It’s often tempting to interpret the presence of abundant silence in music as a gesture of aggressive austerity. Yet André Cormier’s solo piano work Zwischen den Wolken—performed by Markus Kreul on a new recording released on Redshift—makes it very difficult for anyone to make such an accusation. 
Zwischen den Wolken, which runs almost eighty minutes on this recording, is built on simple self-similar phrases, each a series of chords where some notes are released while others are held, creating a delicate shift in the decays of every sonority. There’s a considerable amount of time between these chords, and especially between each phrase. But rather than feeling like a stark reminder of one’s inattention, these pauses feel more like an invitation—a space for the imagination to project a continuation of the resonances and to savour these half-imaginary sounds
The material used in the work is incredibly spare, but it’s also undeniably sensuous in its constant sense of suspension. There’s a subtle momentum— frequently halted—created within the shape of each phrase. Often, when the contour feels more motivic or melodic it concludes somewhat abruptly—an impression that's heightened by the silences that frame it. The listener is held weightlessly, sensing the arc of its completion in silence.
Changes of register assume a heightened significance, given the pacing of the piece and because of the way certain chord-notes are sustained and others let go.  As a given tone fades, the particular characteristics of its pitch-stratum sing—from the harmonic-rich lustre of the lower end to the softer transparent slope of the upper-middle.
Cormier's work focusses the ear on minutiae and the minute, encouraging the listener to revel in this pale specificity.  Once one is immersed, each gesture arrives from intense anticipation.
Although some might balk at the idea, one could say the stillness of  Zwischen den Wolken sensitizes the listener to a form of erotics of sound.