ORGANUM – Sorow

Siren

In keeping with the unlimited consistency that has characterized his craft over the decades (regretfully overlooked by certain specialized press when they reviewed the Sanctus / Amen / Omega trilogy: alter your course of action against a critic’s expectations and a bad reaction is guaranteed) David Jackman continues to exercise a deep interest in new forms of droning superimposition, having abandoned – for the moment, at least – the harmonious brutality of the earlier works in favour of scores that exploit a different kind of acoustic power, that coming from the layering of richer, if somewhat simpler qualities of instrumental resonance. This recent concern derives from studies on early sacred music, mostly evidenced by the extraordinary male choir singing in the above mentioned Amen, among the artist’s supreme masterpieces.

Although it’s not meant to “expand the trilogy still farther, but opens a new chapter in Organum’s career”, a vaguely comparable architecture characterizes the 41 minutes of Sorow, dedicated to Daisuke Suzuki. A static ground of organ and Indian tanpura is interspersed with brass-ish stabs (organ again? A harmonium, perhaps?) and compelling gongs and/or Japanese temple bells, maintaining a strong influence throughout. There are just minor variations on this essential score: loops seem – and I stress seem – to have been utilized (especially in regard to the tanpura parts), thus attributing an even more entrancing aura to the whole, the movement of an inner slow rhythm caused by the pulse itself. For all these reasons, you have to give room to this combination of frequencies by listening to it at significant volume: only then one realizes about the composition’s authority, established in a mounting wall of slight contrasts between placid sea-like chords, massive vibrations and imposing tolls.

After a mere couple of listens we’re already set to define the record as the logical continuation of a research that’s interestingly becoming analogous to an emblematic ascension: a substance born from amassed sonic detritus, transformed into ear-challenging infected wholesomeness, ultimately sublimated in an immaculate vision. When Jackman decides that the time is right for releasing a statement, preconceptions and agendas should be left aside, in the (perhaps pathetic) hope that those sounds are able to locate a small font of responsiveness in cold-hearted “professionals”. This, though, is a problem concerning other kinds of people; I’m comfortable on the opposite side, laid out by the glory of another hymn to the might of stillness.

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