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Lila Bazooka - Arashiyama

FdW, Vital Weekly


Over the past few days, I played this CD several times. I find it hard to get my head around this one.
That might be due to the use of the bassoon, an instrument I don't often hear, but the real reason lies in the use of Sophie Bernado's voice. Lila Bazooka is a duo of Bernardo (bassoon, voice, electronics) and Céline Grangey (sound design, electronics). In 2019, the two went to Japan and returned with field recordings, ideas and the love for the sho, the Japanese mouth organ. That instrument we hear in two pieces, played by Ko Ishikawa. The album seems to be a combination of various ideas. There is a more traditional, quiet approach from the world of modern classical music, such as the opener 'Nouka', which is almost like a solo for a bassoon. When the voice and electronics come in, I am a bit lost. There is reverb to the voice, giving it an angelic feeling, and when Bernado really sings, it all gets too sweet for me, such as in 'Kome To Me'. This reminded me of Japanese whisper songs, which I am no fan of. Also, a more spoken word approach, such as 'Perpetuum', is not something I particularly enjoyed. But when the bassoon takes the lead, electronics gently processing along the way, I enjoyed this quite a bit. But overall, I don't know what to make of this release. I thoroughly enjoy some of these pieces and some, well, not. I am a bit lost here.