Wednesday, 6 May 2015


                            HORDE CATALYTIQUE POUR LA FIN

Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, but also a nice place for tourists on the French coast. Here a group open minded young artists gave birth in 1967 to the improvisation group Horde Catalytique pour la Fin. They were Georges Alloro (Goa), Francois (Franky) Bourlier, Jacques Fassola, Gilbert Stuerga (Gil Sterg) and Richard Accart. Their music is a work with sounds, a hand to hand with their instruments. It's not based on any written improvisation phrase. The group played instruments coming from Western, Middle-eastern,  African and Far-eastern  cultures.

 " We just wanted the sound, the raw sound-texture, before being treated and shaped by any cultural code. We also wanted to discover world's musics and what they could reveal us about music universe".

In 1971 they released their first and last album "Gestation Sonore"  recorded "live" at Nice theatre.

On the back cover you can read their music manifesto:

"Gestation sonore is not a new kind of music.Music always has to express something. Even when established society, no longer dictates its laws, music stimulates the hearts by its hallucinatory rhythm and lulls them with its melody.That's a myth. The organization of society and  of our own body are pulling the strings. If we feel strong dreaming about our life between a nurseries and military barracks we will continue to play and listen to the song of Oedipus.It's easier not to understand. But our ears have no lids.They can be violated,programmed.But they still keep on listening.....Gestation sonore  is not prepared,it's not even an improvisation  since it's based only on the instruments and the stage. It moves like a sleep-walker and if a sound texture surfaces instead of another this depends on the listening and not on the music. Our relationship with our instruments is a process where the act comes before the thought.This means a real change in the way of listening.We want the listening to produce emotions without the help of memory. That's because memory during a traditional listening, based on censorship and logic, finds her own fantasies and familiar codes even if they are decanted or broken. We stimulate listening to disorganize, to lose aim and body in order to have a new wake up full of desire"

During the final period of its existence the group toured with an itinerant museum:
15 big crates- 23 m3- 270 different instruments that needed long and delicate tunings, a difficult scenic and acoustic preparation,without considering the cost of transport and insurance.
This is one of the main reasons of the end of the group in 1973.
After that Richard Accart moved to Paris and continued his activity as saxophone player in jazz groups and as industrial designer. Jacques Fassola developed his activity as painter,writer and musicologist. No news about Gilbert Stuerga.


Georges Alloro and Franky Bourlier went on following the principles of "Gestation Sonore" and started to build and use their strange new instruments as "Franky & Goa".

Francois Bourlier was born by chance  in London in 1944, where his father took refuge from Vichy government. His father was a colonial diplomatic official. So when he was a young boy he followed his family in many French colonies where he was pervaded by local sounds and musics.
When he was 13, being in Africa, he started playing piano and drums, and despite family reluctance, he started to play in small groups of jazz and mainstream music. He often played with local musicians also learning to use all African traditional instruments like: balafon,sanza and many kinds of percussion.
When he was 18 he decided to dedicate his life to music and started studies of organ becoming choirmaster in a small town of central France.

Georges Alloro was born in Nice in 1946, his father was a plumber. So when he was a young boy he started to learn the techniques of shaping metal and wood: soldering, moulding .......
At 14 he discovers guitar, than cello and trumpet  followed by many brass instruments. At the same he is involved in many kinds of music jazz, commercial music, classical and contemporary.
Coming back from military service he starts the study of classical music of Northern India and Sanskrit language. He also starts to build new instruments in order to multiply the possibilities of sound combinations.

In 1974 they released their album Horizon as Goa et Franky Bourlier

   Here are some of the instruments the played on the record


During the preparation of Horizon Goa and Franky founded Arthéa a group concentrating on music from around the world ; a concept that wasn't very popular at the time, and  on the research of new instruments creating new sounds.

