French artist Félicia Atkinson teams up with New York-based experimentalist Jefre Cantu-Ledesma with Comme un seul narcisse—an
epistolar conversation of post-modern times.
Recorded between NYC and the Alps, Comme un seul narcisse
is the first collaborative effort of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Félicia Atkinson, who—strangely enough—only met “in real” once in San Francisco back in 2009. But the record is also a detour. While Cantu-Ledesma released the haunting A Year With 13 moons
(Mexican Summer, 2015) and Atkinson her most intimate effort to date with A Readymade Ceremony
, 2015), their combined music sounds like everything but their recent records, filling the gaps between their solo outputs.
What is it to wander? What is it to be—as Baudelaire
would put it—a flaneur
from a continent to another?
From the subways of NYC to the crooked trails of the Alps, the two musicians have exchanged fragments of sounds, melodies, composing and building together a new landscape, neither bucolic or urban, a bit aside from nomenclatures or postcard-type aprehension of a site-specific recording.
Here there's no specific site but a construction build from eterogenous elements brought together, in a virtual ecosystem.
What is to wander… in a non-specific site? Is it a fragmentation? A sedimentation?
The title of the records and the tracks are hinerited from Susan Sontag's On Photography
quoting Baudelaire: “the flaneur sees himself in the documents and medias he uses and intergrates to his own perception, the act of recording becomes again an act of feeling.”
Somewhere between some Fluxus
collages and more contemporary musicality, this “neither/nor” music confront abstraction to the impermanence of concrete materials, building something on its own, as a standing still ceramic or a pond. Comme un seul narcisse
is a record to live with, as Jacques Rancière
would put it a partage du sensible
(distribution of the sensible), standing as it is, unresolved, neither as a simulacre. There's no image to watch here but the possibility of a shared a moment, inviting the listener to complete the experience by himself.
Félicia Atkinson (born 1981 in Paris, lives and works in Brussels) is graduated with Honors from l'Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and studied also anthropology and contemporary dance. She is a sound
and visual artist, an experimental musician
and the co-publisher of the independent imprint Shelter Press
Her paintings, drawings, sculptures and musical compositions are mostly abstract. Her work takes its sources from the American tradition of painting (Morris Louis, Cy Twombly
, Richard Tuttle
) and from avant-gardes figures who worked on chance and randomness (Fluxus
, John Cage
, La Monte Young...) as much as feminist figures in music and art.
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma is a San Francisco-based multi-instrumentalist and founder of music label Root Strata.