Dominique Lawalrée - First Meeting

Dominique Lawalrée — First Meeting

Ergot Records / Catch Wave, 2017

First Meeting is a compilation of beautiful, playful experimental music from a supremely weird Belgian composer. It contains a selection of tracks from Lawalrée’s first four albums, all self-released between 1978 and 1982. Pianos, synthesizers, Wurlitzers, percussion, organs and winds spiral and coalesce in pieces that are at once minimal and intricate. The promo site describes the pieces as “hypnogogic.” I had to google it — it has to do with the threshold of sleep, that indeterminate liminal space between consciousness and unconsciousness. Accurate? Maybe? I don’t know. It’s certainly a provocative characterization. Listen for yourself and find out if it suits the work.

RIYD: Erik Satie, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Suzanne Ciani, Bing & Ruth


1. Post Scriptum — Droney. Feels like an accordion player having a panic attack.

2. Musique Satieerique — A tribute to modernist giant Erik Satie. Pretty, sporadic flute playing and tranquil piano chords.

3. Le Secret Blanc * — A long one, but a really beautiful one. Minimal, distorted synths and percussion here.

4. Flight 3.0.5 * — Ugh, this is my favorite one, I’m gonna play this every week. Beautiful keyboards.

5. Le Maison Des 5 Elements — Joanna Newsom meets Terry Riley meets Erik Satie. Nice, repetitive plucks and bells and pianos.

6. Minimum II — Slowly building accordion drone, with fluctuating volume throughout.

7. Waiting For The Bus * — I take it back, this is my favorite one. Very simple acoustic piano with some sparse percussion at the end.

8. Listen To The Quiet Voice  * — Rich, arpeggiated piano sans embellishment.

9. Please Do Not Disturb — Feels like a saloon piano, but it’s played super slowly a la Westworld.

Will Gottsegen