Either/OAR

Difficult not to remain charmed, if not entirely mesmerized, by Tomoko Sauvage’s music for water, porcelain bowls and hydrophones, delicately represented by the 40 minutes of Ombrophilia. This is a model case in which, rather than looking at the technical aspect of things, one should simply let the sound influence the spirit. There’s both structure and rational process at work, yet they’re not as significant as the warm luminescence that these soothingly resonant pieces irradiate. With the exception of “Mylapore”, which uses metal wire to produce a growingly intricate ringing texture (imagine three or four superimposed gamelans amidst a hundred bicycle bells) and the minimal-yet-powerful “Jalatarangam Revisited”, the tracks essentially exploit the ear-cuddling fluid shifts generated by the hydrophones, that typical wavering of moving waters within a pot that we’ve all experienced while helping mum to wash the dishes. The two chapters of “Amniotic Life” and “Raindrop Exercise” give the idea of different kinds of bell towers, the tolling modified by a morphing acoustic lattice quietly wrapping their quintessence. But the album’s high point is “Making Of A Rainbow” – a touching, carillon-like wonder of a piece whose qualities are summed up in a single adjective: vulnerable.

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