We had first met Neil Leonard in 2014, drawing a favorable impression from his audioscapes. It’s a pleasure to reunite with his work seven years later, finding him once again dedicated to engendering sounds that nourish one’s pneuma via saxophone and electronics.
By clicking the label link you can comfortably learn about the background and implications of the installation for which Leonard has provided this composition, originally conceived for playback in the dome of the glorious Hopkins Observatory in Williamstown, Massachusetts. An artistic director and professor at Boston’s Berklee College, Leonard is definitely capable of seizing otherwise unspoken connections when he creates. He relates to the cosmos with humility, “decoding” the atmosphere around him so that the notes released find a meaningful correspondence with the environment.
The levity typifying the music even during the slightly darker sections is suggestive of a state of spiritual ease, despite the unfortunate historical climate. Lingering tones and ethereal loops alternate with a well-considered restyling of that same structural simplicity, occasionally turning into amiably amorphous sound creatures. A “dazed-but-not-confused” aura informs the entire runtime, with plenty of room to relax and mentally probe the surroundings and the unconscious. Somewhere, I detected remote echoes of familiarity with something that could not be identified. Those fleeting instants immediately gave the spotlight back to Leonard’s weavings, oscillating between unearthly and cantabile.
Sonance For The Precession is an excellent companion for the rare quiet hours we’re left with.