Reviewing something like this is a different experience, as it has an intention beyond the norm. With a run time to match it!
It puts me in mind of the times in the 1990s when record companies stretched the meaning of what could be counted as a ‘single’ release, with experiments in format by acts like The Orb and Future Sounds of London, who would riff around a mood or idea for a run-time way beyond what would be entertained on commercial radio.
Featuring harp, guitar and Indian flute (the bansuri) flowing all around the soundscape (and we’ll come back to what the soundscape means in a bit), this is a meditative exploration of melody around a 9 bar pattern in 6/8 time.
From a purely technical appreciation, the first 6 of these bars are underpinned by a satisfyingly predictable descending bass note, and then we are left to float, quite ruthlessly (in the most gentle sense) in an uneven number of bars, yearning for something to re-root us to the piece.
All the while the guitar and bansuri enjoy a swirling, beautiful and yearning conversation around the piece’s key and its possibilities of harmonic and melodic development. And wistfully, there is the ambient counterpoint of cicadas quietly rasping in the background, moving water, occasional birdsong…
Featuring the stunning Rakesh Chaurasia on bansuri, the piece captures the exact location of every sound source and where it is in relation to the recordist upon capture (Binaural 3D). So you’ll understand that when I describe the melodies as swirling, there’s a good technical reason for this!
Art Tawanghar has recorded this in 432Hz, allowing us to ‘tune into the wisdom of the Universe, Divine Intelligence, and our Soul’, but I still wish the piece had a title beyond what is stated above!
Irrespective, it’s beautiful and satisfying: be bathed by its waters and wash off all your troubles…
Find other compositions on Art’s Soundcloud page.