Harold Budd, John Foxx, & Ruben Garcia / Translucence, Drift Music, & Nighthawks / Demon

Translucence, Drift Music and Nighthawks are three albums initially released as a package on CD in 2011. Minimal compositions constructed from solo piano and the masterful processing thereof. Within this aural triptych, the central Drift Music is the most manipulated. A Basic Reshape of its companions. Reverb and delay creating harmonics of drone and resonance. With phrases reprised and reversed. Like a single, slowly morphing, sustained note. A sonic salt water tank. An out-of-time machine of church organ tonalities. Cathedral in ambience and size. Warmth and love travelling through it. Memories dancing like flame flickering at a magic lantern. Images held in stasis. Never getting old. If it were a colour it would be silver. Reflective, with a burr to its grain. Static. The fog of forgetting. Arvo Part, Gigi Masin, and Brock Van Wey`s White Clouds Drift On And On are musical reference points. Hector Zazou`s First Evening. Ulrich Schnauss` shimmering, euphoric take on Shoegaze. Julia Holter`s haunted reading of Barbara Lewis` Hello Stranger. Listening to each LP in sequence suggests a heavy night lost in nostalgia. The pain of remembering. Wrestling with the past – “the joy and the suffering”. Drift Music moving through R.E.M. and dream. Nighthawks like waking to resignation. A kind of calm. With an emptiness to action, but a will to keep going. Bruised but OK. Reminders everywhere. Where busy is good. Idle, and alone, not so.

Translucence, for me, is the most evocative of the three. Scoring scenes as a protagonist flashes back. Reliving intimacy. Everyday closeness. Morning catching a lover`s face. Laughter and conversation. Recall miserly replaying only the visuals. The audio, what was said, lost. The film strobes like sunlight through half-closed lids. Cuts to arguments. Feelings of loss and thoughts of regret. Late, under a solitary bulb, I manoeuvre through memory`s maze. Ballerinas, fancy dresses, private waltzes, secrets and slow dances. Further into the dark. A little afraid at what I might find. Summer houses and garden parties. Welcomes smiled and waved. Dusty now like forgotten photographs in unpolished frames. My hand between your knees as we wondered at the trapeze swinger. Carnival illuminations and fireworks. Fairgrounds where young girls with flowered hair and wide child`s eyes watched by flare sequinned aerialists aloft*. Your silhouette. Whispering, serious, in your underwear. Trying not to make ultimatums. But live in the moment. Moments by definition don`t last. Turned away as you sleep. This treasure. Its weight makes me ache. I can`t hold it for long. I`d be crushed. Still I can marvel in its shine. Let its gold slip through my fingers like stolen coins I`ll never spend. Sad reunions and the end of it. Goodbyes and “We shouldn`t meet again.” If any tears were shed, then it was later. Kinda cold and business-like. Like grown ups. Like you can`t, or won`t, change your mind. Why won`t you change your mind?

*Beautiful prose from Cormac McCarthy`s Suttree.

Reference Links

Basic Reshape

Arvo Part

Gigi Masin

Brock Van Wey

Hector Zazou`s First Evening 

Ulrich Schnauss 

Julia Holter 

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