[reviews] afe097lcd
mathieu ruhlmann: the earth grows in each of us

the cookshop []
blog, usa, december 2007

The main concept behind this album has got less to do with the four Greek classical elements (see Zavoloka's "Viter"), and more to do with "the regeneration of life cycle". It's something that struck Ruhlmann quite heavily, as he recently experienced both the arrival of his first son and the fear of losing his beloved sister, who barely survived a near-death accident.

The shorter compositions refer to Mathieu's year of birth in terms of duration (one, nine, seven and six minutes respectively) while the three-part suite "Holding Light" lasts 30 minutes (in 2006 Ruhlmann was in fact 30) and it's divided into three aural snapshots of 10 minutes each.

Numerology aside, I'll have to say I really sympathize with both the concept and the title at work, and even more with how they're musically approached. Good music itself means, more than often to me, a process of regeneration, without removal of the part being regenerated, but capable of transcending it - same as in same old human nature.

So then, isn't it only natural that music actually dealing with so-called "regeneration" will have the reality around you slip in a hermetic (parallel?) dimension, enforcing self-abandonment while in fact serving communion, continuity? Immersion, insulation or the smothering of the bond between the "you" and the "world" can be amazing tools for raising positive awareness.

That said, the fact that these 5 pieces have grown out of a distinctive theme - the one of "growing" - gives them a layer of depth not often encountered, and the touch with which Ruhlmann treats these sound assemblages always calls upon each one's sensitive imagination.

[The Cookshop]