Orla Wren and Cyril Secq produced this collaboration over a great distance, between France and Scotland, but managed to do so without sacrificing the intimate feel of this subtle music. Branches is composed of acoustic guitar, Richard Skelton-eque violin, and assorted field recordings, all processed and tweaked into delicate shapes. On Dronarivm.
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- Branches by Cyril Secq / Orla Wren
8/10 Jamie Staff review, 29 March 2016
Years in the planning, "Branches" is a collaborative work between Cyril Secq (Astrid) and Orla Wren (Tui). Cyril's guitar forms the bones of this multi-textured work, with Orla freely weaving electronic sounds, field recordings and organic instrumentation around it in a carefully arranged way. Guitar melds into violin and cello on the lightest of summer breezes. The effects are remarkably calming, evoking images of ages-old woodland; gnarled trees with their branches wrapped around each other and inextricably interwoven with tangled ivy. Which is no mean feat when you consider I'm listening to this in a grey concrete block on the edge of semi-industrial South Leeds.
It is nonetheless a luminous work, suffused with crepuscular rays of sunlight. Orla's electroacoustic sounds create a gauzy veil, rather than overwhelming or obstructing and rarely hinting at the briefest of walls of white noise. There is a clear sense of life here, with the presence of insects; crickets, buzzing bees and chirping birdsong emerge through the long, golden lit grassland. One for an evening in May, perhaps. Summer is coming, I can smell it.
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