This nicest of releases just so happened to materialize by coincidence, a veritable savior angel, to render my day much better on a pretty hostile Saturday, as I was about to get seriously upset at Gmail-generated technical hindrances. The Disc Of The Sun / The Disc Of The Moon is a double album by Ries Van Schie, fairly long but thoroughly pleasant (by the way – nice to meet you, Ries).
The program’s main instruments are acoustic guitars and mandolin, with calm percussion, witty vintage intrusions, and – most importantly – sweetly unobtrusive and/or evocative field recordings. It is composed primarily of relaxing atmospheres halfway through pastoral and folk-ish, weirdly intimate on occasion. Unexpected stylistic surprises and entrancing segments pop out here and there. A sort of homemade daydream, so to speak.
The musical structures are relatively straightforward, with a range of refinement. Sometimes, Van Schie’s fingerpicked style reminds me of a cross between John Fahey, James Taylor and Tom Katsimpalis of Biota. The resonances captured by Horizon’s microphones greatly amplify the aural vistas, keeping good company to weary ears and thoughts. Moreover, some of my favorite birds are detectable among the ambient echoes (I will never talk poorly of a record where you can hear orioles!).
What does everything seem like then? Similar to a teenage afternoon spent huddled over books, but more often gazing out the window at the light sky mist, imagining a future that reality will offer in a very different way. We 1960s-born children are familiar with the flavor of modern disenchantment. Works such as this one still make it easier for us to breathe because of their generous simplicity, sparse smiles and mildly ironic tones. They will always be my preference above the “avantgarde” that kisses the specialized press on the behind.