Maryam Sirvan | Songs of an Empty Room
Past Inside the Present (CD/DL)
Warbling dark emissions set the tone on the opening piece, Departure by composer/sound artist Maryam Sirvan. Songs of an Empty Room is her sophomore effort after last year’s debut, Untamed Terror (The Committeee For Sonic Research). As a rather newer artist to the scene of electronic music, the way in which she contorts drone is that of a sophisticated pro, with aptitude for shadier resonances. This could easily be interpreted as the kind of atmosphere shucked from one of the rarest of cerebral sci-fi thrillers anytime from the mid 70’s up until this moment. This is 100% immersive drone that oozes and evaporates over time.
“These works delve into the concept of detachment from the outer world and seek tranquility in an imaginary, non-existent inner space―a craving for otherworldly existence and exploration for a personal perception beyond time and space in a hallucinating manner.”
Sirvan’s kernel of wisdom here, beyond the immediate scope of her elusive mix, is patience. The light patterns on White Room, though deconstructed and blurred, are a subliminal trance in terms of pacing. It’s as if you took a sitar, hooked it up to a machine which has been superimposed with the brainwaves of a test subject hooked up to some kind of futuristic monitor. These tendencies recapitulate in the illusory Your Face Disappearing which sounds to be hovering like a small alien craft (of the mind?). I’m reminded of many liquid crystal scenes out of the cellular of Zardoz or Phase IV. It’s cerebral, billowing with the essence of shadowy atmospherics. Gorgeous.
This setting seamlessly carries over into Here, Nowhere Black. There is the sheerest semblance of an enormously elongated vocal, like a choir of celestial chords floating freely. This euphonious cadence is laid atop a barely audible rummaging contortion, like the sails of a ship in the dark being ravaged by the elements. A melancholic masterpiece that becomes vaguely more voluminous as it moves forward (again, it’s all about patience, timing).
Finally, on Departure (Strangers in Bed) the curtain has been widened. The space has a more hollowed out sound, aided/abetted by microstatic and a marginally pulsating drone. The disposition seems inward, the circumstances transitory. About halfway in it occurs to me that this just may well be tower bells tolling on a loop, but due to the fades and other exquisite effects my ears may decieve me. These strangers lay there staring into the great unknown.