The video for “Plus tôt” from composer/pianist Alexandra Stréliski opens with a voiced-over existential question that not only frames the visual treatment to the song, but also underscores its musical motif: “Are you part of the universe or is the universe part of you?”
Before you can consider an answer, Stréliski adds another layer for you to consider. In another voice over mid-song, she calls “Plus tôt” a piece that represents a time of innocence in one’s life just prior to a life-changing event: “It’s the beginning of the trip,” she says, “the beginning of the inscape,” which also happens to be the title of “Plus tôt”’s parent album. I know exactly the kind of time and space she’s referring to — it is a twilight that’s only visible and recognizable once it has already happened. It arrives without warning or fanfare and makes no sound or impact but ultimately, and irreversibly, changes the course of your life.
So in essence, “Plus tôt” isn’t really the beginning of the trip, it’s a moment mid-journey; it’s the pivot-point where things change direction, where truths are shattered and replaced by new realities. You happen to the event just as much as the event happens to you. Even though life is different after “Plus tôt” than it was before, you — the very essence and core that constitutes your being as part of the universe — is the same.