Erased Tapes release impeccable records: challenging, diverse and almost always beautiful. They first introduced the work of astonishing Ukrainian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk with the album ‘Corollaries’, in 2013. Technically reminiscent of the great minimalists Reich and Glass, it was closer in tone and nebulous spirituality of fellow Eastern European Arvo Part.
The ‘continuous’ music technique that he uses is to play very fast and without breaks, so that the simple codas he employs become a swirling miasma of unceasing sound. This set doesn’t entirely deviate from this philosophy, but it’s slower, calmer, more condensed and melodic.
Composed of three tracks, the first two of which were written and played on an upright piano at a friend’s home, this collection is imbued with intimacy and airiness. The longer closer ‘Butterfly’ is written for children he observed listening to him play in a Cologne hotel lobby. He says of the memory: “Like butterflies that never fly in a straight line but always carry their loveliness with them in their multi-angled paths.”
These are gossamer-light arrangements, intangible and very pretty; like shimmering silk slips hanging on a washing line, rather than the intricate, dense tapestries of his previous work. As such, they are immediate delights, but with the insubstantiality of a soufflé.
Words: Anna Wilson
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