"What brought us together, fifteen years ago, was the desire and the will to leave the repetitive and orchestrated universe proposed by western classical, contemporary, jazz or pop music.All this music agrees to be submitted to an extraneous order and some kind of laws which don't relate to sound world. These laws recover from ideologies and find their pillars and guarantees in : tempered scales, music  works, music composition techniques, musical notation and music sheets.
All this hides totally, real music , like a huge reckless action of diversion. Since  long, we forgot, lost, what the main goal of music is : to tune up with the world, to be in resonance , sympathy and harmony. And through all this to reach the knowledge . We speak about a knowledge that  doesn't just mean the accumulation of notions but a true transformation of  human being. The musician that follows this philosophy isn't a real creator but just a worker of sound.He knows that deep in the heart of music he will found the listening, the silence and the anonymity.In order to give to the listener the opportunity to follow new unknown paths inside silence he has to remove all kinds of personal turmoil .He has to be far away from every prefigured picture, concept or goal. He has to be empty ,in order to support what will emerge.But Western culture is very far from that nowadays. My work is what  "I" sign, where "I" express my ideas and feelings. We are not speaking about music-stars or about the omnipresent commercial system. Music sheet separates the creator from the executor. Musical notation destroys one of the main characteristics of music: movement. Musical notation,it's like to stop this movement. Tempered scales, reduce sound universe to 12 notes of  the dodecaphonic range. Only intervals known by this new harmonic order are admitted. The rest is thrown away and forgotten. Bach, Rameau and German physicist Werckmeister are the fathers of this new harmonic order. Before tempered scales, the ancient modes, used in European music, were based on physical harmony where every sound coming out produces other higher sounds which are called harmonics, This natural richness of sound didn't permit to blend different modes and tonalities and to play many notes at the same time (chords). Effectively Harmonics , if you play more notes at the same time, create dissonances. Considering this Werkmeister wanted to "correct nature"  creating a "reasoned" harmony. He divided the octave in 12 equal and unchangeable half-tones. So the notes were a little bit false versus the natural perfection but anyhow correct considering the scale ensemble. Johann Sebastian Bach adopted this new harmony for his « 24 preludes and fugues for organ ». At the same time, appeared in France, the draft about harmony of Rameau, based on the same principles. Rameau became the first important  grand theoretician of Western music. He promoted the institutionalization of order and intellegibility of mathematics  as guarantee of music . At first sight all this doesn't seem so serious. And after all we are so accomplished to it! But , with the application of this kind of tempered harmony, Western world lost precision and the meaning of music. The comfort of reason was preferred to precision. Istruments were tuned on a scaled decide by man : musicians could juggle with sounds as they wanted. Why shouldn't it be like that ? Why not? Because in that way we lost the key of sound universe. And the door was opened to every passing fancy of our tastes and to all the speculation of our intellect. Sounds are not abstract entities that you may manipulate without consequences. They are part of a whole, our interior and exterior universe. Tied to our bodies, to the single organs of our bodies, to our hearts,to our emotions, to our thoughts, to the dimensions of our space. So they can vehiculate our sensations. But this is possible only if  we respect natural laws of listening and of sound generation.  A single sound  is composed by a root and its harmonics, we can just catch one sound at time (we can understand only one person at time and not 2,3,4 telling different things at the same time) so we can understand one sound referred to its tonic note (feed-back).Music is made by the movement of intervals and not by fixed notes or frequencies. Intervals can not be listened precisely and  understood, without reference points. Western music ignored these laws because if they hadn't do it they should have stopped their reasoned order.We think that they should change their illusion that theory can catch the reason of the world in opposition to the acceptance of simple never ending reality. Here you will find "Gestation sonore", in the moment where  the end of tempered system is evident and where the ability to understand this music is the language of a new awakening. In order to do this you need two steps: the close work of musician on himself to find out where the sound shoots spontaneously and the work of listening and study on other world musics.
The technical part of our works depends entirely on the music we try to play.As we decided to give up with tempered harmony we thought we needed new instruments (considering that traditional Western instruments are conceived in order to play tempered music). So we eliminated sympathetic strings and suffocated harmonics.We needed other instruments and we found them around the world, in Africa, India, Bali, Japan etc. We listened to their sound and we played them. But after that we had to liberate their natural sounds including all their harmonics. Inspired by these instruments  we started to build our instruments. And this was possible thanks to Goa manual ability.We needed deep sounds (similar to those of Tibetan music) so we built big trumpets.We needed string instruments rich of sounds ,where we wanted to hear the harmonics of every played sound; so we have introduced sympathetic strings and mobile bridges .
We wanted powerful sounds so we added amplifiers to our instruments and made a study on bridges to obtain a better transmission of vibrations. That's how we found the properties of the " mobile bridge". Traditional bridge distributes vibrations of strings on an harmonic table. And this table is fixed to the structure of the instrument that has to resist to strings tension. This anyhow stops some kind of vibrations and eliminates some frequencies. On the contrary the "mobile bridge" stays directly on the strings and distributes the vibrations on an harmonic table and to amplifiers which are independent from instrument's structure.This permits to gain much more vibrations. The greatest part of our instruments are made of stainless steel. Because the working of it is very similar to the one of Zinc, and as I told you Goa has 15 years of experience on this kind of material. But we also discovered also other contemporary materials like  polymethyl methacrylate , polycarbonate , silicon , resin.
We don't use traditional working rules. We are completely self taught. But anyhow we share the same basic laws of traditional lutist. We use working techniques coming from different fields integrated by our former experiences. It's useful to know a little of everything in order to remove the obstacles you are faced to when you build something you never did before. Our tools are a mix of tools coming from different types of work, something can be found in the do it yourself stores and something was conceived by us especially for the instruments we build. Some tools are recyclable materials (wash machines motors, refrigerator compressors  etc. etc.) We have limited budgets, so we can only prepare some prototypes and not start a serial production . Also our research is limited by poor budgets and self taught knowledge. The deaf chamber we built was absolutely  vital in order to study vibrating bodies, the transport of vibrations, and acoustic amplification.We built it with what we had: straw, tar, and found materials. But like in our workshop, this lack of means slows down our daily work. But we keep on! We currently have a programmed work of research and realization on these arguments : percussion with changing tensions, flutes with mobile holes that permit a change of tonality, string instruments with wider possibilities , something near to sitar. We think to be able in the future to prepare instruments for professionals and amateurs in order to permit  them to approach  music satisfying the needs of our time. 


ADN re-started its activities in 2014 here is one of their last productions a new cd of Only A Mother leader Frank Pahl including original material released on cassette in the 80'ties and unreleased tracks of the same period. If you like Dusty Nuggets this is for you! Frank presents here many aspects of his multifaceted talent.

You can order it at:
price is 10€ + post (paypal accepted)
We have also available the CDR Only a Mother-Dusty Nuggets