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 "Les 101 visages d'Ozymandias"-Radio-Play RTS-interview by Michel Masserey (in French) 2021

"Le paradoxe du pianiste Ozymandias"-Le Nouvelliste-interview by J-F Albelda (in French) 2021

OZYMANDIAS - "LA NOSTALGIA HECHA MÙSICA" -interview by Argot Aisthesis (In Spanish) 2012


 Mon Amour

Elisabeth and Victor

Les Rêves Orientaux






"101 VISAGES" (2020)

101 visages


Hello again, fellow travelers, we’re on his road once more. What road is this, you ask? One which has for many many years now taken us to places of stark contrasts and devastating beauty. Against a continual background of silence, Christophe Terrettaz has composed his pieces with only one perceptible destination in mind: that of his listeners.

When an artist has been at it this long and has such a singular focus it would be easy to fall back on past achievements or even begin the inevitable, terminal cycle of back catalog niche exploitation; this is one who actually keeps his work in print, having no desire to try re-creating eras or moods he’s already exhaustively explored. Unlike so much of the underground we have an individual who has the ability to bring forth new works which not only continue his legacy but also over time become expansive universes of their own wherein those who listen become part of the proceedings.

‘Dans Mon Monde’ (In My World) drives this point home quite thoroughly, with his stately arrangements being par for the course. We’re taken across immense distances in time; the twin constants of memory and desire make their presence felt as they have so many times in what he’s put out. The key difference is in the way he’s playing. There’s much more melody being presented on this record, with the sometimes errant notes he likes to throw in having been replaced by tangential explorations culled from random scales performed in keys which seem to be more than content to upend everything without any explanation.

Ozymandias are a very tactile experience, no vocals are present (he has two collaborations for those who want them). One has nothing to guide them except the pieces themselves. I still am not entirely sure what it is that he’s doing at his piano after all this time. Is he chronicling life experiences? Are the records he gives us the full picture or are they mere snippets of a range far grander than one’s grey matter can take in. Or is it a matter of literal interpretation? Is he merely breathing life into every facet of Shelley’s enigmatic poem.

I’ve never encountered another fan of his music, even after two decades and yet they’re out there. I suspect we play these releases and in the midst of his grandiose, yet strangely minimal compositions we sense he’s communicating in the only way he can. These entries he makes are little more than breadcrumbs to lure us further away from where we feel safe; farther and farther into the unknown we’re drawn, listen long enough and you’ll let go of it all.

I’ve covered him twice before and each time the mystery only deepens.

By Peter Marks


Two or maybe three times a year – regardless of whether he has anything new out – I shut out the world and listen to Ozymandias’ complete catalog. I was about due to do so again so it was a pleasant surprise to get this from him. For nearly two decades now Christophe Terrettaz has utilized just a piano to chronicle this thing we call life; it is a great gift and a terrible responsibility I imagine. I used to wonder how he did it but I’m fairly certain that wherever he lives in Switzerland there is a room, a place where all his works have been organized and stored. You don’t just sit down and improvise these kinds of pieces. Every note is plotted out, each bar of music painstakingly arranged and then on top of it all you have to play it flawlessly.

Ozymandias over time has become more and more proficiently dexterous in his playing, coupling the circular flourishes of the right hand to the remarkable chord structures he creates with his left. Sometimes he’ll place the high end in the left channel and the low end in the other, so never think that this one does anything strictly by the book. I know it’s tempting to assume so but don’t. It all sounds so pretty on the surface but pick away at it a bit and you start to hear and more importantly feel where he was at when he performed these. If you’re really feeling daring, play along with him. He’s thousands of miles from where I live but the message comes through loud and clear.

‘Nos Annees Troubles’, which translates as ‘Our Troubled Years’ is a record which balances both sadness with the events which shape our world against an indomitable desire to never see such things happen again. There’s no denying that the last decade has been one of the worst in recent history and Ozymandias have been paying attention to it closely. Though you can sort out the more obvious references through song titles like “Fukushima” many of the rest are a bit more ambiguous. “I Miss You” could be directed at anyone and while some would lay claim to “The Bloody Dress” there’s no definitive statement being made there either.

People draw that line in their own way and this is his, at his piano coaxing out incredible beauty to document it all.

Don’t be too alarmed, his love of writing waltzes is still there. That three note basis is a favorite and he plays it better than anyone else I’ve heard. I will not belabor the point that his fan base is small. We’re a loyal bunch, most of us have probably been there from the beginning of his career; silently and solemnly all across this planet we do the same thing when he releases something: we pause in our lives to take it in and express gratitude for the gift we’ve been given. Terrettaz is a humble musician, he’s also notoriously reclusive. You could count his live appearances on one hand; if I had the means I’d see to it that his works were pressed on the highest quality vinyl out there and then issued in a sturdy box set upon which a few words had been placed.

