« Following on from the first part of his “retro-futurist” trilogy, Chapter II of “A Reassuring Elsewhere” sees Phillippe Petit continuing his journey into early electronics and stripped down classical music, with one eye on the uncanny present. What follows is a warm, angular, comforting trip through frequencies both familiar and abstract: Neoclassical dynamics meet the high modernist austerity of Schoenberg, but bathed in sunlight.
Using a prepared piano soundboard, Petit engages the instrument with a variety of objects – clothes pegs, tissues, wood, plastic, rubber and other materials to create curious cacophonies and playful interludes. Little sonic animals join the party on Part 5, along with a Nepalese bowl and an EMS Synthi A analogue synthesizer, creating a space-age Carnival of the Animals to emulate Saint-Saëns – will there be zoos on Mars?
Haunted by the ghost of communications past on “Interlude”, as old telephones ring helplessly, we slide into Part 6, where a Daxophone encounters a Buchla Easel K and Serge 73/75 analogue synthesizers and the spidery, demented insides of a piano. Mournful, elephantine sounds beam out from radio towers as something skitters across metal strings and insects tap woodenly into the night. Part 7 turns inwards, where the soothing tones of the vibraphone mingle with a prepared piano soundboard and detuned drum punches. A groundswell of strings of all kinds, frequencies from distant realms combine to create an aquatic crescendo before everyone bounces off home. » Gabriel Prokofiev / OCT 2023