Isabelle Duthoit – clarinet, voice
Sophie Agnel – piano
Angélica Castelló – paetzold, tapes, electronics
We are unsure whether the music of the trio “comes from heaven or hell” – writes the ArtActs Festival.
“Agnel tickles the ivory, dives deep into the piano’s gut and finally offers us a special voyage to space. Duthoit first screams, cries, gargles and curses, then grabs her clarinet only to wring and stretch it, producing sounds which, eyes closed, we cannot discern from her own voice. And finally comes Castelló, an amazing sound designer, adding electroacoustic pearls to this masterful ménage à trois. Witchcraft!”
– Miha Zadnikar
For booking inquiries please contact Joanna John / firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophie Agnel – With solid training as a classical musician, Sophie Angel took a close interest in modern jazz before committing in the early Nineties to the shifting, deliciously uncertain ground of free improvisation, thanks to her fascination for the powers of expression displayed by a few great keyboard-heretics such as Keith Tippett, Fred Van Hove or Christine Wodrascka.
Taking a look through the prism of improvised music, Sophie Agnel began reworking the prepared piano techniques imagined by John Cage in the field of contemporary music, and from that point she would busy herself “introducing the prosaicism of the contemporary world into the belly of western musical refinement itself”, and transform her instrument into a sort of “extensive prep-piano” or “extended piano”, thereby laying the foundations of a radically materialist personal universe that is by turns lyrical, abstract and sensualist.
Moving from the demanding exercise of playing solo to multiple encounters with some of the greatest masters of contemporary improvisation in their original surroundings — Michel Doneda, Daunik Lazro, Olivier Benoit, Catherine Jauniaux, Eric M, Roger Turner, Phil Minton — the pianist would also gradually venture into those border-zones where genres fade into the distance… Sophie Agnel has also produced a few of her own shows for general audiences such as: Le Piano-Marteau, which staged the sound-space in a subtle game of mirrors; a collaboration with choreographer Josef Nadj (Etc. etc.); and also the music she composed for the stage-adaptation of Charles Reznikov’s Testimony directed by Henri Jules Julien.
Sophie Agnel’s interest in concrete and electro-acoustic music and phenomena in the spatial quality of sounds has recently led her, together with instrument-maker Laurent Paquier and the Tarn-based GMEA [“Albi Electro-Acoustic Music Group”], to conceive the experimental electro-acoustic instrument known as the “nOpianO/cordophone” which opens new sound-horizons even further.
Isabelle Duthoit began studying classical music in 1991 at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Lyon with Jacques Di Donato, from which she graduated in 1995. In the second half of the decade she toured the United States with Donato; she also worked with chamber music interpreters such as Sonia Wieder-Atherton and Raphaël Oleg. She performed several times at the Musique Action festivals in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, Musique en Scène in Lyon, as well as in Romania and Ukraine.
She also worked in the Ensemble Triolid (album Ur Lamento 2002 with Laurent Dailleau (theremin) and David Chiesa (bass, percussion)) with Taavi Kerikmäe and with Tim Hodgkinson (Sketch of Now, 2006). In 2004 she recorded the album Avenues (Unit) in a duo with the pianist Jacques Demierre. She is clarinetist in the Trio Krizda with Christine Wodrascka (piano) and Gunda Gottschalk (viola), plays in Emmanuel Petit’s Archipel formation and is the founder of the Trio Bords de Mhère (with Kristof Guez and Marc Pichelin). In the course of her career she also worked with Johannes Bauer, Camel Zekri, Michel Doneda, Franz Hautzinger and Géraldine Keller. In 2001 she performed with Joëlle Léandre and Marilyn Crispell at the Konfrontationen festival in Nickelsdorf.
In Japan she studied the Nō rituals during a stay at Villa Kujoyama in 2008 and performed in 2011 at the Villa Medici in Rome together with Ryōko Aoki. In 2012 she was a member of Carl Ludwig Huebsch’s Ensemble nettsch Acht at the SWR New Jazz Meeting; she also belongs to his quartet Drift. The Neue Zeitschrift für Musik characterized Duthoit as part of “a musical movement in France […] that wants to break the boundaries between new composed and improvised music.”