Stephan Mathieu | Die Entdeckung Des Wetters

Lucky Kitchen | CD

The first part of Touch - a work consisting of four parts: 'Into', 'Love', 'Inside' and 'Touch' - 'Into', creates an atmosphere that reminds me of when I once visited Prague and travelled from church to church, viewing the various interiors of the individual churches. Occasionally there would be an organ playing music prior to a church service, that seemed to be playing themes and variations on a simple melody.

Whatever is making the sound in all these pieces seems to have the quality of glass when you fill a crystal goblet with water, dip your finger in, and rub it around the top edge of the glass to get a steady tone. In similar fashion, 'Into' creates a contemplative/meditative mood.

The second part, 'Love', sounds like the first piece turning in on itself, folding, like one kneads dough... Different parts meet different parts, but always remain a part of the whole. The same sound source seems to be used throughout these four pieces. 'Inside', is close in feeling to the first piece, with the addition of some sounds that remind me of air, under pressure, escaping intermittently. A calming sound. I couldn't help thinking of a factory of some sort, where something is being made with a machine over and over again.

The concluding part, the title track, shares the qualities of the first three pieces, with the addition of the feeling of the sounds warmed to the texture of a string section: cellos. Composed in July 2001 as an accompaniment to a glass exhibition held in an ancient glass factory in Meisenthal, France, 'Touch' is now part of a permanent exhibition there. The four pieces were played back through a small four channel speaker setup in auto-repeat, which I'm sure is a perfect environment for listening to them.

'Die Entdeckung Des Wetters' has a heavier sound, like that of the mechanical processing of something... Very meditative again, but flatter and more drawn out than 'Touch', it contains a more omnipresent drone with little delicate things being done in the distance. It is suitably permanently installed in, as it was specifically created for, an old ironworks, wherein hard coal was transformed into coke by means of baking in hot ovens for 18 hours. The original loop of 70 minutes was played back through a four channel system placed in the cokeries area of the ironworks.

[JH]



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