The following releases came out on the same day, April 17th. Both display styles of music from different ends of the spectrum. The lushness of BP Moore vs the minimalism of Sylvain Chauveau.
“Komorebi”—a Japanese word with no exact English equivalent, but one that has been roughly translated to describe the sensation of ‘sunlight filtering through the leaves of trees’.“Komorebi was written for my stepfather, John, who passed away at that time. He was in his early fifties; it was sudden. He had this great enthusiasm for appreciating the details in the simple things; music, sunlight, a breeze, being with people you love, laughter—to mention just a few. This radiance he had for grasping and making the most of the simple moments in life is still a huge influence on me. Komorebi is a reminder of this.”
“Komorebi” comes to us care of New York boutique label Rhodium Publishing, who have artists such as Anna Yarbrough, Ilya and Joram van Duijn on their roster. It is always a pleasant surprise to come across a new name and almost from the very first notes fall in love with their music. Bp Moore, Ben to his mum, sites influences like The Cure, The Prodigy, Lau and Talk Talk and blends various instruments and other influences into his music. The easiest thing would be to classify it as Modern Classical, but that would be missing a large proportion of the other elements. Sure, the feeling is strong there and for as much as there is a cinematic style noted, you also get the feeling of a semi-reformed dance music enthusiast who is very much about celebrating the best of both worlds. The track “Ouroboros” demonstrates this nicely as Moore leads the listener on a bending, twisting journey sampling some of the styles along the way.
There is a post rock feel that enters the album after the half way point and increases the epic nature of the music. This is noted in pieces like “Through The Trees” and “Negentropy” (although to be fair, this piece has break beat style percussion). The main feeling I get from the music is one which is positive. There is an overwhelming sort of joy or celebration that you get from the album which comes through in the tones it contains. The closest it get towards the melancholic feeling you sometimes associate with Modern Classical music is of course the title track where Moore’s late step father is on his mind and the epic nature of the piece (the post rock return) is a definite and exulting tribute t this important person in his life.
Some records feel that they drag along and some are mercifully short. With “Komorebi” the seven pieces last twenty nine minutes and while it is short for an album these days in length and number of tracks, Moore more than definitely makes up for it in the quality of the material and it feels like a perfect length. No tracks let the set down and the overall album is one which revels in consistency. “Komorebi” is available on Cd and Digital and is very much recommended.
“French composer Sylvain Chauveau’s new album Life Without Machines, a set of short compositions using Barnett Newman’s series of abstract painting The Stations of the Cross as visual scores…The title of his new album, “Life Without Machines”, expresses the fact that our lives are entirely assisted by machines (for everything we eat, wear, transport, build, watch, listen…) which require a permanent, colossal use of energy – mostly fossil fuels, whose combustion constantly sends CO₂ to the atmosphere. The title suggests that this can’t last forever: living with less (and finally without) machines may have to become a collective decision in the future or (more probably) a consequence of a combination of crisis (both energetic, economical and ecological).”
Sylvain Chauveau recently had one of his earlier albums “Simple” re-issued by 130701 and this, one of his latest is quite opposite to that rather full sounding release. This one is ultra minimal finding Melaine Dalibert behind the piano delicately playing Chauveau’s minimal pieces with occasional electronic abstractions. Each piece is titled in a similar fashion using just a letter or a handful of them and are mostly short in length. I have been trying to ascertain the relationship between the music and the art and the only thing I can come up with is both their stark, naked feel. I don’t get the correlation between the theme of the title and the music. Quite possibly the nature of the playing and the tone of the piano is a physical rather than musical reference to the theme, but you would have to ask Chauveau to clarify that.
The pieces that are longest in length like “nd” give Chauveau the opportunity to flesh them out a bit more which makes the pieces more successful. With some you feel they could be used as building blocks for other pieces or used within a play or a film such is their vignette feel and at times flicker of sound feel. The unnamed bonus track that appears after a period of silence from “en” sees the mixture of field recordings, piano and electronics come together, while still maintaining the minimalist ethic of the whole album. “Life Without Machines” is available on CD and Digital.