FEU FOLLET & MIINA VIRTANEN – The Icicle Lectures Vol.1

(Ex Ovo)

Looks like working in sub-human conditions brings nice side effects sometimes. While Tobias Fischer (aka Feu Follet) was intent in his writing job on the house journal of a huge German call center, he noticed repeated ads for piano music CDs. He checked them out and got in touch with Miina Virtanen, whose instrumental piece “Silence thoughts II” is at the basis of this collaboration, a very tranquil record featuring two tracks. In the first, played by Virtanen alone, an uncertain flute introduces pianistic phraseologies that border on the new ageish, very melodic and relaxing although not really saccharine-imbued (Tim Story is not too far away). The long suite that follows raises the bar quite a lot: fragments of Virtanen’s playing get processed and looped to create a mixture of minimalist ambient and mantric reverberations and arpeggios, exploiting the natural resonance of the instrument. Without throwing La Monte Young and Terry Riley out of their bed, as this music’s depth is not on par with those composers, the overtones caressing the air show respect for the audience. If you choose the right moments, this CD reveals a degree of seductive power with repeated listenings, its absence of emotional peaks notwithstanding. But you have to live in a silent place and avoid headphones, or it will make no sense at all.

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