DARREN COPELAND – Perdu Et Retrouvé

(Empreintes DIGITALes)

Born in Bramalea (Canada) in 1968, Darren Copeland is yet another fine specimen from that breed of young electroacoustic composers who are gracing our ears in recent times, thanks to Empreintes DIGITALes’ interest in opening new vistas on a domain that has often been risking to become something of a joke, hyper-intellectual nerds creating unwholesome pastiches by clicking on a mouse. The audio DVD shows this artist’s various approaches quite exhaustively, the music ranging from – can we say that? – “traditional” collages of voices and concrete sounds (the first track “They’re trying to save themselves” was composed for a commemorative radio broadcast for the first anniversary of 11/9, while in “On schedule” a computer triggers train-derived samples) to fascinating abstract soundscapes full of glittering lights and dark corners, comparable to certain electronic digressions from the 70s in a way, which reveal much of the composer’s autonomous growth. It should be noted in fact that Copeland arrived to these results after having started his career without any particular instrumental training; then, in the 80s, he accidentally discovered that analog synthesizers were something that interested him plenty. This led to acousmatic composition and sound art, hence various important collaborations in this area. Moderate enough and deeply enigmatic at one and the same time, the fruit of Copeland’s creativity gives some food for thought also by leaving ample spaces between the different scenes. It is one of those records where external environmental infiltrations mix nicely with an interesting per se amalgam of chiaroscuro images and sudden motions. Nothing that could really be defined “transcendental”, yet all the pieces are nicely crafted, indeed encouraging attention. “Perdu et retrouvé” deserves several careful tries before allowing us to understand its remote secrets.


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