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: look on my works, Ye mighty, and despair”

The sands of time may erase the majesty but in no way do they diminish the legacy. For having now done eleven albums, Ozymandias are no worse for wear from it. It isn’t just a case of simple scales and progressions from him, these records are part of a body of work known by few but eventually felt by all. You can’t not be impressed by the sheer determination nor can one ignore the stunning elegance.

By Peter Marks

"ANTIPODES" (2012)

Brutal Resonance     14 April 2012

A more low key release I can't think of, Ozymandias have snuck another one out and seem quite content to have no one notice. Oh, but someone did. This is the eighth solo album which Mr. Christophe Terrettaz has completed since the birth of his project in 1996. I have followed him each and every step of the way, I suspect I'm the only fan he has in the United States, what his work is comprised of is this: a piano. That's it. There are no vocals, no choruses, no hooks. If you play this instrument (as I sometimes do) then you'll know his style isn't as simplistic as it sounds. I have wondered for years now precisely how he manages to keep each individual piece he composes straight in his head because they all incorporate incredible dynamics and intricate progressions. Listening to his debut, Isolement, those many years ago, I struggled in vain to keep up with his pacing. You won't find any lazy production crutches in what he does, no overpowering sustains nor does he hide behind walls of reverb. When he comes out of your speakers all you get is purity of tone and the personality of the composer shining through.

Supposing you prefer more bombast, perhaps you like it bright and stately. He does that as well, with a minimum of fuss and precisely chosen notes. In the past he's had themes to his work, and Antipodes is no exception. How often have you ever gotten a geography lesson mixed into what you listen to? I'll answer that, rarely. But it is more than just the definition of this word which Ozymandias are gently playing with, I suspect he's drawing parallels between the nature of our locations in their physical sense and the vast gulfs of differences this world of ours is so expert at delineating. Look to your left, look to your right, walk around outside long enough and this pattern of fragmentation will become abundantly clear. It happens everyday but we're too absorbed in ourselves to notice how happily, almost giddily, we push others away. It is said that one cannot pass through one's life unaffected by the influences of others but we still try, as mentioned before when I reviewed ANBB's album: our goal is to be an island unto ourselves.

I should not overlook the main facet which underlines and defines what he does: romanticism. Ozymandias are a purely gorgeous escape from the dreary, mundane business of everyday life. To hear his music is to be swept up to a splendid vista and then abandoned; be mindful of your surroundings, its a long way back down if you should fall. In the silent moments where your eyes levelly meet those of the one you love, music such as this becomes the underpinning; the electrified emotional resonance you feel when she holds your hand and says nothing. No words could ever encapsulate these kinds of sentiments properly but this is the arena of human interaction my favorite pianist operates within. Perhaps he doesn't see what he does as having such importance, you could count his live appearances on one hand, but I do. It may sound like just random instrumental mutterings to most but for as long as I've listened to Ozymandias he has never let me down.

Yes, at times his tunes are dark and somewhat perplexing but I have the utmost respect for the tenacity and longevity of his project. If he were to just stop, who would take his place, can you think of ANYONE working in the modern age who does what he does. Sit down at a piano sometime and try it for yourself, chose your options from the three pedals beneath your feet and then attempt to play through your own thoughts as the ivories dance upon your fingers. The dexterity alone that this man possesses is lethal, his hands caress the keys and suavely coax out these majestic compositions. As hard as I try to summon up the nerve to focus all my creativity cataloging Antipodes, I know I'm coming up short. I suppose that's the point, the hidden agenda as it were that has been unwinding for nearly fifteen years now as I sit alone and seek to encapsulate how these records have affected me. I'll continue with my efforts just as surely as he will with his, the difference being that his legacy will assuredly be remembered even if so few know of him. Ozymandias have been a quiet companion I have long kept to myself and I hope he won't mind me introducing a few others to his elegant sound.

