A.F. JONES – Four Dot Three To One

Kendra Steiner

Alan Jones details principles, aims and settings related to Four Dot Three To One in the record’s introduction, readable by clicking on the above link.

Similarly to Kendra Steiner’s boss Bill Shute, I myself have become a big fan of Jones’ discerning ears in recent years. Judging by the virtues of each and any release we’ve come across, there’s a sizeable chance that his following will grow to considerable dimensions.

This time, though, previously unknown facets of the composer/sound engineer’s aural perspectives get uncovered. Having established an area (or a few) to start from, Jones deftly deepens the subject of acoustic perception in contexts to which the everyday man is clearly not accustomed. At least, those who do not travel underwater as a daily job.

It would be too comfortable for him to produce a classic – read abused – “submarine trip” replete with reverberant cavities and luminescent glories.

On the contrary, his approach is that of a genuine documentarist of the tangible aspects of propagation within a flux of events that may or may not derive from, or being influenced by, water.

One is encircled by an alternative kind of inside animation. We’re indoctrinated by the invisible movements, so to speak.

That said, the expectations of profoundness – in every sense of the word – are fulfilled, especially because of Jones’ explicit will to utilize the timbral features of certain emissions as a means for further analysis, in spite of a listener’s congenital uncertainties. At one point I had doubts about the origin of a pitch, in that it resembled a bowed string instrument. Of course it was something wholly different. I won’t ask.

At the same moment we’re also rendered aware of a somewhat relieving “normal naturalness” – human and animal voices, environmental murmurs, ominous thrumming, nocturnal quietness, distant alarms – placing brief sections of this work closer to selected renowned masters. Don’t let me name names, please.

Awesome drones (no obligation to ascertain their rootage) inaugurate and terminate the album, in the latter circumstance accompanied by a strange plinking melody left as a perplexing signature. The circle is completed. Between nothingness and eternity – as John McLaughlin would have it – the fluid coexistence of all we see, feel or just imagine still manages to imprint the receptive auricular membranes.

We could have reconditioned the adjective “concrete” here and there. However, we’re not going to ruin with pedestrian terminologies the precious testimonial of a path to intuitive comprehension.

We merely need what is already there, and always has been. Not someone to “explain” it.

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