Yann Novak: Blue.Hour

Listener's familiar with Yann Novak's work will have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this twenty-one-minute, single-track release (the CD available in an edition of 300) on the Italy-based Farmacia901 label, whose focus is conceptual sound works. As its title suggests, Blue.Hour takes as its starting point “l'heure bleue,” that moment of the evening when “there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness.” The Los Angeles-based sound, video and installation artist evokes this fleeting moment by draping subdued tones of seemingly never-ending duration across a softly rumbling dronescape of gaseous vapors. The slow-motion unfurl could mislead the inattentive listener into hearing the piece as a static entity, whereas, in fact, changes occur throughout, such as subtle modulations in volume and intensity, but with such careful calibration they could be overlooked. In short, the material breathes in a becalmed manner reminiscent of the slowed breathing patterns associated with sleep. Befitting the concept, the work is immersive and meditative, its mood conducive to that time of day when melancholic reflection comes naturally to the average working soul.

April 2013