Les Ondes Silenceuses is the third full-length release by Cécile Schott under the name Colleen, and it finds her completely dropping all use of samples and electronics in her music, opting instead for the natural tones of a variety of organic instrumentation. It's also her most sparse effort to date, with most tracks featuring only one or two instruments that unfold slowly, with quiet moments of melodic and textural beauty that certainly don't hit the listener over the head at any time.
Both opener "This Place In Time" and the album titled "Les Ondes Silenceuses" are comprised completely of viola da gamba, and the former builds very slowly, with very subtle, melancholy harmonies that slowly push the piece forward. The latter finds a single melody arcing through several different passages, mimicking the quieter step-like melodies of the first track in places while moving through slightly more fluid sections as well.
"Le Labyrinthe" is five minutes of spinet (basically a smaller harpsichord), and the track at first plays it sparse, letting every note ring and decay before settling into a slightly more baroque middle section before dying off at the end. On the more ambient side, "Echoes And Coral" is three minutes of struck crystal glasses, offering up some pretty tones but little else.
The best two pieces on the nine song, forty-three minute album are "Sun Against My Eyes" and "Sea Of Tranquility," both of which feature beautiful classical guitar and clarinet. In terms of balancing both melody and texture, the songs do the best job of anything on the release, offering up some engaging instrumental interplay and what are easily the strongest compositions on the release. On much of the rest of the release, it simply sounds like there's something missing. The release is recorded nicely enough, with the nuances of each instrument captured nicely, but the songs themselves have little to pull you in. I can appreciate the change of pace that Schott was going for with Les Ondes Silenceuses, but there's just so little here that it fails to grab me much.