In the moment when silence and its weak ruptures become unbearable for a man to sustain, a music based on those very characteristics is equally problematic. When an artist works with micro-elements such as Belgian Pierre Gerard, the challenge is that of pushing a listener to find new implications within acoustic milieus exploited to the bone. ENVIRONMENT & Gesture is a three-part piece whose linearity is somewhat displacing; even more puzzling is the positive reaction of this reviewer in front of natural components – mostly water and faraway environmental whispers, with the addition of an unspecified “instrument” – that have been used thousands of times before by other practitioners of the same area, with increasingly ho-hum results. However, I have come to trust Gerard pretty much throughout the recent past. His method cancels the ego completely, privileging the macrocosmic aspects of an introspective solitude. Accordingly, the work manages to involve to a point of complete participation “inside” the rarefied messages coming from the speakers. Despite the absence of surprises, this record is characterized by a wealth of recondite signals – wrapped in an awful lot of implicit meanings – transforming the hush that follows the end of the album into a deafening dearth of questions, as if all what we needed to know was already printed somewhere in the countryside’s scents.

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