Julian Beau: Reflet

Reflet presents twenty-two minutes of electroacoustic sound sculpting abstractions by Julien Beau. Born in 1982, Beau, a pianist who studied electroacoustic music-making under Christian Eloy at the Conservatoire de Bordeaux, combines composition and improvisation in his ‘acousmatic' work. In the first of the title piece's two parts, Beau generates a heady, collagistic blend from field recordings (rain drizzle and thunder), agitated electronic ripples and noise textures, and droning orchestral (woodwinds, horns) and percussion sounds; the shorter second resembles a softly churning cauldron of smeared piano fragments and sine tones. In the ten-minute “Éthopé,” a restless stream of natural and electronic interactions flows over a spectral, monotone base. A mid-piece plunge into near-silence comes as a surprise but the moment passes quickly and the intensity level again rises. In the shape-shifting piece, the juxtaposition of agitation (percussive clatter and electronic convulsions) and placidity (bell strikes) proves ear-catching. Enhancing Beau's material is an elegant presentation that finds a three-inch disc housed within a tidy, pocket-sized case.

January 2010