Benoît Delbecq

The Weight Of Light
(Pyroclastic Records 13)

The little-known fact that light has mass intrigues Paris-based pianist Benoît Delbecq. In a quest to elucidate the physical manifestation of such ineffable things, the improvisatory composer launches The Weight Of Light, his first solo piano recording in more than a decade.

Delbecq’s fascination with spatial realities and how we navigate them inspired the album’s nine tracks, each a platform for prepared piano.To record them, Delbecq placed objects of different materials (typically wood, erasers and the like) in the instrument’s strings to alter their sound. This technique—first credited to avant garde composer John Cage—stands out on brief etudes like “Chemin Sur Le Crest” and “Au Fil De La Parole.” Delbecq’s longer spontaneous compositions unfold into more detailed polymetric ruminations. The same intermittent pitched beats continue for nearly 10 minutes under a jittery solo line on “Pair Et Impair,” providing a welcome sense of unity. A repeated percussive phrase on “The Loop Of Chicago” allows for more spacious soloing in Delbecq’s right hand. And the occasional timpani-like accents on “Anamorphoses” call attention to the quiet rhythmic underpinnings of the composition’s implied harmonies.

On Sale Now
December 2022
Kenny Barron
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