui est vraiment important. La raison n'est pas dans les mains de la majorité. Il faut créér un état libre à l'interieur des choses. Il y a toujours des groupuscules occupés à quelque chose de différent, ce qui leur offre une totale liberté de pensée. De petites iles rendent possible la survie de la société, car elles offrent des échappatoires. Les gens regardent le monde à travers leur télévision. Cela veut dire qu'ils regardent ce qui a déjà été regardé. De petits groupes peuvent penser au-delà, ouvrir une véritable culture de discussion."
Darge: "Et pourtant, un petit groupe n'est pas suffisant. Nous devons quitter notre élitarisme et oeuvrer vers une société qui crée un sens pour un grand nombre de gens."
Lui: "Cela n'est possible qu'avec de petites iles."
Elle: "Non, il doit y avoir plus. Le Bouddhisme dit: la force se trouve en toi-même."
Lui: "Mais non, je n'ai pas besoin d'une métaphysique de l'univers. Cela élimine la responsabilité."
Elle: "Sans croyance il n'y a pas de responsabilité, pour peu qu'on la prenne."
Lui: "Je suis le penseur de mes pensées. Mais je n'ai pas à en convaincre quiconque d'autre."
Elle: "Si. Car il faut donner l'espoir au gens. Il faut leur donner la force d'atteindre cet espoir. C'est essentiel pour moi. C'est mon fil conducteur."
Blaazuit - Financieel Ekonomische Tijd
Tant les compositions algorhythmiques, pour instruments traditionnels ou non, de Raes que les sons plus mystiques de Darge, fascinnent pendant les 8 pièces, grace à leur inépuisable variété. Il ne s'agit pas içi d'experimenter avec des sonorités 'new-age', ni d'attaquer de façon sur-intellectuelle la mémoire auditive traditionelle, mais plutôt reconnaitre une réalité transcendentale. Les compositeurs ont choisi de mettre une minimum de moyens au service d'un maximum de résultat, ce qui (peut-être un peu facilement) peur faire présumer une affinité au Bouddhisme.
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