Trio Zéphyr with Steve Shehan: Sauve tes Ailes (RJAL 397012)


Trio Zéphyr
Steve Shehan
Sauve tes Ailes

Delphine Chomel violin and vocal
Marion Diaques viola and vocal
Claire Menguy cello and vocal
Steve Shehan percussion
Recorded on August 9-11, 2010 and March 7-9, 2011 at Studios La Buissonne, Pernes-les-Fontaines
Mixed and mastered on September 8, 2011 by Gérard de Haro and Nicolas Baillard at Studios La Buissonne
Release date: June 12, 2012

Trio Zéphyr returns for its second La Buissonne collaboration, now joined by percussionist Steve Shehan. Their previous effort for the label sadly left me feeling high and dry, but in this instance I am happy to say the trio has achieved something magical. From the first notes of the title track, we are transported to sound-world of personal integrity, organic landscaping, and locomotive transport. The sense of purpose is palpable in the playing, the writing, and the recording. And while before the singing felt strangely disjointed from its surroundings, now it is fully integrated. The gentle chant, for example, that threads “Taladjinata” is alive like the very earth, and Shehan’s clay drum adds just the right amount of ether to remind us of the sky above.

The focus, however, is on the trio’s evocative sense of structure. In the framed cello of “La Barque” and “L’Euphrate” we encounter portraits of time personified. The latter’s churning currents and sostenuto denouement pictures our lives as the moon reflects upon water. The mournful singing of “3 Cycles” weaves a song for all humanity, rising and falling in tune with the sun. The most dreamlike passages are reserved for “Perle,” in which sand and storm are calmed by the touch of peace-loving hands. From “Indella” to “Grenade,” the trio examines trauma under a melodic microscope, so that by the time we lay our heads down in “Luna,” we can be sure of having come full circle, laden with the burdens of those who have no voice to be heard.

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