The GMVL organisation – also called Groupe Musiques Vivantes De Lyon – was established in 1975 and has been home to a number of releases of local electro-acoustic music, with many of their 1980s vinyl releases dedicated to the music of its founders, Bernard Fort and Marc Favre. Since 2003 they’ve championed composers of the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes region, showcasing these talents in a series called Inventaire. The first two volumes of Inventaire weren’t simply records destined to sit on their backsides in a record shop, but enjoyed a wide dissemination presumably thanks to the efforts of the GMVL team. To put it more simply, copies were sent (and given, apparently) to any place that might support, play, or host modern music – radio stations, concert halls, festivals, training colleges and art schools, and libraries. I can imagine that any contemporary composer would be glad of such pro-active promotion of their work.
GMVL have now published the third in the series, L’Inventaire #3 (GMVL CD044), released as a CD + DVD package. By this point it seems the project has been so successful that a call was put out, and a panel of judges was needed to select the 21 composers who would appear in the finished package. In 2010, the only “rules” for submission were framed to allow “total freedom” in the writing and style to each artist, and I have no reason to suppose this condition has changed since then. The composers include Sophie Berger, Anthony Clerc, Christian Fauré, Enrico Fiocco, Gabriel Girard, Laurent Pierregrosses, Yohann Sanson, Joel Berger, Raphael Panis, Jeremy Oury, and many more, each of them turning in 5-6 minutes pieces which might serve as samplers of their entire work. What we hear is a mix of electro-acoustic compositions, field recordings, and pieces which border on some form of chaotic noise; nothing too surprising or challenging, but none of it is sub-standard. No two pieces are alike and the individual voices of the creators shine. There’s not much in the way of the excessive studio processing which often, for me, mars the Canadian Francophone releases from empreintes DIGITALes; if these GMVL share any common ground, then it’s a sense of understatement, a natural organic flow in the music, and an unassuming honesty and clarity. From 19th December 2017.