by Stephan Mathieu
Four pieces, 260 minutes
24Bit Digital Edition with 13-page PDF available from Schwebung
“Nachtstücke is the upshot of an “entropic process”, as we’re cryptically told by Stephan Mathieu. At four hours and twenty minutes of duration, the work is ambitiously hinting at the “installation-at-home” status, surpassing by a marine mile the obsolescence of commonly regarded “ambient”. Given the latent chaos connected to the very concept of entropy, the discernment of an opposite result – namely, the “awareness of the useless” that leads to internal quietness – is reassuring. Subsonic throbs, sempiternal drones, nerve-soothing frequencies, implied grief and a general sense of closeness to the actual core of ultimate intuition are all fundamental stations in this journey.
Three tracks named “Dream” feature diverse attributes inside unique continuums. By overlaying dilated shards of undiagnosed melodic strains Mathieu brings forth the placating lineaments of a scarce motility, silently exhorting the listener to get lost in the consequent oceanic darkness. Forgetting what pertains to the analytical comprehension of a phenomenon allows the resonant streams to do the job.
And what a damn good job they do, if you ask this reviewer. Even if the title translates as “nocturnal pieces”, I spent afternoons and evenings of much needed rational – moral, if you will – decontamination amidst wavering agglomerations of indistinct pitches unwilling to unveil their descent (though something could be surmised, but why acting as a finicky idiot?).
“Black Mirror” – a humongous 135-minute slab of ataractic ominousness – might symbolize the eventual coup de grace for those still clutching at the straws of a “scientific” justification of beingness to disguise the mind’s failure. The name of a famous Pink Floyd song – “Comfortably Numb” – describes the psychological setting related to the experience rather clearly; we’re talking droning matter of the finest blend.
Mathieu invites the audience to play the whole at low volume, as if an alternative choice revealed details that need to remain concealed. He is one of the few credible individuals operating in a field that goes way further than the mere “musical” designation. A place where no providential entity is considered as a valid option to justify alterations of expectancy that no one properly understands, but can only be acknowledged by the existent progeny of a limitless sonic aura. Unfrightened in that womb before reverting to timelessness, we couldn’t care less about the cosmetically tedious aspects of obtuse schools of thought.
I have never seen a tree trying to recover its fallen leaves from the ground in order to reacquire a supposedly better look.”
Massimo Ricci in Touching Extremes