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Thierry Payssan biography
French composer and musician Thierry PAYSSAN is first and foremost known for being half of the creative core of French ensemble Minimum Vital, alongside his twin brother Jean-Luc. The two of them also have their own related project together, simply called Vital Duo. 211 saw Thierry launch a solo career as well, when he released "Dans la maison vide" on Musea Records, his first and so far only solo album.

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3.05 | 2 ratings
Dans la maison vide

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 Dans la maison vide by PAYSSAN, THIERRY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.05 | 2 ratings

Dans la maison vide
Thierry Payssan Crossover Prog

Review by progpositivity
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is an excellent keyboard solo album from Thierry Payssan, who is best known for his collaborations with his brother Jean- Luc in Minimum Vital and Vital Duo. I give the album a 3 star rating only because of its somewhat tenuous connection to the progressive rock genre, not because of any qualitative artistic deficiencies. Prog Archives defines a 4 stars rating as "an excellent addition to ANY prog rock music collection". But this album's appeal is more tightly focused than that. I consider it to be an excellent addition to the prog rock music collection of certain broad minded, keyboard music fans who don't mind going without the "rock" component of "prog rock" every now and then.

It makes sense that Thierry released this under his own name. It is a classic "solo" album in the sense that it delves deeper into the skillset and interests of its creator than his band efforts would typically allow. In the end, "Dans la maison vide" is a rewarding listen to anyone with a keen interest in piano centered explorations of sensitive emotional colors. Piano is on center stage with some tracks sparsely arranged by little more than subtle sound effects to add emotional depth and ambiance to the piano. In most cases, an assortment of carefully selected and placed keyboard patches enhance the sonic pallete.

One moment, this album evokes associations with the classical nocturns of Chopin. The next moment, it has a noticeable folksy, medieval flavor. Then we are treated to a track more pensively colored by jazzy chords. Toward the end of the album, we even encounter an experimental piece which uses the sound of breaking glass and atonal operatic vocals as integral parts of the score. It is perhaps in this respect that this album is at home within the realm of Progressive Rock. It is classically influenced but is clearly not classical music. It is very jazz influenced but is clearly not jazz music. Where else would it "belong"? Electronic? It seems too reliant upon piano for that designation.

In my estimation, many who own and love Rick Wakeman's classic solo album "Six Wives of Henry VIII" album could find a place within their prog sensibilities to welcome "Dans la maison vide" with open arms. This album is at times colder, more often than not far warmer and almost always more personally communicative than Wakeman's "Six Wives" album, but it is still a useful reference point.

Sonically speaking, this album probably has more in common with Wakeman's "Aspirant" ambient series of releases in the 1990's than it does with "Six Wives". The key differentiator in my mind, however, is how much these pieces brim with melodic ideas and musical exposition. Yes, "ambience" is an important element of what is happening here. But this music is far more than "ambient" in nature. Indeed, fans seeking only tranquil, peaceful "ambient" music should look elsewhere. This album casts a far wider emotional net to capture the joy of childhood innocence, the sadness of loss, the quietude of loneliness, the energy of the dance, even the fun of the carnivalesque.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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