Klef Notes

Music Reviews

Pierre Laurendeau's "A Friendly Call from Outer Space"

Have you seen the movie “Alien: Covenant (2017)?”  Well, this movie is one of the Alien prequel series directed by Ridley Scott.  Within the movie, there is a scene in which Michael Fassbender’s character (David) sits in an all-white room playing “Entry of the Gods into Valhalla” (Wagner/Liszt - Walhall aus Der Ring des Nibelungen) on the piano with only Guy Pearce’s character (Pete Weyland) as his audience.  This scene is so intense because it introduces the viewing audience to the premise of the entire movie, and that is what the best Electronic Instrumental music should evoke in its listeners – that kind of awe and richness that keeps you glued to the earphones or music source. 

Like a director of a movie, experienced composers of Electronic Instrumental music know how to treat each note and facet of the music for their listeners to greatly anticipate what’s coming next in the installment without the aid of lyrics.  Pierre Laurendeau is a composer as such, and when he set pen to paper or fingers to instrument to compose “A Friendly Call from Outer Space” the end result was nothing short of cinematic. 

Pierre Laurendeau is a composer, multi-instrumentalist from Quebec, Canada who holds a very impressive musical resume.  

Notable for his varied artistic contributions, Laurendeau is also a harpsichord maker, keyboardist, and was formerly with a rock band.  He is active on the Quebec music scene composing television productions and is director of music for studio recording artists.  In addition, Laurendeau has worked for more than a decade with Debra Brown (choreographer at Cirque du Soleil). 

His musical career spans over 25 years attributing to hundreds of composed melodies and many projects.  In May of 2017, Laurendeau finally released his own EP.  December of that year, Laurendeau released “A Friendly Call from Outer Space.”   

This is my interpretation of “A Friendly Call from Outer Space” – a five-track instrumental EP that features colorfully blended notes of Alternative Progressive Electronic Dance Music cosmically aligned with skilled technique, tempos, and taste that is sure to set the mood for the movie of your life anytime or place. 

The title track rushes in and then simmers to play like a welcome note left by the musical conductor inviting his audience into his world.  “A Friendly Call from Outer Space” features ambient-styled instrumentation that includes musical stutters and chord qualities all alluding to the experiences usually set within mental travel.  The evolution of the audio climbs and then waits, climbs and then surprises, and then moves on to awaken and remind us to just chill.

And if you are looking for an Electronic Dance cut that delves deep down into your core allowing any and everything inside to be set free, then “Get Deep” is that track.  And it does get deep guys.  This is the “I am here” track of the collection that has you moving in your seat and on to the floor with its command to the beat from the first note to the last second.  In addition, the human voice FX adds depth and character to an instrumental track.  Here is a surprise gift that expertly mutates as it progresses which adds flavor and makes “Get Deep” so enlightening and euphoric.  Finally, a track that gives lovers of multiple genres something to smoothly vibe to.  Fans of Trap, Tribal, House, Trance, and Techno, will enjoy “Get Deep.”  This smooth-driving track places itself on your pulse and will not let go until you have musically elevated to 100%.

Where the title track is more complex like the subconscious, “Silence within Turbulence” is more conscious in that it deliberately illustrates by way of its allegorical title and poignant music how there is peace within disturbance.  We experience this when we are sucked into the unpredictable ways of life where all is thrown upside down and we are thrown off balance, so we shut out the madness and experience a calm – it is weird but healing.  That is the message of this track transpired by virtual and terrestrial synths that gives your entire audible senses a wonder-moment.

Break Loose” is a quick-paced rhythmic track that brings the noise with electronic energy by way of instrumental vocalizations, muted chords, hand claps, synthesizers, and in-your-face digital percussions.  I also enjoyed the video that accompanies this track that shows multiple landscapes of the digital, underwater, human, terrestrial, and extraterrestrial planes.  These different landscapes all come to life and break loose with mood-setting soundscapes.  Where one scene looks like you are walking on the moon, another one shows a full club where the nightlife is on and popping.  In addition, we see the artistry in the streets and beyond Earth – that same artistry is also translated in the music with that WOW factor of non-disposable instrumentation.  The longest track is the arena pleaser! 

The final track “Possible” introduces itself and then says farewell within one minute and ten seconds.  The shortest track on the EP features a gentle dialing-up FX in its introduction, a mellow introduction of cosmic and eclectic synths, and then it slowly scales back and dials down, leaving it open-ended and wonderfully setting up anticipation of what’s next from the composer.  Everything within “Possible” is done on purpose; it is not forced in its evolution by any means.  The way Laurendeau composed and executed this track production-wise shows a music logic.  It’s a continuum!  

A listener with a skilled ear can distinguish between a novice of instrumental music and an expert.  

With a novice, you will hear nothing but trends in their technique; in contrast, with an expert you will hear some trending elements, but you will primarily hear textures, classic and modern techniques, and emotion.  

In addition, one might think that instrumental music does not contain a message that flows throughout the composition drawing a mental picture of what the artist is evoking, yet unpredictably, there is a message in the music.  It may not be in the form of a “lyrical” message, but when instrumental music is composed correctly, the entire collection exposes a message or conversation between the music, the melody, your mind, and your ears. 

So, let me tell you what you WILL NOT hear in Laurendeau’s “A Friendly Call from Outer Space:”

  • you will not hear a mush of music all jammed up in your ear with no space or originality
  • you will not hear music only in your left ear, or maybe only in your right ear
  • you will not hear the dreaded hissing or fuzz due to the lack of experimentation within this genre
  • you will not hear standardized trends of modern music only
  • you will not hear dated electronic melodies 

What you will hear in Laurendeau’s music is an equal balance of high and low frequencies.  You will hear mellow pitches and compression.  You will hear altering effects in groove and cadence.  You will hear a difference, something in the music that makes you think.  You will hear the fusion of two totally opposite musical emotions by way of contrasting tempos that gives off a feeling of ambiance or euphoria.  In other words, you will hear an artist skilled in their genre of expertise who has a great assortment of talent.  

Laurendeau musically draws outside of the lines but he never goes outside of the parameters to where your ears are hurting from bleed-ins, redundancy, or distortion.  In addition, he features many organic sounds blended so surgical with synthetic instrumentation that you come away with an experience not just a listen-in.  Further, each track varies in length, instrumentation chosen, as well as temperament.  

And I know there are many instrumentalists and musicians who use this technique in crafting their music, but the way Laurendeau fashions and completes his Electronic Instrumental compositions make each song illustrate its very own musical microcosm that wildly agrees with each other – each track, while different in some form, balance Laurendeau’s overall theme or message of that “friendly call from outer space” saying “welcome to my spot.”  This type of musical skill allows for that wonderful netherworld musical experience.

The overall production of this piece of music is powerful but smooth giving your ears a real treat.  The way this EP was mixed, it is as if both of your ears are at a concert.  Some sounds are equally heard in your ear, while some may tickle your left as the other bounces on your right inner ear collectively making up the entire picture framed.  Musical hooks splendidly attach themselves to your nerves and keep you stoked through the entire EP while the tonal consistencies and rhythmic complements of aptitude makes you re-visit it time and time again. 

What we have here is a fully sourced package of ah-some Electronic Instrumental music which welcomes fans of House, EDM, Alternative, Cinematic music and their subgenres.  

The beacon is sounding off in your musical mother-ship . . . answer the call! 

To keep up with Pierre Laurendeau, please go to:  http://www.pierrelaurendeau.com and follow him on Twitter @pplaurendeau

Also, check out his music on YouTube and Spotify as well as his Wikipedia page.  


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