Pierre Yves-Mace is a remarkably young (born in 1980) French composer. Faux-Jumeaux is his first release, though he has been on the scene for sometime as pro-rock improviser, and as the composer of many works for theater and film. All of Mace's works are for small ensembles that employ myriad percussion instruments -- vibes, cymbals, gongs, chimes, etc., as well as harp, flute, saxophones, and pianos. The first offering here, "Evocation," is based on the notion of distorting acoustics sounds that, by their very nature, are distorted anyway. Here a harp floats above a trio of gongs and chimes, bells and vibes before being run through a sampler and mirrored back on themselves in sometimes actual,, sometimes random, sequence. The dynamic range is spectacular in that as the more structurally beautiful sounds interact with the sampler, they can explode into fits of near chaos, but never become harsh or cold. On "Defense de Voir Au-dedans," Mace employs a cello to very gradually ease the work in, lulling the listener into its spare but rich tapestry of colors; three-fourths of the way through, a rupture happens, boring out the cello's heretofore necessary appearance and replacing it with dissonance, fragments of structure, and seemingly free improvisation. The piece picks its way through again and changes with the help of the marimba, flute, and piano, and moves into the margins once more, where sound and silence entwine, adroitly offering space, texture, and serenity, despite the tag ends of each measure. This is a very auspicious debut by somebody who knows what it is he wants and pleases us to no end.
by Thom Jurek