The multi-instrumentalist Christine Ott is one of those artists who contribute to the junction between the world of pop and the world of learned music and to breaking down the walls, through her various collaborations as well as through the aesthetics she develops in her works.
This permeability passes through the filter of minimalism and the sound effects allowed by electronics, of which she makes abundant use, common bases that facilitate this rapprochement. After a year 2020 marked by two very successful albums, one solo on ondes Martenot, Chimère, the other in a chamber music formation with the duo Snowdrops that she forms with her accomplice Mathieu Gabry, joined by the viola player Anne-Irène Kempf, Christine Ott proposes with Time to Die a "sensory journey between the world of the living and the dead".
For the first eponymous track, Christine Ott becomes a woman-orchestra (Roland Jupiter-8, Korg Monotron, percussions), assisted by Mathieu Gabry, to open a ritual with orientalist consonances, which evokes the hieratic frescoes of the acid rock of the great psychedelic period. The arrival of a ceremonial and martial timpani beat gives rhythm to the ceremony until the final arrival of the rain. This charged sound atmosphere (the splashing sound of the rain inevitably evokes at least one memory in each of us) allows the junction with the pianistic intimacy of "Brumes". All in repeated notes, heady magic formulas that wrap around themselves, swirling in an increasingly vast reverberation, the piece is carried away in a growing ardour. Landscape" begins again in stark contrast, with Christine Ott's ethereal vocals, multiplied by the recording, over a pared-down, almost mechanical piano, which clashes with the melodic vocal fluidity. Here, the musician's sparkling "Chasing Harp", haloed by subtle shimmering, reverberating, undulating and aquatic sound effects, seems to resurface like a song from a distant and buried past, which we had forgotten.
The melancholy disappears in the dark and disquieting climate of the noisy introduction to "Horizons fauves", whose textures support a few rare hesitant piano tremolos, which eventually develop into arpeggios, whose perfumes evoke a repetitive minimalism close to a Philip Glass. "Comma Opening" is a delicate solo of ondes Martenot, purified, in which the same melody is repeated endlessly with multiple variations of registers and timbres. "Miroirs" begins with simple, repetitive piano arpeggios as an increasingly spatial resonance delicately insinuates itself, followed by a slight echo, transforming the simple piano utterance into a shimmering curtain of pearls through which the sun's rays pass. Here comes the "Rain" again, and the disc concludes with a floating and deeply nostalgic climate, in which the piano is enriched by the counterpoint of ondes Martenot. Is this the end of the journey, and the final departure of the soul of the deceased to a new haven?