By Peter Marks

"A PARADISE INHABITED BY DEVILS" with Kelli Ali (2010)     29 October 2011

Gothic pianist Ozymandias certainly knows how to impose a spine-shivering spell on everyone, captivating souls in subtle emotional reflections, which seep through his fingers straight into the keys, revealing an intoxicating presence from the heart. His natural sonic-beauty warms a hellish world, surrounded by thought-provoking horror, harking back to an all too often forgotten, classical era.
And it should've seemed obvious that the Swiss pianist, also known as Christophe Terrettaz, would invite genre experimentalist Kelli Ali to collaborate on his new album, with her eerily sweet vocals settling in between Christophe's breathtaking expressions, weaving together the fabrics of an enchanting darkness, as though they were born together.
Best known for her hit single 6 Underground with the Sneaker Pimps, Kelli's solo career has basked in the essences of post-trip-hop, pop, folk and post-punk, something that her maverick nature has always hit spot on, no matter what genre she aims for. And this couldn't be anymore true on A Paradise Inhabited by Devils, as Kelli's vocals adapt into a whole new angelic depth, forwarding on from her traditional folk album The Rocking Horse, which saw Kelli's spiritual presence released through alluring harmonics.
Combined with Ozymandias, the scenes for a black & white expressionism soundtrack were set in place, haunting the album through Mary Shelley-inspired nightmares.
The opening track Dark Mirror immediately hits a sombre emotion-chord, mournfully expressing the foundations of an ethereal tale, through Elizabeth Frazer-esque vocals from Kelli, who crosses Ozymandias slow-deathly mesmerics with heavenly illusions. Imagine a ghostly white dress, floating down the stairs, and you'll almost feel the phantom possession coldness passing through you.
Following on, the gentle Le Voyage De Vernon breathes a frost onto the backs of necks, making every hair stand up and resurrecting a modern-day Clara Rockmore & Nadia Reisenberg as though the pioneering theremin/piano duo had taken over Kelli and Christophe in one last unearthly performance.
And the theremin likeness grows from strength to strength, with vocally instrumental-vibrato, widening in pitch range like a choir of etherwaves in sorrowed entities. This especially rings true on Only the Sun, which leaves most listeners fighting back the tears, formed by Kelli's bittersweet lyrical affections, held together with Ozymandias' dramatical/tragic piano intensities.
But it is The Death of Despina that grips hold of anxious fans, bereaving them into overwhelming shoegaze and Harold Budd-inspired elevations, raising a pale fright to build-up through minimalism-fear of silence. Perhaps the creepiest yet passion-fuelled track to appear on the album, it numbs those who become engulfed into the depths.
Fluttering with elegance and terror, A Paradise Inhabited by Devils brings out a whole new, gothic side to Kelli, allowing her to flourish in creativity and exhume a talent that all too often goes undetected. Turn off the lights and burn some candles. Forget the séance, as you might just see a few shadows, moving to Kelli's resurrecting vocals.

Ross Cotton

Obsküre magazine  n°1, novembre-décembre 2010

Inspiré des écrits ombrageux et horrifiants d'une certaine Mary Shelley, A Paradise inhabited by devils offre une collection de titres mus par un piano au lyrisme minimal (responsable : Ozymandias, identité de façade en art pour Christophe Terrettaz) et la voix fragile et enveloppante de l'ex-chanteuse de Sneaker Pimps, Kelli Ali, visitant aujourd'hui un couloir solo.
À l'instar de ce qu'Ozymandias a su donner sur ses oeuvres précédentes, la tonalité en clair obscure fait ici bel effet:les atmosphères ne tombent pas dans l'horrifiant cliché gothique auquel se prête l'illustration des oeuvres de Shelley. Kelli et Christophe prennent soin, au contraire, de rester dans un feutre dont l'enveloppe cache, dérange:Evocation démoniaque ("Dark Mirror"), spleen persistant("Constantine and Euphrasia", "Mercy and Sorrow"). À partir de peu de choses, les deux protagonistes engendre un espace précieux, fragile et en proie à la tourmente, sans jamais tomber dans la déclamation et la gratuité. Disponible uniquement en téléchargement depuis les plateformes légales usuelles (dans des formats garantissant une bonne qualité de rendu), cette oeuvre commune est un moment suggestif et sensible. Isolement prescrit, recueillement offert.

Emmanuël Hennequin  80%

The Mike Davis column  November / December 2010

Erstwhile Birmingham born Sneaker Pimps singer  KELLI ALI has long put her former band behind her with a series of intoxicating solo albums, exploring summery r&b beats on Tigermouth, chill out electronica and brooding rock with Psychic Cat and the Goldfrapp goes Renaissance textures of  Rocking Horse while last year saw the release of Butterfly, an acoustic, folky rework of Rocking Horse.
Having worked with such names as Bootsy Collins, Marc Almond and Shutter Island composer Max Richter, she can be relied on for some interesting collaborations. Her latest album, A Paradise Inhabited By Devils, is no exception. Last year she was invited by neo-classical Swiss pianist and composer Christophe Terrettaz, better known as Ozymandias (named from Percy Shelley’s poem), to collaborate with him on an album inspired by the short stories of Shelley’s gothic horror writer wife, Mary, the author of Frankenstein.
The album title comes from her description of Naples following mystery shrouded events involving her husband registering a child as his wife’s when she wasn’t in fact the mother (the phrase was also used by Jennifer Selwyn for her book about the Jesuits mission in early modern Naples), but it’s a fitting image for the macabre stories she published regularly in The Liberal and The Keepsake.
Nothing Ali’s done before quite prepares you for this, her first attempt at a strictly classic vocal style with music and simple voice and piano arrangements that share a kindred artistic vision with the likes of  Phillip Glass, Steve Reich and Michael Nyman. At times bordering on operatic, at others leaning towards lieder songs and arias or tinted with Gregorian plainsong, it’s a heady collection that perfectly evokes the gothic and poetic atmospherics of Shelley’s writings.
Dark Mirror opens proceedings with Ali’s soaring voice conjuring images of vespers in a haunted medieval monastery before the arrival of multi-tracked jabbing choral backing evokes the work of Carl Orff.   The instrumental Despina, Despina’s Prayer To The Stars and The Death Of Despina are all inspired by Shelley’s first published short story, 1822’s The Death Of Despina while Transformation (imagine a gothic Enya) refers to, well, the 1830 Transformation  actually and, reflecting the tale’s melancholic theme of loss Maurice is inspired by her 1820 children’s story of the same name. 
The sombre, hushed and almost whispered lament Constantine And Euphrasia clearly relates to Euphrasia A Tale of Greece while, departing from the short stories and sounding like a soundtrack to some 50s French noir romance, closing piano instrumental Elizabeth and Victor is drawn from Frankenstein, but the sources of others are less obvious. The five minute melancholy of Only The Sun refers to a moment in Euphrasia while Dark Mirror is a telling phrase in Frankenstein.
Much of this I only uncovered by trawling the net, and  I still have no idea upon what Le Voyage De Vernon or the brooding vocalese of Mercy And Sorrow are based. But you don’t have to know the first thing about Shelley or her writings to appreciate the album. Though a liking for dark, brooding minimalist classical music might be a help.

