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Gilles Omont - 2010 - "Home Made"

(61:57, 'Omont')

TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Funky Ouverture 3:02
2.  Escales 3:07
3.  In Progress 4:10
4.  Retenue 2:25
5.  Django 4:10
6.  Etale 2:28
7.  Vers le Large 3:39
8.  Traversee 4:22
9.  Maree Basse 2:44
10. China Games 1:38
11. Elynostra 2:38
12. Poder del Benja 2:30
13. Reggae Flow 2:04
14. Good Weather 3:30
15. Zork Storm 5:50
16. Club House Del Mar 2:50
17. Turbulences 3:50
18. Lac de Villarica 4:20
19. Classic Final 2:40	


Gilles Omont  vocals; all instruments

Prolusion. French composer and musician Gilles OMONT was active in local bands back in the 70's, if I understand his biography correct, but later moved on to other fields more or less related to the craft of music creation. But in recent years the tools made available due to the development in information technology tempted him back to the art of music creation. The end result was self-released in 2009 in the shape of the aptly named production "Home Made".

Analysis. It is rather impressive what one man is able to create all by himself these days. If you know how to use the tools available, have a talent for composing music and know what you want to achieve, there's really no limit to what you can manage to create all by yourself, which this strictly home-made production by Gilles Omont documents quite nicely. Those looking for their next adventurous progressive rock escapade may not be swayed by this effort, as it is distinctly electronic in nature and often verges on the borderlines of what many would describe as new age as well. And while this is an album that does take its listeners on a musical journey, it is one where the contemplative territories are visited just as often as realms more spirited, and with a certain emphasis on beauty to boot. While a CD broken down into 19 tracks may give the appearance of a multitude of different musical landscapes visited, "Home Made" is actually one composition, where the track listings indicate the places in it where major developments occur. And it is also a piece of music that most likely would have been well suited to an orchestra strengthened with "modern" instruments. Many parts could indeed have been performed solely by a classical orchestra rather than the digitized versions of the strings, flutes and brass utilized on this production. But even the relatively simplified sound of digital instruments comes across well if arranged in a proper manner, which is very much the case at hand here. And rather than treading in the footsteps of people like Isao Tomita, Omont adds in many flavors of modern contemporary music to his creation. Opening passage Funky Ouverture adds some neat, jazz-tinged bass textures to the proceedings and later on Django is, unsurprisingly, something of a tribute to the late and great Jean Reinhardt. Modern electronic rhythms and eastern-inspired folk music textures are applied in an effective combination on Traversee, while the stylistic backbone of Reggae Flow should be rather self-evident. And in between these ventures, and others of a more distinctly digital classical nature, there are also moments dominated by a more tranquil nature, like the stunningly beautiful movement Maree Basse, where slowly fluctuating digital strings underscore a leading, fragile piano motif to good effect, the latter very much residing within the realms of new age music, I presume, unobtrusive and unchallenging, but also ample proof of the beauty of simplicity. There's also room for segments of a darker nature, the bombastic and slightly ominous textures of Zork Storm, nicely contrasted by lighter tones from the acoustic guitar in the middle parts, and the almost Wagnerian sounds of Classic Final as another example of that. But most of all this is a free-flowing, hard-to-define piece of digital work, with references to classical, symphonic and new age as the most distinct, richly arranged more often than not, and frequently and liberally spiced with elements from a multitude of different stylistic expressions.

Conclusion. Defining the interest scope of a CD is a highly subjective art, and this isn't one of the easiest of productions to do so with. I suspect that something of a core audience for this production would be people intrigued by the works of people like Isao Tomita, but more due to the classical symphonic tendencies that are something of a red thread throughout this creation rather than similarities in stylistic expression as such. In addition, liberal-minded fans of sophisticated new age-oriented music should also find this CD to be worthwhile exploring.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: January 20, 2010
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