I can think of few musicians of any genre making instrumental music as involving as Matthew Cooper’s ambient compositions under the name Eluvium. And that remains true with each release, even as he keeps changing his approach in terms of instrumentation. The guitarless style on Copia might not be as instantly disarming a change as when he played one solo piano on An Accidental Memory in the Case of Death, but that’s mostly because he’s managed to maintain the same general impression—waves of sound washing over you, evolving a memory in a way that’s both breathtaking and emotional—without the previously omnipresent guitar. Here it’s mainly organ, piano and synthesizers, and the result is as impressive as ever. The expansive feeling to compositions like “After Nature” and “Ostinato” makes it easy to imagine these as symphonic works, to hear them played by an orchestra without much change, which is a remarkable thing to say about music created entirely by one person. The church-organ intro to that latter piece gives it an elegiac tone, one furthered by titles like “Seeing You Off the Edges”, “Requiem on Frankfort Ave” and “Repose in Blue”. But throughout there’s also that unmistakable feeling of time standing still, even while a melody is progressing and the music is moving us internally.
// Notes from the Road
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