Definition : (from the Greek lithos, " Pierre ", And phone," his ").
Term for percussion instruments made of stone, marble, etc. It seems that some churches in Lithuania had one or more slabs suspended outside the building to serve as church bells. China has known in its temples instruments made up of sixteen L-shaped plates, sometimes in jade, the origin of which dates from the second millennium BC. There is in Great Britain a large harmonica of " Pierre »Fitted with basalt bars, kept at the Keswick Museum (Cumbria)
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Music - University of Oxford.
Lozère limestone lithophone
Nature offers us many possibilities in terms of sound materials. They are there within earshot ... Listen to the present moment of the sound and you will find ...
For the little story in the big story ...
In December 2010, I was invited for almost 2 months in artistic residency in Iceland, “ Fresh Winds in Gardur ". During a trip to Husafell, accompanied by Icelandic composers Áki Ásgeirsson and Atli Ingólfsson, I meet a funny character in the person of Páll Guðmundsson, discreet artist with many talents, sculptor, designer, painter, musician…. (You can see it in the magnificent DVD " Heima From the Sigur Rós group).
In his studio, Páll makes us hear for the first time his famous lithophones in basalt stone (Liparite) and it is a real shock. Hearing sounds of such great purity and such a beautiful resonance makes us happy. It must also be said that Páll plays the lithophone in a childish and naive way. Very touching.
Back in France, and having just moved to Lozère in the heart of the Cévennes National Park, it seems obvious to me that I must experiment, find " ringing stones »…. , I am there where one meets shale, limestone, sandstone and granite. After some scouting and the indications of a friend working in dry stone, Mr. Roland Mousquès, I ended up finding beautiful scree. Ah the ringing stones !!!! Real delight to be there in the middle of them. Be on the lookout and find those that sound, those that could possibly agree with each other because this is also all the work of creation from lithophone. Of course, I'm looking for notes, ½ tones etc, a 1st octave, a 2nd, etc. I find them, it works!
Subsequently, I carry out other experiments, associations of limestone with sandstone, schist, slate, I obtain very interesting sounds. Ultimately, I realize that it is above all assembling the sounds, the different subjects that interests me, regardless of whether the notes are " fair ". So I don't use classical tuning. I leave that to Páll Guðmundsson who respects this principle. I try to create a variation, a complementarity to his remarkable work.
At the very beginning, I played lithophones with sticks of fine and flexible wood that I found in the forest. The stones rest on wooden slats covered with wool felt thus allowing the note a beautiful vibration.
Lithophones in phonolith from Cantal and Ardèche
I was invited to perform with lithophones at the Festival des Métiers d'Art en Cévennes at Pont de Monvert in 2013 and 2014. Then at the Festival de la Pierre aux Baux de Provence, then other festivals such as Instants Sonores. The public is touched by mineral sounds and it is often beyond words that they express it.
This brings me to a reflection when a lithophonic creation that would be engraved on a disc. This will result in the creation and recording of the Lithophonic album of which you can listen to samples. here. The record is also for sale on the site. (Released in March 2016)
"... The harmonic harmony of our old sisters the stones opens up all possibilities because they are wiser than us. And by magicians like Fabrice Bony, they will end up contaminating men with an irrepressible need for harmony. .. "
Anne Sibran (Writer / Novelist / Philosopher) - June 2017
"Fabrice Bony was born to always amaze us.
Multi-instrumentalist, alchemist of sounds, he takes us today to the depths of a cyclical experience performed on a timeless instrument: the Lithophone. "
Christian Décamps (ANGE) - April 2016
In 2015, I moved to Charente-Maritime in Rochefort. Through Isabel Faustino I discover the magical sounds of the old slate oyster collectors. Their resonances are quite astonishing and fascinating. At the same time, I meet the gestural theater company Les Journaliers who invite me with them for occasional improvised performances in a natural environment.
I discovered the beautiful sounds of the blue schist stone of Nozay (44) with the Asphan association.
Lithophone and Television
In 2015, I recorded the lithophone for television with the composer Renaud Barbier. This will be the soundtrack of the ARTE TV documentary When Homo Sapiens made his Cinema directed by Pascal Cuissot. BO available in digital version.
In 2017, I recorded the lithophone again under the direction of composer Renaud Barbier for the documentary France 3 Comme des Sardines en Boite.
In 2018, lithophones resonate again on the 4th album 7 + ∞ (released in June 2018) . The idea was to mix mineral sounds with the instruments of current music. The former collectors of rubbed oysters also resonate on the new album of ANGE Happy (released in March 2018)
Following the meeting with the jazz trumpeter Marc Niess, I founded the duo Fabrice Bony & Marc Niess mixing mineral sounds and jazz forms. Quite atypical duo.
Invited to Iceland and Japan during international artistic residencies, I aspire to discover the mineral sounds from here and elsewhere.
It is also important for me that all generations can listen to the mineral sounds of the origins. We come from there.
So the idea of composing mineral electronic music aimed at the younger generations is a very captivating prospect. To be continued ...