AUN – The Beginning and the End of All Things OST
AUN – The Beginning and End of All Things is described by its director, Edgar Honetschläger, as being a film that “focuses on the dichotomy man/nature and envisions a future world where life will be nothing but sensual”. Based on that description, it’s certainly fitting that Christian Fennesz was chosen to produce the music for the film, given that much of the Austrian artist’s own work has explored similar themes and dichotomies: the dichotomy between the manmade and the organic, for example, and the idea that his music, though futuristic in its tendencies towards experimentation and electronic abstraction, is nevertheless fascinated with the textures and the physicality offered by more traditional instrumentation.
On this particular release, this is most overt in the three tracks – ‘Aware’, ‘Haru’, and ‘Trace’ – produced in collaboration with the Japanese pianist / composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (actually taken from an earlier collaborative release, 2007’s Cendre) as electronically processed sounds and noises mingle and interact perfectly with the more traditional and recognisable textures of Sakamoto’s piano playing. Needless to say though, this sense of the sounds of the future intersecting with the sounds of the past and of the synthetic colliding with the organic, can be seen throughout.
Take ‘Sekai’, for example, which makes use of the highly familiar and pastoral sounds of an acoustic guitar, but treats them with a plethora of effects and glitchy electronic treatments to create something that sounds simultaneously alien and nostalgic; or a track like ‘Himitsu’ that makes use of gradually rising hissing noises and computer-treated, electronically-processed sounds to produce a brilliantly hazy ambient piece with such emotional depth that it serves – much like Honestschläger’s film – to create the sense of a future world that, though highly technological and electronic, is still very human in terms of its preoccupation with the physical and with the emotional.
Overall, like a lot of this sort of ambient music, you really need to be in the right mood or ‘place’ to really be able to appreciate it (in my case, this usually involves it being quite dark outside and me being moderately tired – with bonus points if I’m on some form of public transport and there’s Blade Runner levels of rain outside); if you’re not in that ‘space’, it can seem a bit underwhelming and (for want of a better word)....blank. If, however, you are in the right conditions to appreciate it, then this release offers (like other soundtrack albums such as Yo La Tengo’s The Sounds of the Sounds of Science and Jonny Greenwood’s score to Norwegian Wood) music that you can really immerse yourself in, with or without the images of the film for accompaniment and context.
Posted: Tue 31 July 2012