Peter Broderick – Music for Confluence

This is a beautiful body of work, however fragile and regardless of the macabre commission.

Apparently Confluence is a murder documentary, or so the sleeve notes tell me. Not that it matters one jot, because this solo effort from Efterklang’s Peter Broderick is a fine record, sumptuous and sensual: and one that demands your attention, though it slipped under our radar at the time of its release. Maybe because in many ways it’s such an unassuming record, one that relies on gradations of mood and texture, rather than any clearly defined statement of intent. Everything feels as if it would crumble to the touch: We Didn’t Find Anything and Some Fishermen on the Snake River are ghostly pieces, lightly woven around suggestions of a theme; their musical essence shimmering and ebbing like mists on a river.
This is a beautiful body of work, however fragile and regardless of the macabre commission. The opener, In The Valley Itself, driven by Arone Dyer’s lovely voice, is so arresting that actually gets in the way of listening to the rest of the LP, it’s one of those tracks that you return to over and over.  Other magical moments are the glistening We Enjoyed Life Together and It Wasn’t A Deer Skull, both of which could have been composed with the intent to capture some radiant personal memory, (if you can forget the documentary subject for a bit) and a marvellous run near the end (the most substantial of the pieces) from The Person of Interest through to Until the Person is Apprehended, where something of a classical approach is suggested by the orchestration structure. Things come more into focus, shape and tempo is more delineated, there’s more sand in the Vaseline. It’s less dreamy and what it lacks in mystery or originality (at times it’s all a “bit Philip Glass”), it gains in intent.  The last track is a strange but effective bookend, Broderick duets on a “homely country melody” with Arone Dyer.
A very beautiful listen.