Artist: LAWALREE, DOMINIQUE
Title: La Maison Des 5 Éléments
Label: Ergot/Catch Wave Ltd.
“Lawalrée has spent his whole life in Belgium. He studied at the Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie in Namur, and has composed over 450 works spread across 20 albums. First Meeting comprises music he put out on his own Editions Walrus imprint between 1978 and 1982 on three LPs, Brins DHerbes, Vis a Vis and Clandestin.
In the liner notes, he speaks on his musical interests during this period saying, "I was listening all kinds of music! The Beatles, Brian Eno… I love all of the composers of the classical avant-garde: Erik Satie, John Cage, Stockhausen, Morton Feldman, Pierre Boulez... and the city of Brussels."
Eno considered releasing Lawalrées music on his Obscure Records before it folded, but Lawalrées reach in the US was limited to titles distributed by the English composer Gavin Bryars. The influence of Satie and Eno are evident in Lawalrées song titles—"Musique Satieerique" and "Listen TO The Quiet Voice," which takes its name from an Oblique Strategies prompt.
Lawalrée now spends his time playing piano and organ in church on a weekly basis, his musical focus having turned for the liturgical over the past two decades.” - Matt McDermott. “Dominique Lawalrée (b. 1954) is a composer born and based in Brussels. First Meeting is Lawalrées first archival release to date. Culled from four different albums originally self-published on his private label Editions Walrus, circa 1978-1982, this compilation highlights the composers unique sense of ambient and minimal composition. Originally considered for release on Brian Enos Obscure Records, Lawalrées music is now no longer hidden.
In this collection, the listener finds the sounds of piano, synthesizers, percussion, wurlitzer, organ, and voice, all performed by Lawalrée. Using these tools Dominique creates miniature themes that gallop across the speakers in slow motion, stretching our normal sense of dynamics and color, effortlessly widening the stereo plane. On “Musique Satieerique,” Dominique pays homage to the influence of Satie with simple repeated piano figures and a lush field of organs and flutes. And on other selections, like “Le Maison Des 5 Elements,” he takes a more wistful, ambient approach, layering keyboard lines, and invoking found/tape sounds to create a hypnogogic world of his own. Childlike in its playfulness and surreal to the bone, the music spins like a carrousel placed inside the Rothko Chapel. Lawalrée’s sense of timbre, tone, and overarching composition is like an impression of a home movie whose charm lies in its knowledge of intimacy, shared by few. An incantation of innocence.” - Ergot/Catch Wave Ltd.