KEITH BERRY – The Cartesian Plane

Elevator Bath

The fallibility of a human mechanism is inversely proportional to the illusions from which it absorbs nourishment. Confidence and unsettlement, inflexibility and hesitancy are but two of the infinite contrasts that perceptive beings meet while assembling a buried universe of personal inclinations alimented by their deepest wishes. Accordingly, another remarkable manifestation of necessary imperfection is the disproportion between the latter – meaning “any aspiration” – and the lack of occurrences that might help in fulfilling those expectations. This is the starting point of that kind of silent, inexplicable interior grief that can devastate a psychically fragile person, or fortify that individual’s awareness if the process of growth was accurately carried on.

Intent in listening to one of the five movements comprised by The Cartesian Plane, I notice a fantastic image cut by the frame of an open window: a perfect blue sky spotted by white clouds in a corner, and a wealth of green given by fully flourished branches. All around, a nearly scary quietness is fought by the incessant chant emitted by thousands of cicadas, in turn overwhelming uncommonly infrequent chirps – even birds seem to look for answers this afternoon. A typical flash during which I found myself asking “why”, not focusing on the cause of my controlled qualm. The reasons behind strange phenomena and dubious behaviors, I’ve stopped searching for them since ages. The rightness of certain combinations of sounds and colours is something that must not be rationally examined. At least not neurotically. That left me alone with the mere question. Why?

Still no response. The music is repeating its course for the third time, the reconnection with Keith Berry’s vision turned on via indiscernible hues and infinitesimal details. A side of this 12-inch picture disc (a limited edition of 233 copies) contains a pair of segments that are harmonically permanent, though we detect subliminal modifications in the fundamental matter of the droning formation, characteristically not specified by the composer. The other face of the album features a slightly different approach in terms of change: somnolently elliptical pictures of desolation are outlined in blurred stupor over the remaining three subdivisions, letting us intuit the vague presence of corporeal entities. It could be a sluggish orchestral fragment or a moribund choir, voices in the wake of the eternal issue. Why?

Following a lengthy stretch of almost complete silence, all it takes for Berry to put together again the threads of his resounding solitude is 47 minutes of merged tones that are both majestically entrancing and soul-consuming. Finding comparisons is a hopeless exercise reserved to pen-pushing bureaucrats. On the contrary, we will keep raising questions without receiving a solution. There’s a reason why people don’t really want to know that explanation, staying within the borders of a self-styled reality. When the truth finally materializes, it’s going to be terribly late for a dull analysis.

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