Music Review// CFCF – Music For Objects

There is a great tradition in music composition of taking a grand theme and creating a sonic storyline to match it. Canadian electronica composer CFCF had done this in a micro scale for Music For Objects, in which he presents eight compositions named after domestic objects that may or may not tell a tale.

Opening with the delicate keystrokes and melodies of Glass it strikes that you really can evoke the idea of an object through sound alone. With its crystal clear melodies and bass undertones you walk across a delicate wire, with every sip feeling as fresh as the last and whatever the contents of the glass are you know that they will be well worth your time – as this composition is. A good intro then, but what about the rest?

The next object we explore is Bowl, and you get deep, swirling tone in the piece that perhaps shows the true depths of the object, it’s intrinsic value perhaps. Again we get that sense of wonder, ever changing ideas in one domestic object. This is followed by the oriental flavoured melodies of Turnstile, an exploratory composition that evokes that feeling of setting off on a journey with some trepidation but still determined to make the most of what you find.

But if the Turnstile brings unknown quantities of wonder then the Camera is more cautious, peering from a more downbeat composition echoing with the fall of theoretical rain and grey skies. Perhaps the camera is looking for the perfect picture – perhaps there is no perfect image in this world. All that we know, Camera is not a bright composition, instead looking inward at the darkness that images can portray without ever knowing they do so.

Another allusion to exploration, this time more out and out electronic orientated, comes in Keys with its key and brass foreground bubbling with a nervous wanderlust, eyes observing the big mean streets of a city in wonder or confusion. Perhaps the quietest moment comes in Perfume, a solitary piano solo opening the track before bringing in subtle keyboard effects to make a quiet moment of reflection in the midst of the musical exploration.

Closers Lamp and Ring take the tone to a more settled one. The melodies are more domestic and warm. The music (if that is indeed the main ‘character’ here) is introspective but not imbued with too much darkness. It would be wrong to describe this closing section as comfortable because it isn’t – there’s still a nervous itch to the background ideas and you still could be in any place, be it musical or geographical. 

But as the opening piano bars of Ring confirm it’s a journey’s end that is necessary. This is a cycle of songs that makes you think and impresses in its ability to make you imagine just what your own journey might be. Certainly, though, this would be an excellent companion to that journey.

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan.

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