What was up Stephen O’Malley’s sleeve this time, you might ask about the co-architect behind Sunn O)))? A ballet. Yes, if you can believe it, this does score a ballet and there’s film that goes along with this. I can’t speak to the film but from what can be heard on the score, it’s definitely eerie. “L’étang // Aurore Theme” sounds like it could’ve been in The Warriors. Its brooding, darkling synthesizers drone and not until the very end of the song do we get a semblance of organic material. The second set of songs “Eternal Idol // Arrival of the Trainer” waxes on the clavichord and a defeated chorus led by Jesse Sykes. Around the five minute mark, it more or less dives in to more drone territory and white noise. The ending set of tracks amplifies what we heard in the first track to enormous heights and it sputters/fades in to quiet. Listen to Eternelle Idole below via the Spotify player and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details


September 2015 marks the release of Stephen O’Malley’s ‘Eternelle Idole’ (SP060), long awaited documentation of the score of Paris based choreographer Gisèle Vienne's eponymous artistic ice skating choreographic piece of the same name.

Composed of 47 minutes of music spread over 2 vinyls and enhanced by a elegant and chilling photoset by Estelle Hanania, the record features some - familiar - O’Malley collaborators such as Steve Moore, Daniel O'Sullivan, Peter Rehberg, Jesse Sykes, Bill Herzog & Randall Dunn.

Recorded between Brest (FR), Seattle (USA), and Rotterdam (NL), the score sees Stephen O’Malley taking several creative detours, utilizing modular synthesizers and programming as key elements for much of the composition. And while a 3 minutes hole will extract the music from any temporality, emerging eerie phrases of keyboards and piano draw a white monochrome stage for a young girl’s stark and emotive elegy.
Not to worry then… clavichord and guitars weave the darkness, supported by Jesse Sykes prophetical voice, summoning the utter walls of the threats from the external world.

Mirroring the music score, Estelle Hanania presents 16 photographs from the choreographic piece, enlightening how much ice-skating can be about grace and sustain, geometry, telemetry, distance and perfection, as well as possible falls, gloomy shadows.

Metal against ice, tights and knots, spirals and scratches, shouts and winds : field recordings mold a crispy atmosphere while instruments draws some ovals shapes such as lakes, ice skating ring, cosmos belt… and a terrestrial cloud passage and eventual landing platform for a flying saucer.

— Out on September 4th via Shelter Press on white 3 sided double LP with a 16 page 30cm full color booklet.

Price $27.4

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