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'A Question of Angles' Out Now

 
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A QUESTION OF ANGLES

Composer, musician and producer Angèle David-Guillou's third album, ‘A Question of Angles’, is without a doubt her most ambitious project to date.

Saxophones and bass trombones are paramount to the album's sound – David-Guillou’s deployment of these instrument recalls Michael Nymans’ most exuberant compositions as well as Moondog's dynamic neo-baroque rhythmic patterns, while the handling of unconventional time signatures echoes soundtrack composer Giovanni Fusco’s unsettling atmospheres for Alain Resnais.


‘A Question of Angles’ is an album of vivid instrumental music centred around two main ensembles, a saxophone octet and a string septet, which strut and glide in rhythmic dances, whose textures are inspired by the interplay between illusion and reality, particularly the magic realism of Jean Cocteau's films. "I was interested in translating this idea into music, that I could make something big and bold, but where you might also be unsure of what you're hearing," the composer explains. This concept was extended to the album cover, which includes a multi-portrait image that at first glance appears to be a faked composite but was in fact carefully shot for real. 


 
 

DISCOGRAPHY

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A QUESTION OF ANGLES

2020
Village Green Recordings

SANS MOUVEMENT
EP

2020
Village Green Recordings

MOUVEMENTS ORGANIQUES
EP

2018
Village Green Recordings

EN MOUVEMENT

2017
Village Green Recordings

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COMMUNE
RECORD STORE DAY EP

2018
Village Green Recordings

KOUROUMA

2013
Village Green Recordings

KLIMA - SERENADES & SERINETTES

2010
Second Language

KLIMA - KLIMA

2007
Peacefrog

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BIOGRAPHY

French composer, musician and producer Angèle David-Guillou compares her distinctive contemporary compositions to scripts, where flow and clarity appear natural but are designed and chosen with precision and intent. Her music explores concepts around movement, reflection, illusion, and the manipulations of sonic realisms, with acute attention to detail in the characters of her rich instrumental architecture. 


She has released three full-length albums and two EPs on Village Green. The recently released ‘A Question of Angles’ was preceded by the lockdown EP ‘Sans Mouvement’, her final release of the Mouvement triology, which was recorded on the organ at the Union Chapel in London. Prior to this, 2017's full length ‘En Mouvement’ took cues from a broad range of influences, including the films of Tarkovsky, Sumerian dance, and Philip Glass's Glassworks, to explore how transformation could be achieved through repetition. A partner EP also released in 2017, ‘Mouvements Organiques’ experimented with these compositions, reworking them for organ. Her first album under her own name, ‘Kourouma’, was released in 2013, inspired by French mélodie compositions and the flamboyant arrangements of European and Latin American Baroque music.  


Prior to this David-Guillou also recorded as Klima, and has played in various groups including as vocalist and songwriter in the UK post-rock band Piano Magic. She has toured internationally and has worked on a number of collaborations with an eclectic array of musicians, including The Go! Team, Pete Astor and Mark Fry among others. Her first instrument is the piano, although she also sings and plays a variety of other instruments. David-Guillou describes having "a sort of double musical education", playing classically as a child, before moving into experimental rock music and performance, and is now fully engaged in instrumental composition and production under her own name. Her broad range of experiences allows her to pull together the nuance and expressive qualities of orchestral instruments with a sense of the urgency and lyrical potency of song writing. 


David-Guillou produces her own music, which she describes as an integral part of her creative process. "Production can add another layer of realism or surrealism," she explains. Her production is about drawing out the unique characters of each of the instruments she uses, retaining details like the sound of a foot on a piano pedal, or pushing instruments outside their traditional range to draw out details such as the brittle edges of brass notes. 


Her experience as a singer also means she listens to the voice in each instrument she composes for. As such, David-Guillou’s approach to composition is to write scores as if they are script, to direct instruments like actors with character and personalities, and to transpose the precise irregularities and rhythms of lyrical scripts into compositional frameworks. "The score looks complicated but I'm not doing it to be clever, I want the phrase finish, or start, or repeat, to let the instruments speak." She thinks in terms of unfinished sentences, false starts and repetition, using time signatures and other devices inspired by baroque music to make the instruments and ensembles she works with dance. "I approach instruments lyrically, thinking about the meaning of what's being said," she explains. "I need to hear an instrument speaking. I'm always thinking about this as I write music."


Core to her sound is the rhythm of her compositions. "I need to be able to dance to all my music," says Angèle. She has been deeply influenced by the baroque music she has loved since she was a child, particularly early music written for dancers, the complex patterns of interlocking meters. "I need rhythm, but a rhythm that feels unsettled, even if you don't always notice immediately" she says. "Ultimately, I want my music to be saying something." 

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