Wears The Trousers magazine

Kelli Ali has made a career of dramatic left turns, flitting from one musical incarnation to another, but in the past few years her chameleonic tendencies have morphed into a sensually fluid, natural and logical transition. The folk-kissed reinvention of 2008’s Max Richter-produced Rocking Horse felt as distant from her days as the face and voice of ’90s trip-hop darlings Sneaker Pimps as it was possible to go, but tenderly found Ali finally claiming a sound for her own. Her subsequent output has been a finely-tuned affair, and largely done off her own back. Last year she self-released Butterfly, a follow-up and counterpart to Rocking Horse, which reimagined that album with a rawer, acoustic interpretation with startling results.
In keeping with her habit of working with all sorts of collaborators, in 2009 Ali was invited by celebrated neoclassical pianist and composer Christophe Terrettaz (aka Ozymandias) to join him in Switzerland with a view to working on an album together. Before long the pair found a mutual passion in the darkly opulent literary world of Mary Shelley, and following several sessions between London and Switzerland, this haunting collection was eventually completed, with Ali handling the lyrics and vocals and Terrettaz manning the piano and writing the music.
Sneaking out via Bandcamp earlier this month, the aptly titled A Paradise Inhabited By Devils – a term Shelley once apparently used to describe the city of Naples – offers eleven chilling piano-and-vocal compositions that give Ali the space to turn her tender, crystalline purr into a choral panorama of richly textured proportions. Opener ‘Dark Mirror’ instantly sets the uneasy tone, building and falling firmly, though never imposingly, around Ali’s lyrics as they veer back and forth between choral, delicate English and eerie Latin chanting, allowing all elements their moment in the spotlight.
Spotlight though, is perhaps the wrong word to use here. Though every track tells its unique story, the album as a whole screams to be listened to in one sitting, around a candle as the wind howls and rain pours outside. The constancy in its formula allows both Terrettaz and Ali to weave around each other, never treading on each other’s toes and never letting the atmosphere wane for a moment. ‘Mercy & Sorrow’ and ‘Maurice’, perhaps the most delicate pieces in the collection, may only features Ali improvising quietly and wordlessly in the background but her presence is never outshone. Terrettaz takes the reins on the instrumental pieces ‘Despina’ and ‘Elisabeth & Victor’, but never abuses the opportunity to exert his presence, adding warm conduits and resolutions in his solo moments.
Mary Shelley enthusiasts will find much to cherish among this collection; Ali and Terrettaz certainly know her catalogue well (fun fact: ‘Ozymandias’ is the title of a sonnet by Shelley’s husband Percy). The obvious surface references aside (see the powerful, almost witchy chanting on ‘The Death Of Despina’), Ali has dug deeper to give voiceless characters from Shelley’s various works a chance to make their presence known and respectfully live outside of the author’s dark, Gothic pages. Those less familiar with Shelley’s works needn’t worry, though, as the cryptic, sparse and often medieval lyrics offer the listener plenty of scope to interpret them as they see fit.
Penultimate track ‘Only The Sun’ gallantly gestures Ali to take centre stage for the first time on the album. Over Terrettaz’s delicate piano work, her minimal lyric is slowly delivered with one of her most tender performances to date before Terrettaz’s playing picks up pace and tension, resulting in a hair-raising finale. ‘Elisabeth & Victor’ then draws the collection to a close, acting almost as an epilogue, reflecting on what came before it.
In Terrettaz, Ali has found a musical partner who understands her subconscious need to evolve by combining the past with the present, and the pair have channelled that into a simple but rewarding tapestry on which Ali has been able to spread her wings like never before. Although the music industry’s (d)evolution has denied this release – for the time being anyway – a home on a charming dusty old vinyl (where it ideally belongs) or a luscious leatherbound, velvet-lined digipak CD, this near-perfect collection combines the ancient with the modern like neither artist perhaps imagined possible.

