A sonic road movie recorded in New Orleans.
Floy Krouchi : Bass, electronics and field recordings
Mixed and produced by Mark Bingham ( Piety Street Studio)
Pursuing the collaboration they started in 2009 on "A Stream of Love " an album she recorded in India with the classical singer Sumathi, Floy Krouchi has been invited by Mark Bingham to a three weeks residency in his studio, Piety Street , in New Orleans .
Impregnated with the geography of the place, and with her bass as only instrument, pursuing the series of Bass Holograms , Floy Krouchi invits us in an inner voyage inside the vibration.
For the mixing, the magic of Mark Bingham's ears and hands operated on putting things at their right dimensions, opening spaces, digging in ...
For this stay in New orleans, She was hosted by The Tigermen Den , ran by Leesaw Andaloro, musician and cultural producer , long term collaborator of Floy Krouchi
excerpt from Floy's interview for ORO MOLIDO ( revistaoromolido.blogspot.com.es )
" How did you planned the tracks of Below Sea Level at the structural level?"
"Below sea level is an on site project that works and reflects on the geography of the place .
I have been invited in residency by The Tiger men Den, a performing art place run by Leesaw Andaloro, to conceive a work in situ in New Orleans. This city is literally below sea level, and the Mississipi river is huge : the all air is filled up with water molecules that make the sound signature of the place very peculiar . it had also an impact on the internal geography of my body.
The record is actually the reflection of this dialogue between these two geographies - the internal and the external . It is constructed as a serie of " sequence shots " , in a cinematic way, like long travelings on abstract landscapes.
Mark Bingham, my producer from Piety Street studio in New Orleans with whom i already worked for the record " A stream of love " gave me all the musical and technical support for this piece .He left me 2 weeks and a half in a room with a recording system and a bass amp . At the end of this period we mixed the record together. Below Sea Level also has this very spontaneous quality.
The sound is organic, and there are not a lot of electronic treatments in it. It s all about the exploration of the electric fretless bass and its tones, with subs and harmonics , and of course different playing techniques and objects ( fingers, e bow, bow, sticks …. ) . New Orleans is a craddle for jazz, blues and instrumental music, and even if i use my bass in an experimental way, i wanted to stay the closest possible to my instrument.
There is another layer underlying the structure of the piece though : At the beginning i was interested in doing interviews of people and working on a Hoerspiel or a more narrative piece , related to the Hurricane , and the situation of hundred of thousands of -black- people that had to lived the city , and are not able to come back, inducing a big change in its population - and the gentrification that followed . But the reality of New Orleans is very complex , and people have already talked and worked a lot about what happened with Katrina since 2008 . I didn t want to arrive as a Voyeur … It would have required a respectful time to go deep and enter the culture of the city and its people. so i decided to work on a far more subjective and abstract approach . But of course , the underlying narrative of the record recalls the impact of the flood, and the presence / absence of these people . i think it is still very present in the record in the titles of the tracks, for example.
Since then, we met with Mark Bingham in New York in 2016 for a series of live performances at Spectrum and a new recordings of the Bass Holograms ensemble to be released soon. "