Track Premiere: France Jobin “A Ritual / For a Daydream”

I am thrilled to have been included in this project by Robert Crouch, my remix is featured on Foxy D

Listen here: Foxy Digitalis – The full album will be released May 6th on ROOM40

Here is what Foxy Digitalis has to say about my remix:

The opening track on Robert Takahashi Crouch’s last album, Jubilee, is the 19-minute “A Ritual,” culled from a longer, two-hour improvisational piece. For Ritual Variations, out on May 6 via Room40, he commissioned seven friends and artists to use the original two-hour recording as source material for further investigations and contemplations on the intimate nature of the music. The entire release is fantastic, but France Jobin’s stunning 37-minute “A Ritual / For a Daydream” stands out. 

Few artists create longform works as enveloping and engaging as Jobin. On “A Ritual / For a Daydream,” she gently pushes open the sound structures of the original to let the daylight pour in. Where Crouch’s original captures a deeply personal exchange between two people, Jobin builds a world where can all find connection and communion. Glacial tones are infused with grit and stretched across delicate architecture to create gossamer sound webs that hold us close together. It’s a beautiful treatise on how the most intimate aspects of sound can be building blocks for deeper, wider bonds. 

Ritual Variations is available to pre-order from Room 40 HERE and will be released on May 6 with reworks from France Jobin, Lawrence English, Yann Novak, and more.


My last album opens with a piece called A Ritual. I think of this piece as a somewhat aggressive, long-form meditation on intimacy and ecstasy. There’s a reason I think about it like this.

The 19 minutes that comprise the track were taken from a much longer recording; a 2 hour improvisation I performed privately for my partner, Yann Novak. Performance is always a personal experience, even when offered communally, but this particular performance was very much about a shared moment, in an environment that foregrounded the personal. The low, undulating frequencies in the piece underscore a sense of the physical for me. I’d like to think it’s a work that dwells on upon the vibrational qualities of sound, and offers a respite within its mesh of rich harmonics, pushing a listener towards the ecstatic.

For Ritual Variations, I reached out to friends and artists whose work I respect and admire for various reasons. I gave these seven artists, including my partner, access to the original 2 hour recording and invited them to create new compositions using it as source material. It was a chance for them to also consider the private, intimate nature of the recording itself.

review – Trilogy and Epilogue (and/OAR) 2010 – by Ron Schepper – Textura

Trilogy and Epilogue on and/OAR
Michelangelo Antonioni’s filmography offers such a rich source of imagery and
themes it’s a wonder no experimental music project has appeared until now
based upon it. All credit goes to and/OAR, then, for choosing the Italian auteur
as the third in its film director series (previous volumes honoured Andrei
Tarkovsky and Yasujiro Ozu), with the two-disc set, formally titled
Michelangelo Antonioni – Trilogy and Epilogue, focusing on L’Avventura (1960),
La Notte (1961), L’Eclisse (1962), and Deserto Rosso (1963). Antonioni is, of
course, the master of ennui and alienation whose works are populated by
wandering souls who either vanish altogether (L’Avventura) or co-exist but
with the littlest of connection to one another. Not surprisingly, he preferred that
his films be generally unencumbered by music’s presence, believing that his
stories would breathe better without such interference; in that regard, Giovanni
Fusco, whose music appears in most of Antonioni’s films from the late 1950s
to the early ‘60s, apparently declared, “The first rule for any musician who
intends to collaborate with Antonioni, is to forget that he is a musician!”

A few other background details are worth noting before turning to the contents
of the release itself, specifically Antonioni’s sensitivity to the importance of
natural sounds—what he regarded as the “true music” of a film—and the
pioneering electronic music that Vittorio Gelmetti contributed to Deserto Rosso.
Such dimensions of the director’s work draw a clear line connecting the artists
featured on and/OAR’s recording, all of whom in one way or another share like-
minded sensitivities to environmental sound and to the role of electronics in
current music-making practices. The set features over two hours of lower-
case, electro-acoustic works peppered with the kinds of pregnant pauses and
empty spaces that characterize Antonioni’s films. Some of the pieces (all
untitled) are heavily electronic in nature (Marc Behrens’ turbulent setting, Antti
Rannisto’s throbbing drone), while others inhabit an interzone where acoustic
instruments (clarinet, cello), natural sounds (industrial creaks, cavernous
rumbling), and electronic manipulations reside. The artists involved will be
familiar to those conversant with the microsound genre, with figures such as
Roel Meelkop, Ben Owen, i8u, Lawrence English, Steinbrüchel, Jason Kahn,
and Tomas Phillips taking part. The piece by Pali Meursault (with Ici-Même)
stands out as one of the settings that is most rich in outdoor sounds, with train
clatter, traffic noise, and bird sounds threading their way into the mix. Richard
Garet’s sub-lunar exploration sounds like the essence of La Notte and
L’Eclisse distilled down to a seven-minute form. Dale Lloyd’s brief piano
rumination arrives as a breath of fresh air amidst such abstractions, as does
Marihiko Hara’s at album’s close.

