Roxane Métayer – Éclipse des Ocelles

French musician Roxane Métayer fell in love with the violin at a young age, but her creative and musical talents don’t stop there. Métayer is also a visual artist – drawing, sculpting through the use of unique materials and elements, and, in recent years, exploring video as an outlet. Her first solo LP mirrors this artistic diversity and spontaneity with a multi-sensory and engaging work in which the violin immediately takes flight.

Soaring above it all, Métayer is able to fully explore the possibilities of the instrument, taking it to new heights. On its voyage, it absorbs and takes on an almost-exotic, paradise-drunk sound. Field recordings teleport the listener, and they soothe at the same time. The music has folklore at its core. Some of its sounds are medieval and issue forth from a plague-ridden period, and Métayer draws on the skeletal sound of traditional, centuries-old folk while gently bending its original and ancient atmosphere, transforming it into something new while retaining something of its elder roots.

The old and the new are both on display, but they never compete for the listener’s attention. The end result is something deeply exploratory and, to a certain extent, wildly experimental. Her semi-improvised and semi-plotted melodies are capable of meandering like a stream or being as solid and as resolute as a stone, and there’s no denying that the violin gives the music the feeling of older times once more returning. It could’ve emerged from the 9th Century or thereabouts, as the resulting music acts as a gate to an older era.

While it’s capable of starting life as a light, regal melody, the music often turns darker, falling into a gathering, thunderous storm. Percussion has primal roots, and in this case, the drums embrace its nature, thrumming incessantly, as if marching to war, and turning into a battle-worthy song of triumph and conquest. There’s also a lot of intelligence in the record. It may sound old, but that doesn’t mean it’s primitive. On the contrary, its aged years hide an unrivalled wisdom, deep within its strings.

A lot of its music is instinctual, etched and ingrained with strong melodies and stable, accompanying drones. But sometimes, sounds revolve and swirl in the air, gathering themselves before progressing once again. Minimal percussion, effects, and the occasional spoken-word are all able to perfume the record, making this a journey both young and ancient.

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