Review: Marc Beziat “Consolation”

Marc Beziat “Consolation”

16 Aug, 2009 Michael Diamond

consolation2It’s hard to imagine that the intricate classical compositions that grace “Consolation” were created by someone with not much more than three or four year’s of experience as a composer. But it is true. Marc Beziat, a native of southern France, is partly self-taught. He also spent two years at Polyphonies, a school of musical composition, where he studied polyphonic music, the simultaneous sounding of two or more melodic lines, a musical style that dates back to the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. “Consolation” is the sequel, or as he calls it, the “soul mate” to his well-received first CD “Victory Of The Spirit”. His album titles, as well as the names of the songs, reflect the beauty and harmony that he seeks to express in his music.


If I had to choose one word to describe Marc Beziat’s music, it would be cinematic. When I first put on the CD, I kept waiting for an imaginary film to start any second. With eyes closed it was easy to visualize movie scenes that would go perfectly with this evocative music as the soundtrack. It’s not surprising that one of his biggest influences is Canadian composer Howard Shore, and in particular, his work on Lord Of The Rings. While also being influenced by contemporary composers such as Daniel Balavoine and David Nevue, Marc cites composers from the Baroque Classical era such as Beethoven, Bach, and Vivaldi as having made a deep impression on him.


However, unlike the classical composers of old who wrote out their music on parchment paper with a quill pen, Marc makes use of the wonders of modern technology such as computers, notation software, and synthesizers. While the term “synthesizers” may bring to mind other-worldly sounds and contemporary electronic music, Marc uses them for strictly realistic sounds such as piano, flute, woodwinds, strings, and choirs, as would be found in classical music. He pays particular attention to the creation of the choral sounds, which play a prominent role in his music. One of the most interesting things about modern music software is that it allows one to make adjustments in notes, dynamics, feel, etc., which in Marc’s words, “makes composing in this form more related to sculpting than to performance”.


Another aspect of the music that makes it more unique in the classical genre is the relatively short length of the compositions. Of the eleven tracks on the CD, the longest is just under four minutes. However, they often flow from one to another creating the impression of movements in a symphony. Although the song length may be condensed, there is a great deal of animation, dynamics, and thematic evolution within the structure of each piece, and the album overall evokes a wide range of feelings from serene and comforting to dramatic and powerful. It is precisely this yin/yang counterpoint that creates the magic of the music. According to Marc, “whether our experiences are sometimes painful or sometimes exhilarating, everything can be transformed into beauty, and in the process, we are ourselves transformed.”


Music is meant to be experienced, so a written description of it cannot adequately convey the nuance and impact. Writing about music is like dancing to architecture. Marc speaks eloquently about his music, but finally concludes: “what else could I say… eventually, music always speaks better than the words.” Indeed it does.


Reviewed By Michael Diamond