With The Imagined River, we step once more into the River Taurion ~ the same river, a different river, a real river, an imagined river. At this point in the ongoing La Rivière series, Cédric Peyronnet’s original recordings have become secondary to the impressions they have formed. Even the pixelated cover toys with the idea of magnification. Draw too close, and one cannot see the river for the drops.
As Ákos Garai kicks off the fourth season, the ice on the actual river is melting while the imagined river is flowing, coldly and steadily, to an imagined sea. The static discharge and unobtrusive drone are subtle reminders that the river exists on more than one plane. If this were a river of the mind, we might imagine the flow as blood, the static as neurons firing, the drone as an aura. Once the imagination is breached, the metaphors stream like water.
The CD3″ is divided into two parts: the opening overture, which ends at 3:56, and an extended coda, which begins with plastic crunches yet travels backward to the source like a lost traveler following the sound of the stream. The juncture breaks silence like a doe on thin branches. By introducing artificial noises, Garai seems to be commenting on the intrusion of the unnatural: perhaps even the recording artist, attempting to leave a small sonic footprint. All is soon subsumed by the sound of the river.
Nature will have its way. The Imagined River confronts our inability to capture its essence in any literal fashion. Only by impression – memory, desire, anthropomorphization – can we begin to discuss the subject in a real way. In short, we use the unreal to corral the real. Removed from their source, these sounds continue to echo through forests of flesh and metal and plastic and wood. (Richard Allen)