JOE FRAWLEY – A Book Of Dreams

Self Release

Hailing from Connecticut, Frawley describes himself as a composer, pianist and visual artist. His field of interest, as transpiring from the 50 minutes of A Book Of Dreams, is the place where reality and hallucination meet, a no man’s land very similar to the images and sounds we all experience during nightmares, or just before falling asleep. Accordingly, he mixes soothing piano phrases with a dexterous interconnection of spoken snippets and extracts from the most disparate types of recordings, processing the resulting concoction quite deeply with effects that alter the textural stability in the attempt of influencing someone’s psyche. Fragments of Messiaen and Cage are interspersed with morsels of conversation between a woman and a child; Celtic songs and Ravel’s “Trio For Piano, Violin & Cello” find new connotations amidst voices emitting numerical lists or repeating the same words ad infinitum. Frawley utilizes loops with skillfulness, perhaps a little too often. The twelve tracks, originally released on a pair of separate EPs, give a good idea of what this man is able to bring forth in a listener’s mind. In its best moments – floating moods and harmonic ambiguity prevailing – this music appears as a mysterious junction of past and present issues, intoxicated by the fumes of involuntary imagination. However, listening to the two original halves in different occasions is recommended: the similarity of the implied processes might generate a tad of tedium after a while, if received in a wrong moment.

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