Mind Music #1: Tomoko Sauvage - Musique Hydromantique
Water is a beautiful if occasionally frightening thing. It is practically invisible yet we can see it. It is formless yet with the aid of wind and other outside influences we can hear it. It can kill us and sustain us. On Musique Hydromantique we hear a recording of music created with water and in all it’s beautiful avant-garde construction there is much joy to be found as well as discomfort.
Indeed, it would be better think of this recording as an audio installation rather than music in it’s commonly accepted form. It flows like, appropriately, a small stream or brook hidden in a tranquil woodland especially in the way the recording doesn't seem to have any clear end goal in its composition and is perhaps comparable to spiritual jazz in the manner it weaves along from sonic palette to sonic palette.
The reverberation that runs throughout, sometimes to ear bursting levels depending on your age, is at first jarring in it’s apparent aimlessness, akin to industrial noise perhaps, but repeated listens find more comfort than discomfort. The fact it is water based sound is all the more fascinating raising this to a level more artful than most ambient music.
Singing bowls are found in many similar recordings but on this occasion feel very different in their resonance, almost alien in some ways. If music has emotion, then what is found here is a raw expression of the sound of the element that we cannot afford to be without. Perhaps you could describe this record as meditative but to this writer's mind it operates on a higher level than purely meditative practise. In many ways, this music takes life itself and pushes its most uncomfortable and raw aspects into your face unashamedly with a wordless sonic metaphor for the journey itself. There are moments of beauty, intense emotion and aimlessness as well.
This is the kind of music that you will either find incredibly beautiful or incredibly unnerving and there really should be more like it to challenge the mind and keep the body perfectly still.
Musique Hydromantique by Tomoko Sauvage is available now in various formats via Shelter Press.