Seth Nehil & Bruno Duplant


Mastering: Bruno Duplant
Artwork: Allon Kaye

(eco)systems is a mix of acoustic instruments, field recordings, digital and analogue synths, structured in algorithmic cycles, random fluctuations, slow evolutions and large timescales, networks of events, systems of repetition, interactions between sound characters, a movement of cut / copy / paste, erase & rewrite in an endlessly renewed back and forth, a fluid and evocative movement, until two ecosystems emerged, as fictitious as they are real.


Seth Nehil is a video and sound artist.  He has worked with dance and theater companies, creating original scores and sound design, and has created multimedia performances, installations and concerts.  Seth Nehil has released albums since the mid-1990's on labels such as Sonoris, Aufabwegen and Senufo Editions.  He has previously collaborated on albums with composers such as John Grzinich, Olivia Block and Brendan Murray.  Seth Nehil currently teaches sound at the Pacific NW College of Art and lives in the Columbia River Gorge near Portland, Oregon. []


Bruno Duplant is a prolific composer and a musician living in the north of France. He has collaborated with many musicians around the globe and has also made solo works. His recordings have been published by various labels including Elsewhere, Another Timbre, Wandelweiser, Ftarri, Moving Furniture, Inexhaustible Editions, Unfathomless among others. His music, strongly inspired by the writing of Francis Ponge, Gaston Bachelard among others, and some artists and musicians as John Cage, Luc Ferrari, Eliane Radigue, or Rolf Julius, is imbued with a sweet melancholy. Recently his musical practice has been closely linked to his photography and writing practice. []


(eco)systems is a brand new collaboration between Portland-based multimedia artist Seth Nehil (Senufo Editions, Opal Tapes, and/OAR) and prolific French sound enthusiast and composer Bruno Duplant (Mappa, Falt, Crónica). In their solo work, both Nehil and Duplant consciously blur the boundaries between acoustic and electronic sounds, and (eco)systems, their first collaboration, follows a similar sonic trajectory. 


Across two numerically titled pieces the duo simulate and explore various biomes, weather conditions, environments and creatures. Insect-like chirps echo in cavernous spaces, distorting synthesizers disintegrate into silence. At one moment thumping rhythms resemble a creature's heartbeat, at another you hear what sounds like rainfall deep in a deciduous forest during a summer storm. Synthetic, almost cinematic soundscapes slowly morph into imagined underwater worlds, only to dissolve into vast, falling waterfalls. More serene, almost ambient passages evoke rays of sunlight piercing through clouds after intense rainfall. 


There is an incredibly impressive fluidity and variety to Duplant's and Nehil's work on (eco)systems. Sound sources intertwine and morph in disorienting ways, as a listener you're constantly being transported by the evocative nature of the music. The dizzying complexity of these pieces seemingly ignores the ocean that separates these two artists - one based in Northern France, the other in the Western United States. (eco)systems sounds like two well-acquainted friends in yet another deep conversation.


Adam Badí Donoval for Stellage