Pascal Savy: Liminal

London, UK-based composer Pascal Savy follows 2010 releases on Audiomoves (The Silent Watcher) and Field Noise Records (The Endless Seasons) with a twenty-minute set of four ambient-drone settings for Leonardo Rosado's FeedbackLoop label. To create the pieces, Savy used FM and analog synths, piano, oboe, and processed field recordings; not surprisingly, then, one encounters occcasional footsteps, whirring noises, and wind rustles appearing amidst the droning atmosphere, with a piano's speckle and oboe's flutter also punctuating the sound mass. If the four settings sometimes resemble variations on a theme, it's because minute particles of one track seep into another, with the resultant cross-pollination obviously enhancing the uniformity of Savy's EP. His self-contained, even hermetic mini-universes of thrumming micro-activity eschew melody in favour of mood and consequently might best be described as sound art pieces. As such, the recording would function perfectly were it used as a looped accompaniment to an exhibition of severely minimal abstract or conceptual art. One definition of “liminal” explains the term as “relating to the point (or threshold) beyond which a sensation becomes too faint to be experienced,” and there's certainly some sense in which Savy's material feels like it's on the cusp of positioning itself beyond awareness.

October 2011