Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marsen Jules - Nostalgia

1 A Moment Of Grace
2 Nostalgia
3 Through Blood And Fire
4 Endless Whisper Of The Old Brigade
5 Shadows / Waltz
6 Sweet Sweet Longing
7 Kunderas Dream
8 Sleep My Brother, Sleep

Marsen Jules’ 2005 release “Herbstlaub” for prestigious label City Centre Offices is regarded by many to be a defining moment in the fledgling field of ‘neo-classical’ music. After performing and recording as the Marsen Jules Trio with Anwar and Jan-Phillip Alam on violin and piano, Jules returns with a new release for his own label Oktaf, entitled “Nostalgia”.

The opening drone of the album recalls the deep, solid boom of a colossal pipe organ, thundering through some dark Gothic cathedral. I use the word “recalls”, first because it is actually a low string sound, and second because no pipe organ in the world could ever sound like that. But isn’t that precisely what nostalgia is — the yearning for the return of a lost original that never really existed? Ripples without a pebble, if you will.

At the end of his short novel Amulet, Roberto Bolaño describes literature as the endless march of youth into the abyss. By doing so, he defines it as both a work of memory and as the repetition of an event for which there is no original. So it is with our organ blast, echoing throughout the centuries. A sound that never really happened, but continues to haunt nonetheless. Not a placid, melancholy ghost, but a strident, defiant one, capable of shaking ancient walls to their foundations. Bolaño’s marching youth burn with rebellion.

Jules’ music too is haunted and shaken by this ghost. Each track is an excerpt from the endless showreel of history, relentless images of marching soldiers and seething, throbbing crowds, slow-motion footage stuck on repeat. It is Jules’ extensive use of drone, delay and reverberation — in other words, the tools of repetition — that summons this ghost so effectively in tracks such as Through Blood and Fire and Endless Whisper of The Old Brigade. The delicate, flickering harp of Kundera’s Dream creates the more intimate, personal world of a recurring dream, one that comes back to confound again and again without ever giving up its puzzle. The gentle relief of album closer Sleep My Brother, Sleep pierces the darkness like a shaft of sunlight through a stained glass window, a moment of peace at the end of a sometimes harrowing liturgical

1 comment:

  1. hxxp://

    thanks to leama