Leigh Bartlam


D-Side n°49   novembre-décembre 2008

On attend, fébrile, chacun de ces rendez-vous-là. Le piano du Suisse Christophe Terrettaz, acteur solitaire de ces Rêves orientaux, est un duvet. Il se déroule en un endroit en lequel on a l'impression que le spleen dominera.Pas de sang. Il s'agit d'un passage simplement, la photographie d'un instant de vie que marquent l'incertitude et le souvenir, un moment où les questions se poseront parce qu'elles auront l'opportunité et le temps de le faire.Le piano, toujours dans cette économie et cette fausse quiétude qui le caractérisent, prend une photographie mentale du voyage. Voici un paysage dont les notes fuient doucement, un mouvement subtil qui nous fait quitter le monde pour sans cesse y revenir. L'abstraction est une force de Terrettaz, son optique instrumentale suggérant par nature l'échappée hors des sentiers de cette histoire qu'on nous raconterait avec des mots. Son Orient à Iui, source de l'essai, peut être tout autre chose pour nous : la solitude, le repli, tandis que ce piano porte aussi en lui quelque chose d'irréductiblement translucide et lumineux. Cette musique est dans la dualité du don : elle prend sa source dans l'histoire de l'auteur, et deviendra notre parce qu'elle veut et peut l'être. Elle part d'une circonstance mais ouvre une autre porte, sur nous-mêmes.

Emmanuel Hennequin

Elegy n°56     novembre-décembre 2008

Il y a quelques mois, après huit ans d'absence scénique, le pianiste Christophe Terrettaz a donné deux concerts à Tokyo. Est-ce que ce sont ces performances qui lui ont donné envie de composer sur l'Orient? Quoi qu'il en soit, nous le retrouvons aujourd'hui pour un huitième album consacré à cet endroit du globe et à ses paradoxes. Débutant par la très zen et romantique "Shinjuku" dédiée au quartier du même nom à Tokyo, Les Rêves orientaux sont imprégnés de moments voIės, entre onirisme et réalité (la très délicate "Un Dimanche à Kamakura" et son ambiance à la Eric Satie), s'opposant à des passages noirs, d'une violence contenue par la beauté des notes de piano ("Hiroshima-Nagasaki") ou saturés de mélancolie ("16 ans"). Cet album allie la précision d'un origami et la douceur des cerisiers en fleurs aux ravages de la bombe atomique.

Sabine Moreau

"ABSOLUTE" (2007)

Elegy n° 49     août-septembre 2007

[ ... ] c'est encore une fois audit piano qu'il dédie le septième album de son projet solo Ozymandias. Nettement moins mélancolique qu'à l'accoutumée, Absolute est considéré par son auteur comme le pendant de son précédent opus Les Doutes Eternels dans le sens où il met en exergue les facettes positives de l'humanité. Ayant bénéficié d'une masterisation de Jacek Tuschewski et Simon Bowley qui travaillent notamment avec Lisa Gerrard, ce nouvel Ozymandias est une perfection néo-classique dans laquelle la moindre note se trouve chargée de sens, d'émotion, de réminiscence et de célébration.

Sabine Moreau

D-Side n°41     juillet-août 2007

Christophe Terrettaz a changé de territoires, s'exilant de ceux obscurs de l'âme pour se concentrer, via le nouvel Absolute, sur les facettes plus positives de la communauté humaine. Le résultat, pénétré de mélancolie se décline tout le long de ces onze nouveaux titres exécutés au piano, pourvoyeurs de lumière et d'intensité. Ensemble uniforme, Absolute offre une suite moins tourmentée aux Doutes éternels parus en 2004. Il semble faire de Terrettaz le témoin d'une redécouverte partielle du monde, comme si les paupières se soulèvent laissaient l'iris en saisir une intensité inédite Parties minimales exécutées de belle main ("Marina", "Le Sentier du Plaisir") font alors le menu de ce disque poétique, senti et charnel, et offrent autant de miroirs que ce que ce nouveau regard suggère.

