18 Yves LeveilleL’Échelle du Temps
Yves Léveillé
Effendi Records FND165 (propagandedistribution.com/products/yves-leveille-lechelle-du-temps-cd)

Yves Léveillé’s L’Échelle du temps is an exploration of form and interactivity; one that makes patient use of its parts while laying down a profound mosaic of musical lineage. As a writer of chamber music, the emphasis Léveillé gives to the lower voices is particularly notable, allowing for a unifying sense of melodicism throughout the ensemble. 

After the piano ostinato is established in the title track, the first statement of the main theme is given to Étienne Lafrance’s upright bass, which creates a mesmerizing effect aided by the fullness of tone. The piece itself takes Léveillé’s simple rhythmic figure and stretches it across eight engaging minutes, with each instrument responding while the others operate in the margins. Repetition is a tool Léveillé uses to great effect compositionally, getting mileage out of a handful of set ideas largely by never allowing the music to stagnate dynamically. Each restatement functions as a recontextualization, perhaps with slightly different notes to complement a new arrangement of moving parts. The passages have incredible cohesion, and no element of the overall product is given precedence over the others. This is in part due to Léveillé’s arranging choices; as well, the mixing has quite the feeling of intimacy to it, with every aspect constantly at the forefront. 

While much of L’Échelle du temps sounds hypnotically consonant and interlinked, dissonance is equally embraced. This symmetry finds a perfect equilibrium constantly, but especially on Encodage 2.0.

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