Library Tapes: Sketches
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Sketches they may be—at least in name—but when it's David Wenngren's “drawings” we're hearing, there's little doubt the material will captivate. The twenty-five-minute set is actually a re-release of a tour CD the Gothenburg resident issued, now remastered and given a deluxe re-design by Jeremy Bible. Occasionally augmented by the subtle colouration of field elements and computer-based enhancements, Wenngren's delicate piano playing is the focal point, just as it has been on his previous Library Tapes' releases. The mood is tranquil and becalmed, and his elegant and oft-sumptuous material positions itself midway between ambient and classical.

The piano settings vary in presentation and mood, from three wistful “View From A Train” pieces, which rock gently between two chords, to the piano flutter and raindrop-like electronic pops of “Sketch 04: The Park” and piano sprinkles and hazy atmosphere of “Sketch 01: Snowleaf.” Wenngren blurs the piano into an ambient cloud in “Sketch 07: Waves” and alters it into becalmed, phase-treated chords during “Sketch 08: The Typewriter.” The most affecting pieces, however, are the three that pair Wenngren's muted piano with tour-mate Danny Norbury's cello. In “Sketch 02: First Day Of Spring,” the cello's cry imbues the Satie-like piano fragments of melody with an emotive character that elevates the track's impact considerably, while “Sketch 10: May” pairs the melancholy lines of the cello and saw with droplets of piano. Though obviously not a long CD by conventional standards, Sketches nevertheless makes a strong impression.

May 2009