Bayou Electric


Bayou Electric is the final installment in an unplanned trilogy, with Feel Free (IMPREC 349CD, 2012) and Bridges (IMPREC 390CD/LP, 2013) making up the first and second installments in the series, respectively. All three works share similar characteristics, compositional processes, alternate tuning schemes, instrumentation, and a certain ethos that the composer views as cohesive whole. There is a progression toward refinement over the course of this trilogy, in the overall sound of the albums and in their dependence on other musicians to realize them (each less dependent than its predecessor). Bayou Electric, which contains a single, calming, and cathartic composition (of the same title), brings this cycle to a gentle and unhurried finale. Pitre captured the field recording utilized in Bayou Electric on a late night in August, 2010, at the edge of Four Mile Bayou, Louisiana, which has been in Pitre's family since January 14, 1922. Upon listening to what he'd captured, Pitre became enthralled by the fabric of sound that the wildlife on this waterway had created. It evoked many feelings, reminded him that his ancestors had lived among these same sounds and walked the same land, and created a powerful connection and a sense of timelessness. Pitre was set on finding a way to use this field recording in his music, but wanted to do so without simply adding it to a composition as just another layer of sound or by molding it (via processing) into something easier to work with. Instead, Pitre decided to start with the unaltered field recording and build the instrumentation around it, in a highly sympathetic manner, with the musical portion becoming accompaniment to the sounds of this remote land. This was the catalyst of Bayou Electric and of primary importance to him, as a way to artistically connect to his Cajun heritage. For synthesizers; sine tones; amplified violin, viola, and cello; field recording; and custom software. Written, recorded, reconfigured, and mixed from July through October of 2014 in New Orleans.