Emmanuel Hennequin



Ozymandias : Les doutes éternels Three years after 'Layla', Christophe Terrettaz is back with his project Ozymandias with a new album. He also composed music in 2003 for the soundtrack of the Japanese film 'Vibrator' from Ryuichi Hiroki, considered by many as the best Japanese film released this year.
The music of 'Les Doutes Eternels' has been inspired by photographs of Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868 - 1952) at an exhibition. Curtis has been a pionner in ethnography by taking photographs of the North American Indian, as a full documentation on their customs and manners. Christophe Terrettaz composed his music with all the feelings he had while watching these photographs. Putting them in our present life and environment, he sadly noticed that, beyond all our hope and faith, nothing changes. This is a musical approach and a bitter view on humanity, about the disrespect for the earth and human beings.
Musically Christophe reached a higher position, with a very mature approach of composing. A dark and intense atmosphere for superb neoclassical instrumentals, with this extraordinary Satie touch that makes Ozymandias compositions recognizable. A deep and strong work, very personal, that should establish Christophe's work as one of the most interesting and brilliant in the neoclassical genre in the last ten years.
A positively pessimistic work to open our eyes on our tragic condition and to help us to see the light of hope. Anyway we're warned, as the last track says : 'Lorsque le soleil ne se lèvera plus'.
Highly recommended !

Stéphane F.

"LAYLA" (2001)

Sonic Seducer

Dies hier ist fernab der üblichen Standards, die gemeinhin den Weg in meinen CD-Player finden. Töne einer fernen, grauen Welt: Spröde, bröckelige Klavier-Werke, wie intellektuelle Filmmusik anmutend, voll unendlichem Grau und der Atmosphäre unentrinnbarer Vergänglichkeit. Und fopp! – erstarre ich inmitten meines armseligen Daseins. Hier wird erdrückende Schwermut, wird unstillbares Weh wahrhaftig in Klangkonstruktionen überführt. Dies ist Musik, die ohne Umschweife Visionen vor deinem inneren Auge erstehen läßt, wie Szenen aus einem längst vergessenen Schwarz-Weiß-Film. Tatsächlich sind es Filme, die Christophe Terrettaz zu diesem Kleinod stiller Musik inspiriert haben, drei Filme, die für den Musiker Allegorien der Begriffe Schmerz, Krankheit, Erlösung darstellen. Es sind die Assoziationen, die solche Musik auslöst, welche sie unerträglich schön machen. Da steigt Sehnsucht nach niemals zu erreichenden Horizonten auf. “Layla” ist fragil, Romantik ohne Kitsch, voll der Schwere des Irdischen. Mit einem Hauch von Erlösung. Jungs, ich werd’ poetisch.

Paco González

This is the fourth album (the fifth if we consider the joint collaboration with Elijah's Mantle titled "The Soul Of Romanticism") of this one man and one instrument project. A quick glance at previous releases by Ozymandias takes us back to 1996 where the debut album "Isolement" was published by the German label Weisser Herbst. This was followed by "Ahara" (1.998), released through World Serpent (the label), by the aforementioned collaboration, and finally by the great predecessor "Karnak" (2000), already under the own label Ramses records.
The music composed and performed by the Swiss Chistophe Terrettaz is solely expressed by a classical piano that has taken inspiration from various sources during its existence, from literature in general, poetry in particular, to classic architecture.
This new work comprises thirteen pieces inspired by some independent films and personal past experiences. Very introspective compositions are included in the probably most personal album to date. He keeps showing his personal interior with compositions flooded by enormous sadness, melancholy and infinite pictures that the listener may see reflected in inner thoughts. During "Layla" we encounter a slow and nearly mournful piano inside the grey beauty of "L'âme épurée", if I dare to name a track among the homogeneous and high levelled thirteen piece album. Another favourite of mine is the opening, "Rien ne sera jamais plus comme avant", offering more skilful notes during an entrance of vivid images that come flowing invading sensations, its ability turns later to the slow and reflective which are the defining adjectives that fit the mood created during most of the album. As stated before, the own past was a source of inspiration for the composer, while of course the listener can construct blurred memories of a real or imaginative past from the beautiful and sadness of every note. Again I want to name another of my favourite numbers, this is the third and have a the name of "Seul au monde".
Here, Terretaz offers once more one of those pieces where he really expresses his inner visions at best and go hand in hand with the style he has propagated during all his discography, pieces leading to figurative isolation and confinement.
 Of course you must be in the mood to really appreciate more than fourteen minutes of continued piano compositions of a great elegance and classical appeal. According to the information we received from the distributor this compositions are based on concrete moments of several films that unfortunately I haven't had the chance to view myself, but that I will name in case you readers have watched them and can put an image to great titles as another favourite like "Comment l' oublier?", where, again, in just three minutes, the composer comprises a series of stimulus enough to reach not frequently visited places of the self. Those film titles are such as "Un Soir Apres La Guerre" by Rithy Panh, "Okaeri" a movie by Makoto Shinokazi and a third named "Buffalo 66" by Vincent Gallo. Each film respectively represent for the composer Pain, Disease and Redeemer Love, three definitions fitting also with his own visit to past experiences.
 All those titles and words could give an idea of what can be found in each musical creation. Another thing worth of mention are the slowness and languid moments of "Le souvenir qui ronge", showing an exquisite minimalism in terms of notes and sensations. Also the title track is where the composer have reach one of the best ever moments in his already long career, it is another example where he joins in perfection all virtues spread over a big number of pieces. Not really much words to define such splendid and brilliant title. I also would like to point out that, in spite of the offered suggestions for giving a precise scenery to each work, the possibilities inside the listener mind are endless.
This can be valid as an example of "Dépression" or "Illusion perdue", two of the most introspective thoughtful moods of the album. The final masterpiece is presented under "De Silence et de pleurs" to show again static images of real expressiveness. Like previous works, "Layla" is another recommended album by Ozymandias, if you are not really into his music you could easily start with this or whichever of the previous, a perfect gift for lovers of classical piano with the characterisations described above.

