Rémi Fox & Jérôme Nika 4/4 : In Order of Appearence

The Artistic Residency Blog

The opening track of the duo's album "C'est pour ça", to be released in the coming months, "In order of appearance" offers new insight into the possibilities of Dicy2 agents as they are combined through improvisations by saxophonist Rémi Fox and musician/researcher Jérôme Nika.

The video is the work of Vir Andres Hera, who interacts with the soundtrack consisting of the piece "In Order of Appearance" by the duo "C'est pour ça" formed by Remi Fox and Jerome Nika.

"There are a lot of Dicy2 agents at work here," says Jerome Nika, "but some 'voices' are heard more."The first minute, for example, offers an emblematic example of Dicy2 operating in "active" listening to the musician partner. In this example, several Dicy2 agents listen to Rémi Fox's saxophone in real-time and use it to stimulate a memory which consists of recordings of Rémi improvising on the saxophone. This means that Rémi is improvising with a partner who is essentially another Rémi. »

Here are two samples of these improvisations used by Dicy2 agents :



"During this first minute of "In Order of Appearance", the Dicy2 agents focus on the pitches played by Rémi," says Jérôme Nika. "Sometimes I let them 'digress' (especially at the beginning), sometimes, on the contrary, I make them 'stick' to Rémi's playing at that moment, for example, at around 30'' and 1'."

At around 1'15'', Jérôme Nika switches the system to a new modus operandi, which he calls "meta-DJing": that is to say, he manually sends it specific requests such as "use such and such an evolution of such and such an audio descriptor as a guide" drawing on the same sounds in memory as before (mainly Rémi's improvisations). Dicy2 does its best to weave a sonic patchwork that respects these short-term time-based scenarios.

Finally, during the last three minutes, Dicy2 returns to real-time listening of Rémi Fox's saxophone performance, which stimulates a memory composed of electronic sounds as well as Rémi Fox's recordings again, with effect pedals:



"The Dicy2 agents focus this time on aspects of energy and register, and very locally (at 2'22'' for example), of pitch," says Jérôme Nika.

As can be seen in this piece, the material that serves as memory for the Dicy2 agents is of two natures: either sequences recorded by Rémi himself on the saxophone, or pure electronics, generated by the computer. In to this kind of material, other pieces use historical recordings, and some rarer, occasions, recordings made by Rémi or Jérôme in other contexts. In any case, the material was not designed for this purpose, and therefore is less malleable - even if it has other artistic advantages. These "endogenous" memories inevitably produce a narrative dominated by the sound of the saxophone.

This explains the natural desire to gather a more varied material, both foreign to the duo and acoustic for their future work and especially for their next album. In addition to the work on the tool itself, this artistic research residency at IRCAM also makes it possible to enhance the material from which the tool will feed. In addition to the finalization of their first album, Rémi Fox and Jérôme Nika have begun a new period of composition/recording of new memories. In order to diversify the nature of this data, they invited musicians for vast recording sessions of playing sequences, during which they were able to give free rein to their imagination.

All the timbres, fragments, textures, harmonies, articulations, and even "long-term narratives" are present for the Dicy2 agents to use in their discourse. Guided by Rémi during the recording sessions, the musicians produced a vast palette of families of acoustic instrumental sounds the aesthetics of which will necessarily be reflected in the machine-generated sounds.

And it is with this material that the duo "C'est pour ça" concocts its next concerts and albums...