Pousseur, Marianne – “Only” – [Sub Rosa]
Since joining KFJC I’ve become more and more interested in the blurring of the boundaries of music and noise. No longer do I expect that music needs to be recorded in a pristine studio for it to have merit. On Only from 2011, Marianne Pousseur explores this concept explicitly as she performs material by luminaries like John Cage, Morton Feldman, Hanns Eisler, and by her father (the late Belgian composer Henri Pousseur). Track 9 features a series of Sephardic songs sung in a train station. She writes,
“I like to listen to music in places that haven’t been designed for it. I like when music mixes in with noise. Only came from a personal desire to open the doors of my musical world to the concreteness of daily life, to tear down the fictional barriers between places and times of rehearsal and performance.”
Pousseur’s beautiful voice is accompanied by dreamy percussion and is punctuated by ambient sounds in the locations where she recorded in Brussels. You might hear school children frolicking in the background at a primary school, nature sounds from a forest, noises from a train station luggage room, street sounds, footsteps, and movements amid the empty spaces in churches and galleries.
Listening to this is an otherworldly experience, as Pousseur’s powerful voice echoes through her surroundings. I can imagine her bellowing with church goers and schoolchildren in the audience for her populist operas.