F. Paco González


Ce nouvel album de Christophe Terrettaz est, explique le communiqué de presse, dédié au cinéma indépendant qui a influencé sa composition. Pour ma part je dirais que cela ne regarde que le compositeur pianiste, son effet sur l'auditeur est seul en compte : beauté, plénitude, mélancolie, une foule de sentiments se bousculent, s'opposent, se mêlent. Un disque auquel il faut s'abandonner totalement, bien au-delà de toutes les productions habituelles, on est là dans un autre domaine, celui d'un homme seul devant son piano, celui de la grande musique.

"KARNAK" (2000)

Blog du pingouin teutonique

Passionné pour la poésie romantique anglaise et fasciné par l'Egypte Ancienne, Christophe Terrettaz pianiste soliste d'Ozymandias (nom tiré d'une oeuvre de Percy Bysshe Shelley) est un génie de la composition et un véritable virtuose. Son oeuvre se révèle extrèmement intimiste, caractéristique héritée des poètes anglais et d'une beauté mélodique dédiée à des splendeurs issues d'un autre temps. Minimaliste, rappelant par moment Chopin ou Satie, la musique d'Ozymandias s'adresse directement à votre coeur. A réserver aux plus romantiques d'entre vous donc.

On apprèciera aussi l'album The Soul of Romanticism avec Mark de Elijah's Mantle, celui-ci récitant des poèmes de Keats, Byron et Shelley dans l'espace musical créé par Terrettaz. Splendide tout simplement, et bien loin de tous les styles "musicaux" que les médias nous déversent. Tout cela pour vous confirmer qu'il est encore possible d'écouter de la bonne musique de nos jours sans avoir "à faire les fonds de grenier".



Des albums tels que "Isolement" ou "Ahara" nous ont permis de nous familiariser avec le pianiste Christophe Terrettaz et son oeuvre de soliste au sein de Ozymandias. On le savait inspiré par les poètes romantiques anglais et on découvre, avec Karnak, fasciné par l'Egypte Antique. Ce nouvel opus, entièrement composé au piano, nous projette au coeur des fascinants vestiges du célèbre temple égyptien, chaque morceau reflétant l'atmosphère d 'une salle particulière de l'édifice. Ainsi, cheminons-nous à travers "L' Allée des Sphinx", pour rejoindre la "Chapelle d'Osiris" et le "Sanctuaire d 'Amon". Une superbe échappée mélodique d'un autre temps.

Yannick Blay

L'âme Elétrique

Inspired by the ancient Egyptian temple of Karnak, Christophe Terrettaz offers us the latest work by Ozymandias which presents twelve new musical pieces based -as always- entirely on piano. Haunting, mystical and intensively romantic, the neo-classical arrangements of Christophe manage to reflect the mysteries of ancient Egypt in a very emotional and, simultaneously, artistic way. The warmth and the coldness derived from remarkable sound of the piano constantly interact with one another, thus creating a unique feeling not unlike the one that the dark romantic composers of the 17th and 18th centuries had achieved. "Temple de l'est", "Premier pylône" and "Chapelle d'Osiris" are the tracks that I was instantly bewitched by, but of course does not imply that the rest of the tracks on "Karnak" are any less astonishing. The CD is assisted by a beautiful cover featuring a picture of what is probably the remnants of a gateway in Karnak supported by two lines of huge massive pylons covered from top to bottom in hieroglyphics. And perhaps this is the most fitting image to accompany the CD, but it is certainly not enough to satisfyingly express the power and mystery that surrounds the temple of Karnak itself or the music that was born by the wandering mind of Christophe Terrettaz to the glory and magic of an age long past.

Ioannis K.

"THE SOUL OF ROMANTICISM" with Elijah's Mantle (1999)


"Les compositions au piano sont minimalistes et émotionnelles, Mark scande de sa voix profonde et chaude des poèmes de Shelley,Byron,Keats,Wordsworth et Coleridge. Un chef d'oeuvre intimiste, pur et loin des modes cybernétiques du moment. La bande-son de notre fin de siècle."

