Cover art by Camille Tsering
ODG155 : Sylvain Van Iniitu / Sylvain van Iniitu ~plays Django Reinhardt
Sylvain about his album:
"To be honest, I was not a fan of Django Reinhardt at first. His untouchable iconic status, his guitar virtuosity emulating hordes of followers eager to imitate him to the nearest note, the emphasis on speed and dexterity in his playing : all this was enough to put me off from the start. While the guitar was my first instrument, I almost instantly turned to the opposite path: saturation, approximation, obscurity, experimentation, slowness. In short, a dead end.
Twenty years later, a few good lessons learned along the way, I finally discovered the man behind the music, and it is above all this that pushed me to listen again, differently. First of all, to be touched by the story of a precociously gifted musician, who lived through a catastrophe that completely incapacitated him (let's remember that at 18, he was seriously burned in a fire in his trailer and lost the use of two fingers on his left hand) and who somehow found the strength to completely reinvent his playing: not only to find, compensate, but finally to surpass what he had previously achieved. Then, to become aware that this musician did not live alone, but in a community of friends, of encounters, and in his discovery through various encounters of jazz, to take the measure of his instantaneous capacity to assimilate and syncretize a new music.
In the meantime, I stopped playing guitar and spent the last few years developing a sequencer that I tell myself is "home-made", but in fact owes a lot to an invisible community : the one that develops microcontroller technology, makes software available online to everyone, describes in tutorials how to let them drive synthesizers and expanders through the MIDI protocol. A sequencer in which I have been implementing for years routines that give a lot of space to chance, but which also define the limits within which it can play freely. In this case, this machine allowed me, from a digitization of Django Reinhardt's pieces, to use fragments of them, and to vary them as I pleased, with a bit of hazard. In all this, who is the author of what you will hear ? Django, the Technique, the programmers who ensure the intermediate stages of digitization, those who built the instruments, me?
Usually associated with a whole guitar mythology, some of Django Reinhardt's pieces are here translated into completely synthetic versions, with the help of a home-made sequencer, whose playing parameters can be randomly modified. A way to explore transformations, processes, limits of legibility and recognition, a mise en abîme of virtuosity through technique, an apology of simulacrum and infinite transformations, of the recycling nature of creativity, a passage from the burnt hand that plays to the incapable hand that codes...
A path of wandering between creative fire and cold technical complexity, I hope it will take you beyond the disfigurement to find a familiar figure in a new light."
Sylvain van Iniitu:
Born in 1976 in Ath. In the mid 90's his main interest was focused on collage, using various processes to corrode and disintegrate fragments of paper, already verging towards the limits of perception and meaning. In the next decade, shifting his focus to music, he started recording and experimenting with sound fragments, field recordings and crude, mostly second-hand or broken instruments, as well as free softwares. From 2008 on, he ran the music label ini.itu, also designing the sleeves of most vinyls. In the winter of 2013 he launched the E42.A8 sessions, based on improvisation in a remote area in the countryside. About the same period, starting to develop his own MIDI sequencer, and out of the need of visualising transformations brought by algorithms, he was paradoxically led again to the visual arts, augmented by the know-how of now being able to develop his own homemade graphic softwares. His main interests now lie in the themes both visual and auditory of processual transformations, (un)readability, interactions between form and meaning, alterations of alphabets, texts and scores, including braille and MIDI files! www.iniitu.net
Digital release on the 11th of February 2022.
1: Tea for Two
3: Improvisation n°7
4: Sweet Georgia Brown
5: Perfume - Alternative take
6: The Man I Love
7: Improvisation n°7 - Alternative take
8: Sweet Georgia Brown - Alternative take
10: Sweet Georgia Brown - Alternative 2
And on Bandcamp: