RICHARD SKELTON – Imaginary Film Music (Volume Two)

Æolian Editions

Composed during the taxing times we all went through in recent months, this 33-minute piece reaffirms a somehow overlooked truth. Besides the manifold revelations brought by his visual and tactile signals, Richard Skelton remains a fine purveyor of significant drones.

Over the decades I have been rambling on the diversity of levels in the jam-packed field of sonic hypnotism. A space accessible by most everyone, even without specific instrumental and transcendental discipline. For its very nature, the lasting maintenance of acoustically induced suspension summons up the concealed forces of an inquisitive mind for a purifying bath. But that’s not enough. When the droning density discloses openings to its molecular constitution, the distinction becomes evident between a musician gifted with authentic commitment and a superficial trend follower, possibly armed with synthetic philosophical pretence.

However, one must separate the chaff from the wheat in audiences as well. Ordinary people are out-and-out annoyed by a state of harmonious immobility. Heaven knows how often has this writer heard dull-witted remarks such as “it’s always sounding in the same way”. For that matter, I was once shocked by an overheard casual conversation expressing exasperation for blackbirds singing in the early morning. Just another weed from the sterile ground of human inadequateness.

The slow ebbs and flows and the tenebrous projections of Imaginary Film Music (Volume Two) appear to principally derive from processed layers of vibrating/feedbacking strings. Plus, perhaps, other sources that these frazzled ears didn’t manage to identify; every now and then, some kind of thrumming undercurrent emerges in the mix, like a dusty blank tape rubbing the filthy heads of an old reel-to-reel machine. Skelton’s individual refractions are born from genuine contemplation, evoking the scents of solitude on a deserted shore in the sorrowing embrace of ineluctable events. Until your brain’s bugs wake up again and start wreaking havoc in the garden of vibrational awareness, this mesmerizing track is going to lull you into uncomfortable daydreaming.

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