The package for the release includes two quotes taken from Seymour
Chatman’s 1985 book Antonioni: Or, the Surface of the World, one of which in
particular merits inclusion here for the clarity it brings to the director’s
approach: “Antonioni asks us to take a slow, steady look at the world around
us, to forget our ordinary preoccupations, and to contemplate that which lies
slightly athwart them.” Michelangelo Antonioni – Trilogy and Epilogue

Michelangelo Antonioni – Trilogy And Epilogue on and/oar

The third and perhaps final project in the film director series which began with
“Andrei Tarkovsky – Another Kind Of Language” and “Yasujiro Ozu –
Hitokomakura”. “Michelangelo Antonioni – Trilogy And Epilogue” focuses upon
the Italian auteur’s landmark “tetralogy” of films L’Avventura (1960), La Notte
(1961), L’Eclisse (1962) and IlDeserto Rosso (1963).

Antonioni was known for not being very keen to use music in his films,
partially because he wanted the films to tell their stories free from “additional
gloss”. Therefore music was sparsely used – if at all. Antonioni considered the
natural sounds or “background noises” of a film to be of enormous importance,
and considered them to be the “true music” of a film. Obviously Antonioni’s
view resonates with and/OAR since environmental sound has always been it’s
main focus, and is one of the reasons why he was chosen for this project over
other film directors. Composer Giovanni Fusco, whose music is (more or less)
featured in most of Antonioni’s films from the late 1950s to the early ’60s said,
“the first rule for any musician who intends to collaborate with Antonioni, is to
forget that he is a musician!”

Yet, there is another composer who Antonioni worked with, that this project
seeks to acknowledge and pay subtle homage to in addition to the director
himself; because if it were not for his inspirational and pioneering minimal
electronic music featured in “Deserto Rosso”, this project might not have
come together at all: Vittorio Gelmetti. Gelmetti’s electronic work consistently
came to mind during the planning stages of this project, and his influence can
indeed be heard throughout this release.

CD 1

03. MARC BEHRENS  6:24
04. ROEL MEELKOP  6:06
08. BEN OWEN  6:32
10. ASHER  6:30
11. PALI MEURSAULT  (with Ici-Même)  6:36
12. EKG  (Kyle Bruckmann & Ernst Karel)  7:46

CD 2

01. DALE LLOYD  1:27
04. ALAN COURTIS  4:13
05. LUIGI TURRA  6:11
06. I8U  6:17
09. JASON KAHN  5:33
10. FHIEVEL  6:02

TOTAL TIME: 2 hours, 17 minutes and 12 seconds.

buy on and/oar

Review – 10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Eric Hill, Exclaim

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008
From Holst’s The Planets to Eno’s Apollo, composers have glanced spaceward for inspiration and grandeur. Montreal’s France Jobin goes the extra step by turning outwards then inwards to explore ideas of String Theory, the title being the theoretical size of strings that make up, well, everything. Music, or purely expressed sound, is a logical art form to tackle these complex ideas, as little else exists in time and space quite the same way. The seven pieces have a scientific precision and clarity, placing each tone and texture in an aural description of nearly dimensionless particles. The vibratory interactions of these particles, or strings, stir high end frequencies that snap together like microscopic jigsaws, and waves of drone that describe a closed or looped model. Slipping just out of silence into the auditory field intensifies a reflex to lean towards the discovery of curious phenomena. Whether or not Jobin’s work inspires you to more deeply consider reality it can be enjoyed for its wonderful minimalist construction.
-Eric Hill

Review – 10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008

Described by the press release as a “compelling meditation on the nature of sound in time”, this work by Canadian France Jobin was conceived by taking into account the “theoretical size of the strings that makes up the universe”. The impression is mainly one of morphing resonance, like someone manoeuvring an equalizer while a sequence of consecutive drones is unfolding. A chain of pretty static visions, some of them in fact engrossing, rarely presenting truly shocking elements yet effective, at least in spurts. Still, the compositional effort doesn’t appear extreme; this will probably determine a filing in the jam-packed folders of “good but not really memorable” near-minimalism, with the exception of “String 6” and “String 7”, whose impressive bottomless rumbles and subsonic purrs are something to be heard. Dulcis in fundo, indeed.

Touching Extremes
Massimo Ricci


Review – 10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Marcus Whale, The Silent Ballet

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008

A part of the spat of new releases on Room40 over late 2008 and early 2009, this offering is produced by Montreal-based sound designer France Jobin, best known for her conceptually mind boggling sound experiments as I8U. This latest work, 10-33 cm, focuses on string theory, an attempt to adapt these tenets of quantum physics to a sound context.

Being unfortunately shackled to an intellect utterly bereft of mathematical knowledge, I have no way of interpreting the conceptual basis for the piece, but Jobin’s skill as a sound designer is undeniable. Jobin creates a seven-part, 46 minute long universe of mainly sine-tone based sound worlds that are remarkable in their focus and detail. Each track is assigned a different ‘type’ of string and the disparity between the contents of each section is marked. The most beautiful moments in the work come at the very beginning, where tiny, high frequency sounds move in and out of each other and take on a delicate form. Massive arrays of sounds subsequently provide counterpoint to this initial moment, but ultimately don’t match the atmosphere that it creates.

