(Faraway Press)

If I ever needed a reminder of my perennial ignorance despite a lifetime spent amidst sounds of every conceivable kind, I’d just have to think to “East of the sun”, a sublime expression of “in-betweenness” – sound drowning in quietness and viceversa – that I had never listened to before Chalk decided to reissue it many years after its original release. “Winter arc” starts like the murmur of a sleepy giant, the only recognizable element an almost immobile alternance of humming bass notes delineating a subdued ideal of illumination, the whole surrounded by emissions that remain undecipherable at first, then reveal themselves to be something like a marine storm whose voice is like a ghostly presence amidst taped and slowed down feedback. You can try as many times as you want, but there’s no way of capturing even a glimpse of what happens in the background; the music moves according to a scheme of faint lights and recurrent dimness that seems to have been conceived by a desolate god of winter weather who’s fed up with decisions and prefers leaving things to their involuntary evolution. “High water” derives from similar coordinates, getting its nourishment from the same well of low frequencies for which the composer is famous, yet it is a little more “present” as far as deep resonance and impressive throbs are concerned. Here, more than everywhere else, oscillating muted drones put our conscious being in a state of reluctance; we’re incapable of accepting this foggy logic of sonic dismemberment but meanwhile realize that submerged voices are calling from within, in order for us to forget what’s untruthful and concentrate on what we already squandered but that’s still there to be retrieved. We just need the right suggestion. Andrew Chalk’s music has plenty of them.

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