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«night blossoms»

French contemporary composer-pianist Melaine Dalibert keeps experimenting with compositions that are based on his mathematical concepts, his long-term pursuit as a composer, evoking the work of minimalism pioneer Morton Feldman. His sixth solo album «night blossoms» feature six new compositions from 2019-2021, and like his previous albums enjoy the artwork of David Sylvian, who also conceived the title of the album and contributed sounds to two pieces. The album was recorded at La Soufflerie, Rezé, France in March 2021.

The first three compositions are played on a muted upright piano in order to control the harmonic saturation, affected by their minimalist and intimate atmosphere and their repetitive patterns. The opening composition «A Rebours» is based on a binary coding of the retrograde sequence, and repeats a simple, lyrical theme again and again. «’Windmill» is based on a cellular automaton that generates patterns on a Lydian scale, and suggests a more urgent and tense mode, but still a minimalist and introspective one. The third piece «Eolian Scape» is a toccata-style piece that makes a chain of different and subtle polyrhythmic states progressively integrating all the notes of the modal scale. These short compositions offer a sense of being out-of-time and into a deep dream state of mind.

The latter three compositions are more complex and intriguing. «Sisters» was originally written for two pianos, and takes the form of a canon, with the patterns of different periodicities superimposed, creating an undulating polyrhythm that gradually changes harmonic colors. This minimalist piece with its Steve Reich-like methodical and highly disciplined progression suggests a ritualist, trance-like texture.

«Yin» and «Yang», with delicate electronic counterpoint by Sylvian, are complementing pieces based on a random melodic thread running through the keyboard, with a zigzag of rising and falling musical intervals but following strict rules. Only the notes of the pentatonic mode of F-sharp mode (black keys) were played in «Yin», while only those of the pentatonic mode of C (white keys) were played in «Yang». The subtle electronic sounds add an enigmatic, resonating depth to the quiet, sustained and atmospheric sounds of the piano. These most beautiful, meditative pieces offer the listener a surprising, comforting shelter for being lost in sounds, time and space.

Eyal Hareuveni

Melaine Dalibert (p), David Sylvian (sounds)

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