Richard Chartier * Pinkcourtesyphone

On Leaving


Of course, Richard Chartier and Pinkcourtesyphone are the same person – but there is a distinct difference in the music released under these names. As Pinkcourtesyphone, Chartier presents a somewhat ‘tongue-in-cheek’ side of music, more emotional, with perhaps some slightly ‘campy’ themes. Or, as Chartier himself says: ‘more musical’. But Pinkcouresyphone’s output should be taken as seriously as the work released under his own name – which is a sound art more minimal, spatial, and abstract perhaps.
With these two (almost simultaneously released) new albums the differences (as well as the similarities) can easily be explored.

On Leaving is dedicated to Steve Roden, who died in 2023, suffering from Alzheimer: “Steve saw and heard everything between the noise, no matter how faint”.
“I worked on the compositions included on this album as Steve gradually slipped away from communication. He was not in my life like he had been before. […] on listening… on loss… on leaving…”

With this background in mind, the five variances get a dark touch, but in itself, the music is free of such emotional value. It is also intensely quiet and peaceful. The ‘implied silence, finely structured and in some cases cyclical’ requires listening at low volumes or on headphones.
One question remains, however: ‘What would Steve hear in the details’?



I’m always a bit confused when Richard Chartier mentions that his output as Pinkcourtesyphone is ‘more musical’ than that under his own name. Because that implies that the music he puts out as Richard Chartier is less musical? I don’t think so!
But the difference is in the music itself. From the first notes of the (70-second) intro track The Pinkish Gate, it is clear that this music is more playful, and more cinematic, putting itself in perspective without becoming cheesy.
You may prefer one above the other, but both complement each other, showing two sides of the same fascinating personality.

Arise In Sinking Feelings is about ‘soft lights … cool evening breezes, toxic fumes, burnt champagne [?] and supper for one… love and longing…disenchantment… […] a fanciful flight of neurosis’.
And with some remarkable self-mockery, Chartier continues: ‘No one who is anyone has heard it and even they were met with incomprehension. “A Stunning Blandness!” read the headlines.’

But don’t make the mistake of taking this music any less seriously after reading these words. This is a serious sonic trip that may conjure many different emotions. The sound design is incredibly deep and the found sound fragments feel as if they are taken from the back of your forgotten dreams.

Arise In Sinking Feelings is released on Room40, who ‘recommend the ‘Double Sensory’ method of absorbing sonic information. Its consistent use will greatly increase your powers of concentration and retention.’

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