Le Lendemain: Fires
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Home Normal's winning streak continues with this latest project from David Wengrenn, whose Library Tapes' releases have been covered in textura's pages many times. Le Lendemain finds Wengrenn teaming up with Danny Norbury for a half-hour suite of lovely cello-and-piano-based settings subtly augmented in places by field recordings. Though Norbury had actually worked with Wengrenn before on two Library Tapes recordings, Fires is their first full-album collaboration.

Its nine succint settings emphasize misty piano and emotive string playing, with multi-layers of the cello making the material sound more like the product of a chamber group. Furthermore, in its upper register, Norbury's cello sounds as much like a violin as a cello, and consequently the material's timbral range expands beyond the core instruments. Tipping the scales at six minutes, the longest track, Norbury's haunting “Lois,” certainly stands out when it unfolds like a black flower in the spectral gloom, while “Paus” offers a lighter shade in adding a dulcitone to its meditative meander. Like much of Library Tapes' music, Fires is melancholy, fragile, and wistful, its pieces slow and ponderous as opposed to upbeat and high-spirited—which doesn't mean depressing, however; Le Lendemain's pretty and sonorous sound is better described as quietly uplifting.

January 2010