SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU – Touching Down Lightly

Creative Sources

A well-mannered, gently resonating, partially Feldmanesque (or “post-Grubbs”, as one sneering friend of mine put it) offer for solo piano that doesn’t necessitate a huge lot of absorption, though the latter surely helps in discovering a bit of deeper feelings in the interstices between notes and silence. Appreciable for its delicate thoughtfulness and accuracy of rendition, this is another of those releases – several were sighted on these shores in recent times – that fit in numerous kinds of categorization without the urge of going astray with words. Minimalism, improvisation, soundtrack, nearly ambient (ahem) in occasional instances – almost anything will do (“New Age” would indeed be a little excessive/offensive).

At various degrees of listening volume the CD works fine, warranting long moments of tranquillity. Quite honestly, it’s preferable when it slips along, and even behind, your evening activities, leaving a chance of enjoying the clear resonances generated by Chauveau’s fragments of chords, skeletally repetitive melodies and single tones. Now, I like to think that something extremely insightful is implicit in the consecutiveness of these simple gestures; still, the sonic outcome does not encourage disproportionate analyses. Not many comparisons are available, too, if not the vague references quoted at the beginning. Let’s leave it at this: definitely a pleasurable listen, but not an extraordinary artistic announcement. When in need of giving yourselves some relief after a hard day, Touching Down Lightly performs the job admirably. If you’re looking for a solipsist masterpiece, the search isn’t over.
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