Creative producer and contemporary sound-designer Darren J Harris presents a brand new collection of deeply immersive compositions – the likes of which elevate his uniquely intricate, hypnotic approach to audio artistry to greater plains than ever before.
The project is Beautiful Heart, a vast and contemplative journey, beginning with the finely contrasted delicacy and echoing bass notes of Praeternatural. The opener unites elements of the natural world with a more ethereal, sci-fi-esque fragment of flavour, for a powerfully moving and wholly enveloping listen.
It’s been said before, but it remains undeniable – Darren J Harris captivates and connects in a brilliantly unique, skilful and emotive manner. The music, the ambiances, feel all at once familiar, calming, and brilliantly clever – the detail, the effects, the changing weight of each arrangement as it washes over. Praeternatural is all of this, and sets the mood faultlessly for the imaginative venture that follows.
With Indisposed, rhythm leads – a different mood, two contrasting layers regardless but a whole new set of intentions and colours that rain down as the mind falls into the groove.
Then there’s the synth and space and rising intensity of Origins – darkness and intrigue initially guiding us through a new section of this progression or story; blissful moments of brightness later reinforcing the underlying concept of new life, or Origins.
We’re then redirected entirely, piano softly luring us into a state of gratitude and overwhelming peace. One of the album’s shortest and perhaps most organic tracks; a quality that gives an unpredictable yet wonderful Hybrid all the more appeal and energy as it steps into view afterwards.
Crafted out of curiosity to explore and musically represent the search for and later ‘abruptly imposed’ state of personal transformation, these introspective themes work well alongside the music, prompting both a profound sense of consideration from the listener, and a respectable connection with the honesty and vulnerability of the artist.
Great change impacted Darren J Harris during a tumultuous 2020 – relocation, the excitement of a new life, followed by the devastating impact of a stroke and the subsequent reflection and rehabilitation that took over.
There’s already an undeniable humanity and depth to the sound of these compositions, the way they make the listener feel, but to consider all of this in unison with the audio experience, is to appreciate a whole new presence of emotion; the heartbreak and the love, the uncertainty, the pain, the possibility; the now and the unknown tomorrow.
The album’s latter half brings simplicity and warmth in the form of an aptly titled and addictively euphoric A Spiral of Light, which leads well into the boldly distinctive tones of Unstable Horizon, and even the subsequent subtlety and nuance of Lost Blossom.
The title-track Beautiful Heart blends melody and atmospheric depth for an again intriguing and thought provoking journey in and of itself. Then with Coda, those other-worldly details return for a minimalist yet cinematic wave of contemplation, which promptly reminds us of the intricate and purposeful creativity of Darren J Harris.
An immensely awakening project, in short – one that gifts the listener an unparalleled awareness of inner strength and serenity combined. Categorically a recommended go-to for the year ahead.