Benoît Pioulard

Guest Spots: Benoît Pioulard on three perfect moments in soundtracked travel

Benoît Pioulard: LastedBenoît Pioulard: Lasted (Kranky, 10/11/10)

Benoît Pioulard: “Sault”

[audio:|titles=Benoît Pioulard: “Sault”]

Releasing music under the name Benoît Pioulard is one Thomas Meluch, a Portland, Oregon-based ambient electronic artist. His most recent album, Lasted, is his third as Pioulard, but it’s just one of more than 10 releases for the long-independent 26-year-old who cut his teeth as a drummer in half a dozen bands. His lo-fi, pop-influenced compositions are driven by a fascination with natural sounds and the textures of decay. As someone tuned into his surroundings, Meluch describes three memorable moments in his travels where everything — time, place, and sound — came together perfectly.

A Plane, a Train, an Automobile: Three Perfect Moments in Soundtracked Travel
by Benoît Honore Pioulard

1: Loscil: “Rorschach” (Plume)
On a flight from Detroit to Portland, December 2008

In lieu of any kind of pharmaceutical calmative, I typically assemble a playlist of the slowest, most repetitive music that I can summon from my now-antique third-generation iPod when I travel. On one particular plane trip from a holiday visit with the fam, on my way back to the Pacific Northwest, I happened to put this Loscil track (hey, Scott!) in the mix and settled into my window seat over the wing.  Seat 14F, maybe?

Anyway, once the piece swelled to full volume, I noticed that the careful pace of the song was exactly in time with the flashing of the little light at the end of the wing.  Not “sort of,” not “a little bit,” but fucking exactly. And it remained so for the entire eight-ish-minute duration of the track, keeping me wholly mesmerized.  It was the kind of thing that I always want to happen when my blinker is on in the car and it syncs up with whatever’s on the stereo, but y’know it always fall out of phase.  It was perfect, and I get a little sad when I realize that something like that will probably never happen again. Alors, life goes on.

Tim Hecker

Tim Hecker: Reluctant Neo Eno

Montreal-based ambient electronic artist Tim Hecker recorded his most recent album, Ravedeath, 1972, in one day with a single church organ in Iceland. Then came the real work: meticulous editing, rearranging, and layering.