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.
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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