Jonny Nash seeks to strip back musical excess to reveal “Melody As Truth”. His latest long player, for Music From Memory, finds him at his most organic, minimal, and abstract.
Make A Wilderness consists of super sparse arrangements. Of drones, and long sustained notes. Stretched and slowly bent. Tibetan bowl resonance. Reverbed piano chords. Guitar treatments, that sound like old sheet metal, buckling with gravity. The wind. The tide. Compositions buoyed by vibraphone chimes. Making like Winter sunshine strobing through the frozen reach of stark, skeletal branches. Atmospheres. Sceneries not songs. That occupy a space between Resina`s recreated field recordings, and Bohren & Der Club Of Gore’s “doom-ridden Jazz”.
The short press release lists a trio of acclaimed authors as influences. Shusaku Endo, J.G. Ballard and Cormac McCarthy. So with Ballard`s dystopian near-futures, McCarthy`s The Road – a post-apocalyptic allegory for now – and Endo`s dark, faith-based moral fables (check Scorsese`s adaptation of Silence) in mind, its no surprise that the landscape of “Wilderness” is a cold and isolated one.
If music is a means of escape, listening here, you`ll find yourself in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Way off grid, with only wildlife for company. Purged, and your priorities realigned. With hunting, gathering, and keeping warm, pushed to the top of your “To Do” list. The only voices are sighs. Ian William Craig`s cassette-choir apparitions. Nagging fragments of memory, of the life you left behind.