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Un Autre Decembre

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Jun. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fatcat Records
  • ASIN: B00008A8KQ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,073 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Mineral
2. Sous tes yeax probablement
3. Granulation 1
4. Neauf cents Lunes
5. Alors la lumiere vacille
6. Granulation 2
7. Il fait nuit noire a berlin
8. La letter qu’il n’envoya jamais
9. Granulation 3
10. Un autre decembre
11. Granulation 4
12. Du reve dans les yeax

Product Description


Sylvian Chauveau's Un Autre Decembre is characterised by space... and lots of it. In the late 1950s, Miles Davis remarked that jazz had "gotten thick, guys give me tunes and they're full of chords. There will be fewer chords but infinite possibilities as to what to do with them." French pianist/composer Sylvian Chauveau appears to have taken this opinion as gospel. In Un Autre Decembre his compositions of often painful simplicity allow notes and harmony to breath, never playing two notes if one will suffice. As unresolved sequences are left to hang, Chauveau introduces extremely subtle electronics and glitches. These sequences are occasionally given titles of their own, named in true Jean Michel Jarre style "Granulations" 1-4 and named after the software used to create them (Curtis Rhodes' Granular Synthesis). These intermissions can often resemble the sound of windscreen wipers and rain or a late-night train station and the overall result is simple, relaxing and thoughtful.

Sylvian Chauveau has been compared to Yann Tiersen who rose to fame primarily for the Amelie soundtrack, and there is a definite melodic resemblance, especially when he switches from piano to accordion for the final track "Du reve dans les yeux". However, the emptiness that characterises much of the music here is perhaps more akin to Japanese guitarist Taku Sugimoto. This album is certainly one for those in need of some space. --Robert Smoughton.

BBC Review

Short pieces of acoustic piano, tracks and traces of other sounds left as marks of dust and scratches upon the instrument's case, like a persistent emotional residue.

Reflective, peaceful, each note contemplated with care; each chord tied just so.

Fragments of melody articulated as musical thoughts.

Composition on a small scale as though viewing a map so close that the very fibre of the paper intrudes upon the lines of the hills your eye traces.

Penumbra of a distant town in the darkness of a country night.

Recollections which refuse to quite cohere and are therefore forgotten before they're ever within reach.

Voices heard as if from a distance, through an apartment window from the street below. A simplicity prepared to co-exist in peace with the life around it.

A gift of a certain humility, the listener given the space to apprehend each moment of sound as it is heard. --Colin Buttimer

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Droneworks on 2 Mar. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Sylvian Chauveau has produced a beautiful, timeless album, that encapsulates both modern classical elements at their best, and the wonder of silence. Mainly based around the piano this cd is barely audiable in places, with an emphasis on the lack of sound as crucial to the project as the notes Chauveau teases from his piano. Alongside electronic minimalism, and an appearance of an accordian, on the closing track, the album comes together successfully as a whole.
It is best to listen to this in one sitting (and loudly if possible), and for most that shouldn't be a problem as it clocks in at just under 24 minutes. Hence the four stars instead of five. You may feel a little short changed paying full price for this one, and it would have been nice to hear Chauveau expand on his ideas over the course of, say, 40 minutes instead. However if you like bands and artists such as Rachel's and Max Richter, then you should find this brief cd an interesting listen. Well worth picking up a copy at mid-price if you can.
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By Sam on 31 Jan. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This should be an E.P for half the price, After hearing one of the songs, I had to get the album as it was beautiful!

But after listening, there are about 3 full length songs (2-3 minutes) and the rest are just noise.

I still love the songs that are on this album, but I feel a little ripped off paying a full album price for this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Quiet is the new loud 30 July 2003
By Kelly P. Young - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the third disc from French minimalist composer/performer Sylvain Chauveau. Following up 2001's "Nocturne Impalpable", which is largely performed on strings with very slight electornic embellishments (mostly between tracks), "Un Autre December" relies on very spare and beautiful piano work (one track features accoridan). Comparisons to Erik Satie or even Debussy are not far off, though this work would not be normally be placed in the "classical" category. A perfect album for when night falls, the clouds roll in, or the weather finally turns towards the autumnal equinox.
This bit from the Fat Cat website illuminates his reason for the title and texture of the recording:
The idea of the title comes from a beautiful old song by Jacques Brel called "Jaurus". Talking about the generation of his grandparents, working hard in the mines, he sings : "The twelve months were called December" (Les douze mois s'appelaient décembre). "Un autre décembre" (another December) is my answer, which means that comfort and health didn't prevent our generation from sadness and insatisfaction, and that we also live in winter, even if it's a little warmer.
This is an absolutely breathtaking record by arguably one of the brightest talents operating in any genre. His relative current obscurity outside (or even inside) of France is sorely in need of changing.
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