Collecting tracks recorded between 1979 and 1981, Dominique Lawalrée‘s achingly melancholic Clandestin LP, published in 1982, belongs to his more “experimental” period, before he turned to solo piano and church organ – on Lawalrée, see previous post.
♫ In Clandestin, the composer explores the possibilities of various keyboards to channel his deeply nostalgic melodies, including the Wurlitzer and Hohner electric pianos, or the Yamaha CS80 and Roland String synthesizers. The music combines minimal piano playing with these electronic instruments to conjure images of an urban nostalgia infused with the personal feelings and reminiscences of a sorrowful mind. Yet each track is also complemented with either field recordings (the church carillon at end of tr.#1, the street recording on #5), spoken word (the interview on #3 and the poetry reading on #5), or found sounds (the radio report on the death of John Lennon in 1980 on #6). In tr.#5 Millénaire, it takes 5 mins to Lawalrée to muster the words “Bruxelles a eu 1000 ans cet été” (or, Brussels turned 1,000 years old last summer), as the sentence is broken into multiple parts and constantly interrupted by tentative electric piano chords.
One last thing: if you look at the front and back cover images, you’ll realize the composer is sitting almost at the same place as the little girl in the painting, as if he had paused, surrounded by autumn leaves, to listen to the absent music of some vanished musicians. I can’t think of a better metaphor to describe Lawalrée’s “musique en creux” on this extraordinary disc.
01 Rainy Sunday: Dimanche Pluvieux (6:28)
02 Le Secret Blanc (14:28)
03 La Maison Des 5 Éléments (9:34)
04 Please Do Not Disturb (2:10)
05 Millénaire (5:05)
06 Now Peace For Beatle John (2:04)
Total time 40:00
LP released by Walrus, ref. WLS 011, Brussels, Belgium, 1982
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