Boomkat Product Review:
This is so insanely beautiful - Akira Rabelais, Kassel Jaegaer (GRM) and Stephan Mathieu come together for this sublime 50 minute evocation of Thomas Mann’s classic novel The Magic Mountain.
Using field recordings made at Davos, Switzerland, together with recordings of the music played by the book’s main protagonist Hans Castorp - later digitally processed at the GRM in Paris - the trio skilfully extract and meditate upon the book’s metaphysical presence and themes corresponding to Mann’s philosophical pre-occupations with death, magic, and temporality, reflecting the atmosphere of Europe coming to terms with a great upheaval 100 years ago.
Its 50 minute duration renders a ghostly sequence of detached, symphonic drift eliding with subtle recordings of streams, bird calls, and nature in flow, with a slow-moving ecology of decay and rebirth succinctly summed up as “a meditation on the dissolution and persistence of the aura surrounding everything” according to one of its contributors, Kassel Jaeger. It all prompts strong parallels to be made with The Caretaker’s evocation of sequestered detachment and dementia inspired by Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining, in terms of aesthetic and atmosphere at least, but also in regards to its time-dilating appeal and their tact for tweaking and focussing on space between the notes, between the lines.