Boomkat Product Review:
Fiction / Non Fiction is a wonderful debut album of quietly inquisitive and poetic compositions from Olivier Alary - the Montreal-based Frenchman with form for Rephlex (as Ensemble) and Björk (production on Medulla and Voltaïc) - offering an absorbing suite of instrumental soundtrack works produced alongside Johannes Malfatti and various members of the Montreal firmament for some ten arthouse films from the last decade.
FatCat’s modern classical outpost 130701 play willing host to this compilation of Alary’s film work, sequencing an hour of music from the Frenchman’s past five years of soundtrack compositions. There is a clear and soothing sense of flow to ‘Fiction / Non-Fiction’ despite the fact it’s been pulled from a variety of film sources, dates and locations, and this is obviously down to Alary’s talent as a composer and musician.
Commencing with a pair of tracks from Alary’s contribution to Yung’s Chang’s award-winning 2012 boxing documentary ‘China Heavyweight,’ the album retains an evocative poise as he eases through an assemblage of instruments. Nestled in amidst the soundtrack work are two compositions Alary recorded specifically for this album that further enlighten us to his unerring instrumental skill. Pulses (For Percussion) is a sumptuous exercise in polyrhythmic harmony using gong, marimba and vibraphone whilst Pulses (For Winds) works similar wonders with an array of woodwind.
It definitely recalls a whole host of experimental works from the world famous Montreal scene, but also dovetails with the recent brace of scores by Jóhann Jóhannsson as well as Stars Of The Lids’ solemn airs, whilst the composer also finely incorporates nods to Julia Wolfe, Julius Eastman, and the GRM within his uniquely coruscating and tenderly decayed post-tonal timbres.