Antz Indaco

Dark Velvet Magazine

"Now, this is neat. Ozmandias and Elijah's Mantle have come together to create an artistic masterpiece featuring Ozmandias on piano and spoken word by Elijah's Mantle. Literary goths, pay attention, because this disc will reach down and touch your Romantic core, as the spoken word is various poetry and prose by Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Byron. The literature is recited with clarity and feeling, which is enhanced by the piano music that accompanies it. One thing I've always loved about the piano is that it allows musicians to capture and relate feelings in a way that electronic instrumentation is never able to do, and Ozmandias will capture your heart, your soul, and your mind, as a good pianist should."


"AHARA" (1998)

Side-Line Magazine

"...Ahara is verry close to a classical oeuvre , there where it's entirely composed by one single instrument : the piano. Ahara is a succession of melancholic fragments, which seems to be taken from a movie ! I think it's not a coincidence I've been reminded to the outstanding music , Michael Nyman composed for The Piano . I just miss s kind of kicking melody ! Ahara remains cold and depressive, but this sad feeling reinforces the splendour of the creation. The captivating pieces of this cd will completely satisfy the lovers of soundtracks and classical music. Ozymandias belong to a wider, but still underground scene. An album to relax and meditate a brilliant release ! "

Stef Froidcoeur


"...Austère, minimaliste, la musique de Ozymandias ne cherche jamais à détourner de l'essentielle émotion ou de l'état d'âme invoqué. L'inspiration est le maître mot de ce qui guide les compositions, l'ensemble offrant d'être aux aguets parmi des anges séculaires, des muses en état d'apesanteur. Nul besoin de chercher chz Eric Satie, Claude Debussy ou plus près de nous Harold Budd, la musique prodigué par Ozymandias ne se rapporte qu'à elle-même; autarcique, intimiste et profondément humaine elle renvoie à l'auditeur des échos de ses propres sentiments, menant en songe un cortège funeste où les âmes prises au piège des jeux de l'amour et de la mort vont sans fin s'ébattre."



"...You know, there is always a certaine passage to your inner feelings; Ozymandias could be the boat for you to travel to the other sides...."


"....Wer romantische, verträumte klaviermelodien in Moll liebt, wird von "Ahara" bestimmt alles andere als entäushct sein."

Claus Müller


"....Dabei ist "Ahara" jedoch seit langem das beste und gefühlvollste, was ich in Sachen "Klaviermusik" vernommen habe, und all die sog. Neo-Klassik-Künstler, die ihr Schaffen einzig aus den Umgang mit riesigen Orchestern aus einem Synthesizer shöpfen, sollten sich mal dieses Werk gönnen, um zu horen, was man mit einem einzigen authentischen Instrument leisten kann.


"ISOLEMENT" (1996)

Sonic Seducer

Hinter Ozymandias verbirgt sich der Schweizer Pianist Christophe Terrettaz. Damit ist eigentlich schon viel gesagt, die Musik dieses Albums basiert nämlich ausschließlich auf einem (akustischen) Piano. All diejenigen, die auf moderne klassische Musik stehen, werden von den elf Kompositionen des Christophe Terrettaz begeistert sein, aber auch alle anderen, halbwegs toleranten Musikliebhabern kann diese CD, die richtige Stimmung vorausgesetzt, durchaus empfohlen werden. Die Musik ist verspielt, aber ziemlich depressiv, die Assoziation mit kalten Herbst- / Winterabenden paßt hervorragend als Beschreibung der Atmosphäre, weswegen es mich auch etwas erstaunt, daß als Release Date der 1.Juli angegeben wurde. Man merkt sofort, daß Herr Terrattaz ein hervorragender Komponist und Musiker ist, auch die Aufnahmequalität ist sehr gut. “Isolement”” ist somit ein Album geworden, das aufgrund seines hohen musikalischen Niveaus und fernab von allen Trends auch in 20 Jahren noch eine Perle in jeder CD-Sammlung darstellen wird.


"...Würde man mich nach etwas Ähnlichem fragen, würde mir spontan jener unvergleichliche erste Satz aus VAN BEETHOVENs "Mondschein-Sonate" einfallen."


"...Dann ist sie der Ruhepol, den jeder von Zeit zu Zeit in dieser hektischen Zeit braucht. Leider kann ich nicht von mir behaupten, ein Fachmann für klassische Musik zu sein - trotzdem ist ISOLEMENT für mich ein kleines Meisterwerk, das ich nicht mehr missen möchte."


"....Eine melancholisch, wehmütige Musik, gespielt mit sehr viel Gefühl und hoher Virtuosität. Meine absolute Lieblingsplatte für die kommende Jahreszeit, diese CD scheint wie extra für Herbst und Winter komponiert. Etwas warmes zu trinken, den Blick nach draussen in die Dunkelheit der kalten Jahreszeit. Eine Kerze brennt und meine Liebste bei mir. Scahde dass ich kein Kaminfeuer habe. Ein zeitloses Meisterwerk für Leute die dem klassisch - melancholischem Piano verfallen sind. Wer diese CD einmal gehört hat will mehr davon, und mehr davon und mehr davon und......"