Olivier Alary is a Montreal-based musician, who might be better known under his alias, Ensemble. Using this moniker he has released three LPs and remixed and collaborated with Bjork. Fiction / Non-Fiction collects a cross-section of Alary`s non-Ensemble work for film. Soundtracks to cinema from the U.S., Europe and China. Documentaries and drama. A selection of which I`ve listed below. Solo tracks feature Alary on guitar, and electronics. Manipulating the instrument`s resonance and bleed into drone that could pass for the sound of strings. Sometimes out on an atonal edge. Like the whistle and screech of a passing train. Sometimes in epiphany. Like Eno, Eno & Lanois` Apollo. Others feature varying numbers of players on piano, cello, violin, and viola. Real strings. Flooding employs a full orchestra. All produce music that fits alongside that of 130701 alumni, such as Max Richter and Jóhann Jóhannsson. But Alary moves his compositions away from those of his former label-mates with what the sleeve notes call “winds”. The flute, clarinet and saxophones of Erik Hove. These lend the sometimes beautiful orchestration a Noir air. Resulting in pieces akin to Michael Nyman or Wim Mertens scoring for Peter Greenaway. A Draughtsman`s Contract or The Belly Of An Architect. With Bohren And Der Club Of Gore sitting in. The violins, cellos and violas cry gypsy tears. But there is menace, anger and a threat of violence beneath the sadness. Freezing the moment before mourning exacts revenge. Paddy Considine trying on Dead Man`s Shoes. It`s there in the darker places of the record. Recalling Clark`s The Last Panthers. Complementing the selected films` shared themes. Of families divided, estranged by poverty, politics, secrets, lies and dreams.
Yung Chang`s Up the Yangtze / 2007
Anthony Green`s The Dreaming / 2008
Lixin Fan`s Last Train Home / 2010
Yung Chang`s China Heavyweight / 2012
Mathieu Denis` Carbo / 2014
Guy Edoin`s Ville-Marie / 2015