Approximately fifteen years ago, when Jochen Schwarz broke the news that Mirror no longer existed, this writer’s reaction verged on borderline hysterical. Over the course of a number of outstanding records, Christoph Heemann and Andrew Chalk had opened the gates of my perception to resonant mutations of inexplicably sorrowful beauty. In that regard, I will never cease to repeat that Front Row Centre – published in 2000 by Schwarz’s Die Stadt – represents an essential moment of personal evolution.
Therefore I had given up the dream of listening to new Mirror currents. Yet the miracle happened, and now I have the transparent vinyl of Some Days It Rains All Night in my hands, thanks to Timo Van Luijk (who, for the occasion, joined Heemann and Chalk together with pianist Vikki Jackman). The recording of this piece took place at Koln’s Loft on an unspecified date, and it’s supposed to be a live set since the venue is quite known for avant-garde performances. Chalk’s cover artwork is typically impressive in its enigmatic imagery.
Mirror haven’t lost any of their magic, it’s good to say right away. Clusters of (mostly) strings giving shape to mysterious long-lasting chords are ever-present, although in this case they appear coarser, almost rusty at times. What we noticed, especially in the second part of the LP, is an increased ritualistic temperament. The resonances we knew so well are escorted by abstract signals, intense percussive washes, suggestive piano notes akin to glimmering mirages.
Then the clangor fades to a relative calmness, the textural wholeness returning autonomously to the inscrutable vibratory core that has always defined Mirror’s output. In the end, we register the symbolism for one’s existence. A fundamental quiet to begin with, a growth at first under control then gradually difficult, the fight against problems bigger than our strength, the apparent lack of a way out, the exclusively mental conjectures about an unknown “after” hindering the quest for becoming pure sound. The only significant goal.
But the elapsing of time brings things back into perspective. The breathing slows down, the awareness still deeply painful. Somehow, we keep walking. And learning, day by day, from authentic teachers. Those who won’t utter a single word.