Published Mar 15, 2019Composer Jade Bergeron is on record as saying Reverie, her sophomore album under the Flying Hórses banner, is a "heartbreak record." Yet it doesn't sound all that bleak to me. I see it as a sublime reflection on the passage of time, taking the listener through the rise and fall of a day.
As all of us do, Reverie begins with "Awake" and ends with "Asleep," moving through many modes of personal being along the way. It evokes the conflicting feelings that pass through us on a daily basis, contrasting "Comfort" with "Isolation" and "Settled" with "Unsettled." After all, we are not static creatures. Our lives are dynamic, constantly changing, often from one extreme to the other, from one moment to another.
The primary means of expressing these themes is cello and piano. Though both instruments generate their sounds through strings, Reverie presents a study of the interplay between piano's generally staccato, technically percussive melodies and the droning, legato, glissando aspects of the cello. Moments, like feelings, can hit you sharply, the ecstasy of joy that seems to fly by, or they can evolve slowly, like a dull ache groaning towards a crescendo of discontent.
That's not the full extent of the sound on this album, though. Vibraphone and celesta appear, as well as delicate whispering of guitar, double bass and cornet. Most strikingly, "Undercurrent" and "Migration" feature a lullaby-like quality, thanks to their music box melodies, while the extended technique and subtle atmospheric production on "Sorg Sea II" exacerbates its inner tension.
So, yeah, there's a lot going on here, as you would expect from an album shaped by input from the likes of Efrim Menuck (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), Charles Spearin (Broken Social Scene, Do Make Say Think) and Chilly Gonzales, but even so, Bergeron made it blessedly easy to plug this thing in and simply let it wash over you. If you found anything to appreciate in Sarah Davachi's Gave In Rest, Reverie will open new universes within you. (Bonsound)