SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU - Un Autre Décembre - CD - FatCat - 2003

After two superb releases under his own name, many electro post-rock releases with Micro :Mega and two fantastic albums with Arca, Sylvain Chauveau is back with his third solo album. Being an autodidactic, Chauveau experiments with music his desire to get as close as possible to pure beauty. Year after year, his music gets even more quieter and minimalist, trying to find the way to hear the sound of silence. "Un Autre Décembre" is Chauveau's first album released on a label that is not based in France, and it is certainly one of his best release to date. These elegant, only piano-based compositions are the result of Sylvain Chauveau tastes for early 20th Century chamber music composers such as Satie, Debussy or Fauré, mixed with his influences of electronic and post-punk culture. The result is absolutely brilliant, with astonishing instrumental compositions that gets an idea of the beauty of silence. Of this release, Chauveau comments :"This is the most silent record I've ever made. On "Un Autre Décembre", my ambition of reaching an evident simplicity in my music is brought to its apex. Back to the essential, to the naked echoes of the main instrument in Western music : the piano. "Un Autre Décembre" is also my sincere tribute to a very important figure in my work : French cinematographer Robert Bresson ( 1907 - 1999). His sober aesthetics and his ascetic discipline has inspired me so much for the past three years : the record could have been subtitled "For Robert Bresson". In his "Notes of cinematography", Bresson wrote some principles that I was searching for without being able to formulate them so clearly : -"Make sure you have tried everything that goes through immobility and silence"-. "It took me eight months of work and reflection to reach the right tone on "Un Autre Décembre". As the recording advanced, I slowly realized that I had to strip those pieces down to the bone. I finally threw out the strings arrangements and kept only what was absolutely useful. And this record is the work I'm the most proud of."

An essential release that is of course highly recommended !!!

Stéphane F.
Summer 2003

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