Label: Atypeek Music
Release: Obscure Clarity
Date: November 10th, 2023
Directed by : Thomas Blanchard & Sébastien Guérive
Lighting By: Michaël Griffon
Choreographed By: Vanessa Leprince
Today, I’m happy to spend a day in the company of a French composer and sound designer, Sébastien Guérive, whom I first discovered a few years ago with his release of Omega Point (Atypeek Music, 2021) – see an HC track premiere of “Bellatrix“. The album was subsequently hailed as one of the best of the year, and I have gladly exhibited Guérive’s gorgeous studio and his compositional process. This November, he returns with a brand new album, Obscure Clarity, conceptually offered as “the soundtrack for a film about the essential role of light in the development of life.” This central theme is explored through panoramic soundscapes, soaring synths, and textural quiet piano notes, which are all whisked into action by a driving, imperative beat. There’s more to say about the album, but today, I’m giving you a peek, not just with the single, which is released this Friday, September 29th, but also with an exclusive video premiere, shining a spotlight on the main theme. I also want to take a moment and recognize the immense amount of work that went into the production of this video, from direction shared with Thomas Blanchard to light design by Michaël Griffo, from choreography by Vanessa Leprince to cinematography and performance of all the featured dancers – the entire package is clearly a labour of love. I wouldn’t have showcased it otherwise.
The Prana video addresses the question of obscure clarity and the essential role of light in the development of life. It also questions the place of the individual and his singularity, as well as his place within the collective. For the sequence of faces, we called on several generations of artists. We used special projectors to sculpt the faces and create a sense of mystery. Then comes the moment when the singularities meet in an intergalactic setting from which light emerges, attracting the bodies as if by magnetism. A choreography is created between the bodies and the luminous movements. Once the link has been established, the bodies connect to form a unity, animated by the energy of light. The finale is a celebration of the life of a world just born, thanks to the arrival of light.
— Sébastien Guérive
In a message of hope, we created a dark film that is highlighted by point light. It reminds me of an old video game reference. Heart of Darkness. As with almost all my previous work. There is a connection to organic art. A ratio of scale of sizes also by mixing inks and stones filmed in macro (100mm) and dancers filmed with a wide angle lens (18mm). I see the Prana clip as an indirect sequel to the Omega II.
— Thomas Blanchard
Once again, the single for Prana is out this Friday, September 29th. The full album, Obscure Clarity, is out on November 10, 2023, available as a digital release and on a limited edition 12″ black vinyl, which you can pick up directly from Bandcamp.