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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Pareidolia - Selon Le Vent (JACC, 2019) ****

By Stef

The French expression "Selon Le Vent" means to go with the wind, a navigation term from older days, allowing the seamen to move forward without having a well defined destination. And the ensemble's name means as much as identifying patterns in things and objects that are actually not there (like seeing shapes in clouds, or faces in marble). Both concepts give you an idea of the nature of the music. The trio are João Camões on viola, Gabriel Lemaire on alto saxophone, baritone and clarinet, and Yves Arques on piano.

The first track "Himmelskino" (German for "the cinema in the sky") is a quiet, subdued and slow exploration of fragile and subtle sounds, shimmering and scintillating, offering a sonic landscape with low weight and high intensity, like mist over water. All instruments meet in places where their natural sound has transformed into something more breezy and ethereal.

The second track, "Herzkino" (German for "the cinema of the heart") is performed with Alvaro Rosso joining on double bass. The music evolves with more density, recognisable instruments, modern classical phrases from the viola, shuddering arco by the bass and stronger bursts of the saxophone and  real piano chords. The piece moves like the wind, with strong blasts at moments, calming down slightly for short periods, only to continue in force, conjuring up emotions of menacing darkness, and then everything shifts again, as the wind slows down, the waves lengthen and flatten, and the piano and alto take over, repeating arpeggioed romantic phrases in minor key, offering escape and a sense of calm destiny out of the former predicament.

It's a short album, totalling 30 minutes for the two tracks, but the trio/quartet offer you a wonderful journey from quiet uncertainty over stormy turmoil to peaceful beauty.

Listen and download from Bandcamp.