Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Presenting emotionally still and centred music into an atmosphere which keeps the listener's attention isn't quite as easy as it seems.
As those who start on a course of mantra meditation will attest, with the best will in the world the concentration can roam and you need to gently nudge yourself back to the mantra to refocus on something unattached to the world which can so easily seduce.
This album by Wellington's keyboard player George Johnstone charts a mostly quiet and mindful course over 10 pieces in 30 minutes from the warm repetition of the spacious opener Moonlight to the brief Anything is Possible which acts as a not dissimilar bookend inviting you to loop back the start.
The non-referential electronic sounds allow for a kind of detached experience where titles (Awe, New Pattern, Breaking Through et al) are signifiers more than signposts in how to hear a piece.
Perhaps Hope is the most significant as a suggestion however because there is an encompassing positive feeling here – no sense of the cold weightlessness of deep space so common in ambient music – and Breaking Through is well placed at the midpoint as it opens with some subtle dramatics to pull the listener out of a reverie.
The sub-aquatic sound of Tangaroa which follows is mesmerising.
A modest collection which can be as functionally focussing as it is an aural environment constantly arriving and fading.
You can hear and buy this album on bandcamp here