Eluvium – Piano Works

Label: Temporary Residence Limited ‎– TRR299LP-C1
Format: 3 × Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition, Iridescent Mother Of Pearl
Limited to 1000 copies. Includes Pianoworks Vol. 2 (new recordings of classic Eluvium piano pieces).

This arrived in the post yesterday. I pre-ordered from Rough Trade, and then saw the exact same version in my local record shop on Saturday. I didn’t know it was going to be there of course and the only extra expense is the P & P.

Eluvium is one guy, Matthew Cooper, who is based in Portland, Oregon. His first release was sixteen years ago and there has been a steady release schedule in the intervening years of ostensibly ambient material with some oddities along the way. If you’ve not already seen it I talked previously about his 2016 release False Readings On and it was one of my Albums of 2016.

Most of Eluviums previous releases are centred around piano but little of it is just piano, as we have here in Pianoworks. I am not qualified to pass any comment on the piano playing, in relation to style, technique, difficulty etc. But I am qualified to say that I like it. It’s gentle, simple at times but it is music for times when that is exactly what you want. If you fancy a pogo in your living room then this isn’t the album you’d choose but for reflective moments, quiet moments when you have time to breathe, Pianoworks is an ideal companion.

I just looked at the Bandcamp page and read this, which seems absolutely right: Inspired by the quiet thoughts and solitary observations of children – and the evolution/dissolution of that ephemeral, uncorrupted wonder of simple joy – Pianoworks begins with a song about children’s piano lessons, and culminates with an etude driven by the struggle to hold onto innocence and imagination as adulthood settles in. The record’s dramatic simplicity in both execution and expression is with purpose: Cooper wants the music to be simple enough to inspire children and novices to play, and the concept simple enough to resonate regardless of age or experience.

The album is a double on mother of pearl vinyl and very nice it is too:

As mentioned right at the beginning, it comes with a third disc of previously released but re-recorded tracks, one of which is ‘An Accidental Memory in Case Of Death’, which I have been listening to pretty regularly for over a decade now.

The full list of re-recorded tracks is down below:

It’s a nice package, with downloads as well, although I never use those and if the mood is right in your world, I’d recommend giving it a listen.