Dustin O'Halloran


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Starting with the quiet chimes and swirls of synth texture and drone of "A Great Divide," Dustin O'Halloran on Lumiere creates a world of contemplative, post-classical elegance. In a time when musicians from These New Puritans to Peter Broderick and Sylvain Chauveau thrive, little wonder that O'Halloran has found his own context. O'Halloran's piano-only pieces have all the direct beauty one could want, with such compositions as "Opus 44" embracing the solitary approach with gentle passion. The selections with further arrangements, as with the opening song, show O'Halloran's work in a more distinct light, bringing out a ghostly, melancholic glow. "Opus 43," seemingly straightforward in its piano/quartet arrangement, emphasizes careful use of space while also permitting a little rush of playful energy at one point. "We Move Lightly," with its simple but effective solitary violin in the second half of the song, further contrasts with the full string section performance of "Quartet N. 2," eschewing the then constant piano work on the album entirely. Perhaps "Fragile N. 4," its appropriate name denoting the soft blend of piano, strings, and what could almost be a music box melody at one point, is the album's high point, a quietly sweeping number that feels like it could end one of the sweetest movies ever made.

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