Benoit Delbecq: The Weight Of Light

Dan McClenaghan By

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Benoit Delbecq: The Weight Of Light
The experience of sound can incite ruminations on the laws of physics, on geometrics, time, space and spirituality. The music on pianist Benoit Debecq's The Weight Of Light—his first solo recording in more than a decade—does just that. It also conjures images of the shape of the African continent that birthed a jumble of rhythmic designs.

This outing was influenced, in part, by hanging mobiles, suspended moveable shapes that create different perspectives on shadow and light, taking the pianist into the "light has mass" concept, then sending him running with that idea a "light has weight" vision. And if that description sounds cerebral, the music itself is not. It has, in fact, a simple, childlike feeling. Folkloric and spontaneous, shadowy and angular. Primal.

Benoit acknowledges the influence of John Cage, most obviously with his piano preparations, the insertions of random material into the keys of the piano— bits of wood, erasers, flotsam he has picked up, perhaps, on morning walks—to create new sounds. Flattened, no-sustain notes interspersed with the sharp ringing of percussions from unprepared strings coexist, making dream-like soundtracks of peculiar beauty, in their explorations of different architectures jutting into the ever-shifting light of the passage of day, with the facets of those constructions reflecting different hues, at different times. All this happening inexorably, patiently. Naturally.

The idea of the "starkness of sound and space" is here. The starkness of existence itself, once language and preconceived beliefs are put aside. Music to induce a trance-like state—salubrious and cleansing.

Track Listing

The Loop of Chicago; Dripping Stones; Family Trees; Chemin sur le crest; Au fil de la parole; Anamorphoses; Havn en Havre; Pair et impair; Broken World.


Benoit Delbecq: piano.

Album information

Title: The Weight of Light | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Pyroclastic Records

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