The most remarkable element of this release is the ability for such intellectual, difficult music to become as evocative, even on an emotional level, as much of 10-33 cm is. A criticism may be, for all of its intricacies, these experiments occasionally lapse into over-repetition, becoming reduced to its subject matter, rather than finding identity through the medium by which the concept is being expressed – sound. However, as a whole, the suite is tight and well constructed, finding moments of great intensity and poise.

Room40 are known for managing the compromise between the intellectual aesthetic of this corner of experimental music and its ability to ascertain a human reaction to it, beyond the arguably dry conceptual origins that often mark the associated releases. I8U is an example of this success; above all, a demonstration of the complexity of Jobin’s craft, an approach to sound design that is difficult to fault, in its strong intent and flawless execution.

-Marcus Whale

Review – 10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Textura

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008
Two “lower-case” recordings by Asher and I8U make natural additions to ROOM40’s discography.

i8u’s 10-33 cm is as resonant as Asher’s Landscape Studies but wholly different in timbre. Inspired by ideas associated with String Theory, Canadian sound artist France Jobin (aka i8u) creates seven crystalline webs of shimmering, glistening tones and textures. Apparently, the measure 10-33 cm represents the theoretical size of the strings that constitute the universe, and, as Jobin explains,”Resonance is the vibrational pattern which determines what kind of particle the string is, and thus the type of particle is the movement of the string and the energy associated with this movement.” Don’t worry: listening to 10-33 cm requires no degree in Physics; one can experience it as pure sound divorced from its theoretical underpinning. Broached on purely sonic terms, the recording offers a wide-ranging series of explorations into microsound textures, rhythms, and tonalities with each of the spatial re-creations pursuing different pathways associated with the originating concept. Comprised of forty-six minutes of reverberant drones, rumbling tones, faint clicks, and softly crackling static, 10-33 cm could just as easily be a Line release as one from ROOM40.

Review – 10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Guillermo Escudero, loop

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008

La artista sonora de Montreal France Jobin explora en “10-33 cm” la Teoría de las Cuerdas como primera fuente sonora. Esto trata del “patrón de vibración que define el tipo de partes que compone la cuerda es y de esta forma el tipo de parte que es el movimiento de la cuerda y la energía asociada con dicho movimiento”, en palabras de esta artista.
La música está en la frontera entre el silencio, zumbido y las partes granulares del sonido. Ciertos pasajes suenan como improvisaciones con una diminuta percusión a través de errores de lectura digital, pero la mayor parte del disco son drones con emergentes sutiles melodías.

-Guillermo Escudero


Montreal’s based sound artist France Jobin explores on “10-33 cm” the String Theory as the primary source material. This deals with a “vibration pattern which defines what kind of particle the string is, and thus the type of particle is the movement of the string and the energy associated with this movement”, in her words.
The music blurs the border between silence, hum, and grainy particles of sound. Certain passages sound like improvisations with a diminutive percussion through glitches, but most of the disc are drones with emerging subtle melodies.

-Guillermo Escudero


Review -10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by BGN, WHITE LINE UK

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008

Another conceptually provocative piece from Canada’s France Jobin, operating under the name “i8u”. “10.33cm” purports to be directly influenced by String Theory, a kind of Music of the Spheres for the New Age, directly associated with the relative sound frequencies of the strings that make up the physical universe. Although largely unproven, and still theoretical, the concept of String Theory has captivated the minds and imaginations of many creative types, and here, Jobin tests the theory in sound.

What materializes is a complex and densely worked set of 7 pieces, named String 1, String 2, String 3, etc. each piece corresponding to a set of parameters initiated by the artist, relating to each string type. From this somewhat ambitious point of departure, we are treated to a rangy set of works that encompass everything from the shimmering tonalities of the opening piece,(that opens with a blister of static, the sonic equivalent of the background radiation of the universe) to the glistening, expansive ambiences as exemplified on String 3, and the more sharply focussed elements of String 2 and String 6, where Jobin systematically takes the listener on a series of sonically intriguing transitions and deformations, taking in the lower end of the auditory spectrum, with rich, reverberant cascades of sound. As an attempt at realising a theoretical concept , then perhaps 10.33cm is still in the elementary stages, but with all of the theoretical gesturing aside, this is a masterfully wrought set of minimalist ambiences, deep in scope, and ambitious in its execution, a technically perfect series that you (like myself) will return to again and again. Excellent.



Review -10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008

We haven’t heard lately of France Jobin, who works since many years as I8U. The seven tracks on this download only release all deal with the string theory, which is one of those scientific things about the Universe which I never understood – like I never understood Stephen Hawking either, not even his public friendly book about time. Perhaps Jobin does better, and the pieces here are build from sine wave like particles that are being processed in the digital realm. It brings us seven pieces of a highly microsound origin. Buzzing bass sound, high pitched peeping sounds, but never ‘loud’ and certainly never ‘noise’. This is text book microsound material, think Richard Chartier, Bernard Gunter or Roel Meelkop, but I8U certainly a strong voice of her own. Quite modern ambient, and very nice at that.