[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
Hello again, fellow travelers, we’re on his road once more. What road is this, you ask? One which has for many many years now taken us to places of stark contrasts and devastating beauty. Against a continual background of silence, Christophe Terrettaz has composed his pieces with only one perceptible destination in mind: that of his listeners.
When an artist has been at it this long and has such a singular focus it would be easy to fall back on past achievements or even begin the inevitable, terminal cycle of back catalog niche exploitation; this is one who actually keeps his work in print, having no desire to try re-creating eras or moods he’s already exhaustively explored. Unlike so much of the underground we have an individual who has the ability to bring forth new works which not only continue his legacy but also over time become expansive universes of their own wherein those who listen become part of the proceedings.
‘Dans Mon Monde’ (In My World) drives this point home quite thoroughly, with his stately arrangements being par for the course. We’re taken across immense distances in time; the twin constants of memory and desire make their presence felt as they have so many times in what he’s put out. The key difference is in the way he’s playing. There’s much more melody being presented on this record, with the sometimes errant notes he likes to throw in having been replaced by tangential explorations culled from random scales performed in keys which seem to be more than content to upend everything without any explanation.
Ozymandias are a very tactile experience, no vocals are present (he has two collaborations for those who want them). One has nothing to guide them except the pieces themselves. I still am not entirely sure what it is that he’s doing at his piano after all this time. Is he chronicling life experiences? Are the records he gives us the full picture or are they mere snippets of a range far grander than one’s grey matter can take in. Or is it a matter of literal interpretation? Is he merely breathing life into every facet of Shelley’s enigmatic poem.
I’ve never encountered another fan of his music, even after two decades and yet they’re out there. I suspect we play these releases and in the midst of his grandiose, yet strangely minimal compositions we sense he’s communicating in the only way he can. These entries he makes are little more than breadcrumbs to lure us further away from where we feel safe; farther and farther into the unknown we’re drawn, listen long enough and you’ll let go of it all.
I’ve covered him twice before and each time the mystery only deepens.