Elnath Project | ~
Focused Silence (CD/DL)
“Music cannot exist without sound. Sound exists by itself without music. Music evolves over time. The sound is timeless. It’s the sound that matters. Sound is strength.” – Giacinto Scelsi
Elnath Project consists of trumpeter Alessandro Ciccarelli and his new record simply titled by the tilde symbol is a rare bird of sorts. On ~ he was inspired by the work of fellow Italian and surrealist-era composer Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988). From the very top of DA22~ we are drawn into a foggy, drone saturated world that buzzes with an evaporating reverb. An all encompassing deep fall into the abyss. This, in fact, may be best heard through headphones as it will offer an embracing sensation that you will experience through your pores. If not readily available I suggest cranking it up.
It may be too easy to pin this as simply described as sonic, it’s better understood as ‘body music’ (cosmic, internal/external, hypnotic). The flow into 6GZ9~ and then further into GS7B~ have a perfectly clean flow, and is the second of three in a row that were recorded live. Though touted as an academic, on this record Ciccarelli seems to refocus all that heady energy into a passionate work that channels a more reflexive side that glows even as it becomes more and more trance-inducing.
The low-slung ambient nature here is dependent on the sheerness of its many layers, and the way in which it plays with the speaker channels. Depending on your prior mood this could invoke either a brain massage or stir your from slumber with a cadence of pins and needles. This is not one of those typical sleep concert records, but teeters on that edge – moreso, its deep-seated drift rocks you gently into awareness. All the while he’s playing with sounds that may otherwise resemble a high flying jumbo jet….yet at the same time it defines that aural presence of having just submerged yourself under water. The impression of pressure and weightlessness seems almost palpable.
An uncertain limbo sets in and the sound separates like dry compounds on PRW7~. It’s almost as if you are in a test-tone soundproof chamber where you begin to see sound (ala mirage) as if taking an aural equivalent of a Rorschach Test. The drift continues, as if on tenterhooks. This reminds me, somewhat, of the sensation of listening to Thomas Köner’s Permafrost or even Nunatak Gongamur for the first time. There is a sense of an endless barren space, driven by an invisible motor. My ears are subtly curling away from ED45 made as a tribute to director Andrei Tarkovsky. Oddly I’ve never been able to sit through one of his muses films from end to end, always giving up about three-quarter the way through. Both Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Stalker had my eyes shuttering in the warm glow of his elongated, overtly paced studies. I don’t hold that against Elnath Project, but can most definitely feel the heavy impact of influence herein, and as such this is the only piece here where I may have tuned out for a moment or two.
Then we come to a sordid conclusion. On 8WYP the composer goes deeper than elsewhere on this record, dotted by a rounded, blunt percussive beat and a gigantic infrastructure of atmosphere. It’s a damp, dark, lush drone that marches softly into a quasi celestial void. In the end we are left only with shadowy artifacts.