Logreybeam: Perhaps
Muri Records

Gabriel Morley's Logreybeam sound is very much one out of time. What I mean by that is that Perhaps… (previously issued in 2011 on the Montreal-based label Les Enregistrements Variables) could just as easily pass for a recording produced in 1972 or even 1962 as 2012, even if the album's ten pieces were assembled using modern-day production techniques and technologies (Morley learned Max/MSP and Supercollider at CalArts where he earned a degree in Music Composition and currently uses Logic in addition to the aforementioned softwares). It's Morley's emphasis on non-electronic instrument sounds—piano, melodica, accordion, clarinet, and cello among them—that gives his music its old world character, resulting in a collection that sounds more like it was birthed in a Venice or Paris cafe than a Los Angeles studio. In particular, the presence of clarinet, piano, and accordion within most pieces lends the album and its oft-pretty music a clearly defined persona.

“Prologue” sets a mournful opening tone for the recording when the clarinet's bluesy cry wheezes alongside a slow-motion arrangement of piano and accordion, after which “Opening” and “Lullaby” perpetuate the deeply melancholy mood using waltz time signatures. “My Own Home” is suffused with nostalgia, suggesting that the home in question is one long since visited and wistfully remembered. An occasional field recording works its way into the album, such as the seeming sound of dinner table noise at the start of “Melody Pines” and audience applause and clapping during the high-spirited “Roma Dance Party.” The piano-centered “Lullaby Re-Revisited” possesses a melodic character strongly reminiscent of Yann Tiersen and specifically his Amélie soundtrack, and memorable, too, is the emotional interplay between clarinet and saxophone that dominates “Shall Not Fail.”

Perhaps… developed out of Morley's desire to record instruments he'd been collecting for years, and consequently nights spent recording sketches of melodies turned into full-blown arrangements and songs in the days following. Rather than electronically alter the instruments in such a way that their natural timbral qualities would be compromised, Morley wisely opted to let the instruments retain their true selves. The album's mood is predominantly melancholy, though it's brightened by the rambunction of the aptly titled “Roma Dance Party,” and though it's short at thirty-four minutes by modern CD standards Perhaps… hardly feels incomplete.

September 2012