Le Berger: Music For Guitar & Patience
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The latest Le Berger release from Montreal native Samuel Landry drifts languorously into view like a slow-motion encroachment of mist and fog. Having exhumed guitar samples from a fifteen-year entombment as the sole source material for the project, Landry shaped his material into long-form meditations. Nominally ambient-drones, they're not bereft of activity, even if they are generally placid in demeanor: in these three inexplicably titled pieces (e.g., “sfojg=owfE”), the shortest fourteen minutes in length and the longest just shy of thirty, acoustic guitar fragments flicker insistently alongside unbroken streams of multi-pitched tones.

The opener “sfojg=owfE” pulsates blithely for half an hour, its relaxed shimmer countered by an abundance of micro-activity generated by guitar stutter. Despite being speckled with broken guitar shards, the central piece exudes an even more willowy character than the opener, while “sgfoj;dfsgoj;bdgafe” does the second even better in that regard when electric guitar by Stefan Christoff is folded into its design. Of the three settings, it's perhaps “sgfoj;dfsgoj;bdgafe” that's the most appealing for two reasons: Christoff's contributions nicely enhance the timbral range of this gently unfurling serenade, and the flickering micro-design of the other tracks is downplayed in favour of long, flowing tones.

Don't let such the recording's depersonalized track titles cloud the issue: Le Berger's material offers a warm and inviting space for untethered musing, and similar to the mesmerizing effect produced by sunlight reflections sparkling on water surfaces, Music For Guitar & Patience draws the receptive listener into its hermetic world with enveloping blankets of mutating sound.

January 2016