Charlotte Hug: viola and voice, Frédéric Blondy: piano
Wondering why in the world it took almost five years before music of such a nobility was released. The recording occurred in fact over two days in March 2008. For our good luck, there’s no expiry date in transcendence.
Thus here is the umpteenth pitiful attempt to squiggle lines giving an artificial idea about infinitudes of acoustic transitions that can only be received as aggregates – although plenty of new details come into sight with each spin – and that inarguably surprise us whichever the side we observe. Hug and Blondy are quite indubitably technical monsters, but this is not the album’s defining trait. Their skillfulness does not make an audience become lab rats for experiments in mystification. The whole sounds human – a refreshing type of humanity, scented with total commitment.
Furthermore, it is hard to find improvisations so accurately defined; one conceptualizes an ounce of previous planning in the mind of the performers prior to entering the studio. Case in point: both “Rosa Moyesii” and “Double Delight” bracket sporadic – dare I say Feldmanesque? – piano touches with glorious groupings of voice and strings constantly revolving onto themselves inside a shifting microcosm of heavy-heartedness. Even knowing where it all started, after a while you get lost in uncertainty. Still grateful for not having to establish the reasons behind your condition, and for being pervaded by a vibrational chromatism that is bigger than words.
Elsewhere, the stunning outset “La Belle Sultane” is a miniature masterpiece of sharp-minded instrumental discourse (cum throat singing). Fireworks like those occurring in “Minnehaha” – an all-embracing give-and-take including uncomfortable freeform pianism and near-surrealist viola responsiveness – substantiate what the entire record transmits: the portrait of two strong individualities who manage to generate instant correspondences, which they do throughout 73 minutes flowing in a blink. By enriching their intentions with perceptive imagination, Hug and Blondy stiffen the pillars of our weakening hope in the reappearance of imperative values, first and foremost the propensity to listen to an interlocutor.