FRACTALS / Brain Fever is a new LP by Bernard Fort, a 66 year old French composer, writer and co-founder of GMVL, short for Groupe musiques vivantes de Lyon. It contains six fractals (the A side) and a tribute to Indian birds and people (the B side). Ten questions via e-mail.
“In each sound there is a complete universe to discover”
Why do you combine a recording from 1981 and one from 2017 on this LP?
Bernard Fort: This was not my project, but the editor’s idea. In the end, it’s a good idea!
In which way do they fit together?
In the beginning of my career, I was so abstract, and now I admit figuration. But in the end, ‘Fractals’ and ‘Brain Fever’ are the same: I’m still observing nature with my ears!
If you listen to the ‘Fractals’ recordings now, almost 40 years after you made them, what do you feel?
I feel happy!
And what do you think?
I composed these fractals when I was young, but now I’m proud of these musical ideas. In that time a very few people knew about fractals. And now, for me, it’s still a poetical way to see and feel life.
What is a fractal?
A fractal is a subset of a Euclidean space for which the fractal dimension strictly exceeds the topological dimension. Fractals appear the same at different levels, as illustrated in successive magnifications of the Mandelbrot set because of this, fractals are encountered ubiquitously in nature.
And is a fractal within a musical context?
For me it was natural and simple to observe sounds as fractals. In each sound is a complete universe to discover, when you slow it down you discover new sounds, and new rhythm. And I was observing life as nature with my ears.
‘Brain Fever’ is a more recent piece.
Yes, I recorded all the sounds on Christmas night in 2016, in India, in the forest of Auroville.
What is the ‘Brain Fever’ recording about?
About the feeling I have with Indian birds ans Indian people! A country with so much sounds and life, day and night… A country with such big differences between peoples, cultures, activities, and so on.
About the bird sounds, how did you get interested in ornithology?
By observing nature, and thinking each one of us is a part of nature. So observing nature is trying to understand people, life, culture… in the same time I’m sure that all the musics are in the birds songs, they discovered all forms of music. And I still observe with my ears.
Why did dedicate ‘Brain Fever’ to Sofia Jannok?
Because she’s a very great singer, and I appreciate the way she is interested in Sami culture and traditions. She’s traditional and lives in our century.
– Joeri Bruyninckx