Tuesday, May 2, 2017

review: olivier alary - fiction/non-fiction

It's an absolute honor to be sharing my thoughts on an outstanding new release from a very gifted French composer by the name of OLIVIER ALARY. I was familiar with Olivier before his release of FICTION/NON-FICTION by way of the release  ELEVEN INTO FIFTEEN (A 130701 COMPILATION). I've even been fortunate enough to have used 2 songs of his in recent sessions (WHEN NIGHT MEETS LIGHT as well as WE HAVE BECOME INFINITE). With the release of Fiction/Non-Fiction, I thankfully have a treasure trove of new sonic colors in which to feed my ears and mind. 

Olivier has been involved in some pretty epic projects (a staggering amount of soundtracks), and it's evident that he culminates his musical wealth of knowledge into this release. It is apparent that he has made some very meaningful musical connections in that his roster of support musicians are extremely competent, musical, and sensitive to his creations. Each and every song is a sweetly subtle departure from the last, the variance is just enough that you feel the journey that he creates is actually going somewhere. His reliance upon the other musicians is a trust that yields a triumphant cohesion in collective expression. The overall theme is quite dark, and as the music slowly develops, it's as if colors were being dropped during a rainy day onto a canvas that created an organic cloud of mystique. The song Defeat, which is the second track, seems to suddenly widen the mind enough to develop an anticipation to the incoming harmonic backdrop, which ever so effortlessly enters and dissipates. It becomes evident that Olivier is adept in developing not only remarkable compositions, but intelligently utilizes a method for making you want to know what's next. There is no labored listening here. Every small space exists to construct an intensity of what's to come, and Olivier's course of action is deliberate and without blemish.

The production of this release gives you a unique feel that creates a vibe of having the performers in the same room with you. Taking this in on a very nice system (which I recommend) at a decent volume with proper lighting (again, a recommendation) creates the illusion of having your own private chamber performance. The music is so very personal and every minimalist thought is valid in its contribution to the bigger picture. By the fourth track (Nollywood), it becomes obvious that Olivier has successfully integrated multiple expressive methods to present his vision, bringing to live the very deep textures that surround and expand. Further into the track list (even by the next song), the string and woodwind ensemble sweep away preconceived notions that this release is a this-or-that kind of album. It's a musical album, with care, love, and personal investment into each and every sound and transition as much as the compositions themselves. Each and every song is par with one another, and while I have my favorites (there are some that resonate with me a bit more), every song in this album is individually strong and supportive in developing the painted cloth that creates the overall scenery.

I'm quite confident that in the world of post-classical, there are not too many releases that will come close to this (unless Olivier releases another!) in 2017. I'm always looking for that soundtrack to a film that does not exist, for moments to have vital meaning with a bit more color. This is that soundtrack. 

You can find Fiction/Non-Fiction through Olivier's 130701 ARTIST PAGE (which hosts many other social media outlets of Olivier's) and can stream the music via Fat Cat's SOUNDCLOUD page. I highly recommend this meaningful release, and hope that you enjoy it!


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