31 Juillet 2017


War Shapes

par Jean-Philippe Haas

Rompue à l'improvisation, la musicienne Annie Lewandowski pratique plusieurs instruments dont le piano et l'accordéon. On trouve dans ses collaborations des noms aussi prestigieux que Fred Frith et Chris Cutler. Sous le nom de Powerdove, elle compose de courtes chansons pop un peu décalées et laisse ensuite des musiciens les arranger à leur guise. Sur War Shapes, ce travail est dévolu à Chad Popple et Thomas Bonvalet qui, à l'aide de percussions, claviers, guitares et autres bidouillages sonores, enluminent la douzaine de tableaux chantés par Lewandowski.

Les arrangements proposés par le duo Popple/Bonvalet tentent de donner une dynamique à des chansons dont la trame vocale est souvent erratique ou monotone. En imprimant un rythme ou une progression, il procure une évidente valeur ajoutée à certaines compositions : les boucles mélodiques ou percussives sont autant de tapis sur lesquels le chant se déroule sans accroc, presque naturellement, convoquant des sentiments très contrastés : inquiétude (« Stranger Killer »), tension (« Raincoats »), mélancolie (« Tenderly »)... D'autres titres se voient plutôt ornés d'une sorte d'illustration sonore improvisée, frisant avec l'expérimental et l'impressionnisme (« The Night Inspires », « Bone Deep », « The Heart Estranges »...). Le résultat est inégal voire quelconque parfois, malgré un attirail instrumental très fourni. Quoi qu'il en soit, l'improvisation a ses limites : Chad Popple et Thomas Bonvalet, malgré les trésors d'ingéniosité déployés, ne parviennent pas à dissiper une légère lassitude qui s'installe au fur et à mesure. War Shapes fourmille d'idées et d'ambiances mais le soufflé peine à se maintenir sur la durée.


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