Stephen O'Malley - Eternelle Idolle 2xLP
Label: Shelter Press
This double LP documents Stephen O'Malley's Eternelle Idole, his score for Paris-based choreographer Gisele Vienne's artistic ice-skating piece of the same name. Comprising 47 minutes of music spread over three sides and enhanced by an elegant and chilling photoset by Estelle Hanania, the album features familiar O'Malley collaborators Steve Moore, Daniel O'Sullivan, Peter Rehberg, Jesse Sykes, Bill Herzog, and Randall Dunn. Recorded between Brest, France; Seattle, Washington; and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the score sees O'Malley taking several creative detours, utilizing modular synthesizers and programming as key elements for much of the composition. Eerie keyboard and piano phrases draw a white, monochrome stage for a young girl's stark and emotive elegy. Clavichord and guitars weave through the darkness, supported by Sykes's prophetic voice. Mirroring the score, Hanania's 16 photographs of the choreographic piece display the grace, sustain, geometry, telemetry, distance, and perfection of ice-skating, as well as possible falls and gloomy shadows. Metal against ice; tights and knots; spirals and scratches; shouts and winds – field recordings mold a crispy atmosphere while instruments draw lakes, ice skating rings, cosmic belts, and a terrestrial cloud passage and eventual landing platform for a flying saucer. 160-gram white double LP with 16-page, 30 x 30 cm, saddle-stitched, full-color booklet in 350-gram sleeve with gloss varnish. Edition of 500.