Suso Saiz`s seventh set for Music From Memory, titled Resonant Bodies, revolves around the concept of communication, at a cellular level. In a quote from the press one-sheet, the Spanish musician / composer talks about our individual “resonance”, our personal vibration, and how that even without actions or words, solely by proximity, we unconsciously, organically, influence the “frequency” of others. The album, an expansive undertaking of eighteen tracks, aims to mimic this interaction of energies with a series of synthesized minatures, where each layer is influenced, generated, by the echoes of the last. Everything derived from the opening sustained drone, an organ-like tone, that spirals through peak after peak. The deep, deep, sound design travelling through slow, cicada-esque song – summoning images of some savannah at dusk – to the sonic equivalent of rain gently lashing at a window. A particulate percussive chatter, textured, and intimate. Warm despite, regardless of, the weather. Chords hang in vaporized cloud-like clusters, treated harmonies create a haunted hush, and there’s this sense of a wind blowing throughout. Melodies emerging slow and patient, as if thermals rising. Sort of suggestions, certainly not “hooks”. Subliminal, almost, never quite, there.
Saiz breaks music down to its most basic molecules, building his compositions from quiet, muted loops. Ringing repeats, whose edges, boundaries, blur, bond, and blend, but never collide. None of the results are jarring, or “avant” – though the chimes on Changes And Reality might wake you from your meditative reverie, prevent you from nodding off. While busy and complex in terms of “microscopic” minutiae, the overall effect is incredibly “new age-y”, reaching a real stillness and calm. Only on the closing Outskirts do elements distort and dissolve into feedback, the ghosts of Suso`s guitar strings finally audible. The short pieces segue to form a subtly symphonic suite. Evolving, unfurling, graceful and stately, at a snail’s pace. Minor keyed, and mournful in places, sad and cinematic, taken together recalling the long-form work of, say, Arvo Pärt.
Suso Saiz`s Resonant Bodies is available both digitally, and physically, directly from Music From Memory on January 24th.