iiii! (SB020)

by Julien Desailly

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Limited edition of 150 copies, assembled, painted and printed by hand— each copy is unique !
    Includes artwork by Julien Desailly and a poem by Ross Heselton. Digisleeve is 300gr. recycled cardboard, insert is printed on natural white 160gr. paper, CD-R is silkscreened and artwork is printed with stamps.

    Includes unlimited streaming of iiii! (SB020) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    edition of 150  11 remaining

      €12 EUR or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      €3 EUR  or more


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 25 Soleils Bleus releases available on Bandcamp and save 50%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Trilles (SB025), Lucy Miller & the Dog Roses (SB024), Mi Volto e Mi Rivolto (SB023), Eostar / Si tu lae vois, salue-lae (SB022), Health To Your Hands (SB021), iiii! (SB020), Hinterland (SB019), Live in Strasbourg (SB018), and 17 more. , and , .

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Crans 01:39
Danse noyée 04:05
Saturicon 02:18


SB019 / iiii! • Julien Desailly

Recorded on the 5th of November 2019 during a recording residency in a disused water-tower in Wesserling (Alsace, France) "iiii!" is the first collection of solo gaïda bagpipe improvisations by French musician and artist Julien Desailly (Pancrace, Duo Desailly/Maurel, A Spurious Tale, Dix-Sept Saturnes, Mafila Ko, Gésir, Duo Decazes/Desailly...).

By focusing on each track on a different playing technique (most of them gleaned in traditional Irish and Bulgarian music) and repeating it, bending it and pushing it to its limit, the album explores, with radicalism, precision and mastery (but also humour!), both the resonances of the gaïda and of the water tower itself (a massive, hollow, multi-storey-high concrete tower that rises amidst a factory plant in the Thann valley.)

The recording method consisted in two stereo couples of microphones, the first being placed on the towers' ground floor, the second installed on the handrail of the spiral staircase, midway to the towers' top, allowing the musician to move between the two and shift the sound source, letting the towers vast and dusty reverberations become a voice in their own right, and giving the recordings a genuine sense of space and movement.

Throughout the albums ten tracks, Desailly's metamorphic pipes alternate between a Colin Stetson-like sweetness and the aggressiveness of a swarm of belligerent wasps, at times sounding like cryptic morse code messages, at others like strange foghorns blowing in a distant dream of Getatchew Mèkurya, here interweaving into arpeggios evocative of the mad rushes of Steve Reich, or yet bursting into a goblin-like laughter recalling Wolfgang von Kempelen’s speaking machine.

PRESS / Revue & Corrigée #124, Juillet 2020

"Julien Desailly a ressorti ce vieil instrument oublié, la cornemuse, une gaïda pipe, sac de peau comme poumon tenu sous le coude, pressé. Lui aussi est passé par les chemins de traverse des landes irlandaises avec le groupe A Spurious Tale, pour s'en débarasser comme le fruit de sa coque pour mûrir solitaire, faire son chemin. Le disque a été enregistré dans un château d'eau à Wesserling en Alsace, donnant une couleur réverbérante, presque poussiéreuse à ses improvisations pour cornemuse seule. On songe à David Watson, l'instrument sans doute, il n'y a pas tant de joueurs de ces bagpipes qui traversent le champ des musiques expérimentales. Courtes improvisations s'essayant a une seule idée, une technique, avec cette idée de musique éternelle en tête, chacune pourrait autant se développer sur 3 heures ou plus encore que ces quelques minutes. Desailly ne joue pas d'accidents pour créer des dynamiques comme lors des rencontres d'improvisation, mais s'enferme dans une répétition de courtes phrases, sons continus, jusqu'à pu d'air, sac vidé. Le disque finit sur « Mélodie inégale », emportant avec elle dans l'air de la chambre une mélodie triste, orpheline, qui résonne dans notre nuit intérieure. Ces mots allourdissent leurs musiques, il suffirait juste de les écouter jouer." Michel Henritzi


released March 12, 2020

Julien Desailly: gaïda bagpipes, artwork,
Ross Heselton: recording, poem, voice, mastering

Thanks to Théo Zimmermann, Collectif Art des Possibles & Dreieck Interférences




Soleils Bleus Strasbourg, France

Micro-record label and publishing house for folk and experimental music, writing, drawings, poetry, etc !

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