ARANDEL, the French artist whose album of expansions and reinterpretations of the works of the great Johann Sebastian, InBach, received deserved acclaim upon its release early last year, is looking to repeat that cultural success with a second volume to be released by the excellent InFiné at the beginning of next month.
The first single to be revealed from this second revisiting of the German composer’s sacred compositions has just been released; it’s a luxuriant, breathy and cosmic reading of “Nos Contours”, which takes the song out into the widest-screen cosmic soul, very much heading for 4 Hero territory. Wonderfully surprising, glimmering, inventive; unexpected.
The InBach project has its seeds in Arandel’s appreciation of how Wendy Carlos’ Moog synthesizer reworkings had introduced the world to Bach reframed for an electronic age; and, forty years on, he set out to respectfully revisit the composer’s works.
“There is a Bach for everyone,“ Aran says, “and that discovery is what led me here to InBach.” Push through the towering legend and godlike adoration and Arandel insists he was both a playful and eclectic musician. And the canon is so large, there was more than enough material and ideas to revisit the idea.
“There is so much about Bach I didn’t even know when making the first one – but after the release people kept coming to me, telling me about certain pieces I should listen to or rework; songs that I had never even heard of,” he comments.
The second InBach grew like a garden in melodic fantasy, intricate state-of-the-art sound design and a little pop sensibility. Some tracks were born out of Arandel’s band performing on stage, experimenting and composing them anew, such as “Nos Contours”, a new, French-lyric version of “Bodyline” from the first outing and featuring Arandel’s live partner, Ornette
Elsewhere on InBach vol.2., you’ll find further reinterpretations such as “Doxa Notes”, a reworking of “Aux Vaisseaux”, from InBach – itself which was already a reinterpretation of Bach’s 14 Canons On The Goldberg Ground, BWV 1087, now featuring Myra Davies.
‘The album naturally evolved out of the work on the first one, the connections I made with Bach’s music and the connections that listeners made with him through me,” Arandel details.
“I was a longterm fan of Myra’s work, and when we connected for InBach vol.2, we spent hours on a video call, talking about everything from the relation between quantum physics and metaphysics, our lives and Bach’s music.”
Rare instruments feature heavily, such as the Erard square piano, and early electronic instruments such as the ondioline and the ondes Martenot; as does spoken word, with the closing track being recited by none other than The Perfumed Garden-era John Peel folk legend Bridget St John.
When she was invited to contribute to the project, she replied with a quote from the French writer André Gide: “You can’t discover new land if you aren’t willing to lose sight of every shore,” – which stands as an excellent epithet for the soon-to-be two volumes of InBach.
Arandel’s InBach vol.2 will be released by InFiné on July 2nd digitally, on CD and on vinyl and may be ordered now from the label’s Bandcamp page, here.