electrocd

Review

François Couture, AllMusic, January 11, 2007

Darren Copeland’s second album for the Quebec label empreintes DIGITALes offers a strong collection of short pieces. Unlike many electroacoustic composers, Copeland focuses on concise works developing neatly-defined ideas. Perdu et retrouvé consists in eight such pieces, between four and 13 minutes in duration. Lying halfway between Hildegard Westerkamp’s and Jonty Harrison’s aesthetics, his approach relies strongly on the soundscape. A good number of these pieces evoke the outdoors or have been developed from sounds found outside. One highlight in that vein is On Schedule, assembled from 27 treated sound events, one for each train station from London Waterloo (UK) to Moskva Byelorusski (Russia). It is not a collage, but a clever transmutation of sound matter into something that retains the spirit of its source while gaining in flexibility and poetic value. The same alchemy is at play in On a Strange Road, which takes us deep inside the thoughts of a car passenger. Transportation remains the main paradigm throughout the album, with train sounds, boat sounds, and plane sounds popping up everywhere (with particularly evocative results in Always Becoming Somebody Else), and the unheard yet ominous presence of the airplanes in They’re Trying to Save Themselves, a piece using the testimony of an eyewitness broadcasted by CNN immediately following the tragedy of 9/11. That opening piece aside, Perdu et retrouvé is a rather calm and peaceful album — not the kind that shakes you and moves you, like some of Francis Dhomont or Michel Chion’s works, but one that gently takes you on a tour of various altered soundscapes. This album came out on DVD and contains 48kHz/24bit MLP surround 5.1 and stereo DVD-Audio tracks, surround 5.1 (DTS and Dolby) and stereo (Dolby) DVD-Video tracks, and MP3 files on a DVD-ROM partition.

… a rather calm and peaceful album…