Murals For Immersion Kenneth James Gibson & Paul CarmanMurals For Immersion

Tracklist:
  1. Finding New Language
  2. Selective Noticer
  3. Murals for Immersion
  4. Corners in D
  5. Above Suicide Peak
  6. Tonio Between Two Poles
  7. Finding New Language

Release Details


Genre : Ambient, Atmospheric, Electronic, Melodic, Soundscapes
Label : Cassauna Tape Company
Country : USA
Format : Cassette, Digital album
Date : May 31, 2024

 

Murals For Immersion – Cassauna Tape Company

 

Murals For Immersion is Kenneth James Gibson’s 6th ambient outing under his given name, this time around collaborating with saxophonist Paul Carman who played and recorded with Frank Zappa in what Zappa called The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life.

 

1. About the album Murals For Immersion

In late 2022, Kenneth James Gibson and Paul Carman started getting together at Gibson’s Idyllwild studio, laying down tons of Saxophone sounds – layers of drones, melody lines, and off kilter noises. Gibson processed, sculpted, and arranged these sounds into full-fledged pieces of music. Although the original idea was to make a 100% pure Saxophone based album, sub-heavy Moog Prodigy bass swells were added to fill out the lower end of the spectrum. From this process we give you the aptly titled ‘Murals For Immersion’.

I hear the calls coming from above a cave that must be pretty big, the distant creatures call into, or out from, the lurking darkness. The tones they make linger like a drone, but they have superior articulation. These creatures are complicated, they create an atmosphere of deep peacefulness, and sometimes they disappear and the cave walls murmur with fading reverberations, then they return with a sustained sense of always reaching out, That is what they do in the dark, they reach out into the darkness that contains the whole world.

 

2. The tracks

I am in Idyllwild heaven and there are endless silvery brass and foggy synthesizer break rooms. Take a break, submerge yourself with enough time to bring your heart rate down a bit as you keep listening. The music is dreamy. I think this is probably the most top-quality sleep music in the world. With this sound you can lie down and listen, you can close your eyes. The feeling is remarkable. It always seems strange to say that “this music will put you to sleep.” For dealing with stress these days, sleeping is a very good thing. To some, sleeping is an elusive and evasive state, something that all good people need.

For me it is all about the musical adventure, to take it in one simply must just relax and listen and imagine being inside of these atmospheric soundscape experiences. There are seven of them. I could be sleeping right now, and I might not know it. The first track begins and is called “Finding New Language” (9:14), we are on a train going into the peachy darkness. The landscape ahead is waiting and hidden but time will surely tell us what to make of it all or reveal what it will make of us in the future.

The new language is not very hard to appreciate, the message is like an ocean current, flowing along and you wonder where it has come from. That sounds like a big bad bass saxophone. “Selective Noticer” (2:29), here this cave is different from the first cave with lingering reverberations and long sustained tones. It just sounds a bit different. I think that there is a hissing or rushing air sound that responds to the bass saxophone. They paint a complicated nocturnal floral mural.

 

Next, long new tones emerge. This is the….

…title track, “Murals for Immersion” (7:16) and it all connects the album’s essential feelings. Across the valley the train passes by way up ahead of where we are now, I can see it going up into the mountains and the shadows haunt the sky. Like a hidden waterfall the saxophone flutters very slightly and the valley below is calm. The calls are continuing, throwing long floating tones that cause reverberations. I think that the distance is closing as the light increases and the track fades into the quiet for a moment.

Now there are lots of saxophones, “4 Corners in D” (7:24) we are continuing the slow long tones landscape excursion, wooly extended notes that just hang there in the darkness. Now I think we are out of doors, out of the caves and still enjoying the dark atmosphere. No, I am wrong, this is just a much bigger cave, we are not outside. Or are we? I think that the creatures have formed a choir, and they are reaching to the moon, they call and hold the tones while the air echoes on and on and the brass holds up the sky. The world below hears these tones that ring upwards and fade perfectly.

I insist that there is a soprano sax or some wandering big flutes, way up there, “Above Suicide Peak” (3:12). This time we are in the sky and the land below is frighteningly deep, but our trajectory is solid. I am sure now that there are no flutes. I am probably wrong about all that, but the pitch is higher and more agile so I think it might be some big flutes. It all fades quietly.

 

Here comes a dramatic…

…interlude, “Tonio Between Two Poles” (9:44) where slowly the antechamber shadows gather and get stronger. Now this is really a flute I tell you! Right there I am very sure, but now it is gone, now it is back, singing cautiously. Abruptly, something big has just sounded, perhaps a huge boat or zeppelin? It has always been cloaked in the inky darkness, listening, and imagining the way it might look in the open air. Here there is time to consider the song title, Tonio sounds like a name. Two poles are what planets have, north and south, or it could mean two rods and Tonio is there between them and not further out. Nothing is decided in my testimonials.

Back to the music itself, for Tonio the sound is layered, the brass is making stratospheric clouds, and the fog is just below. For Tonio the calls are always long and slow reaching long distances. The feeling is articulated in a natural and harmonic way, calling, and then fading slowly, calling again. There is absolutely no flute anymore. These are husky, lower tones that sound blended and more enigmatic and somehow heightening without the vertigo of Suicide Peak. I think there might be strings.

Now we have arrived at the conclusion, but from the title we seem to be full circle and starting where we finished not so long ago. This track title is “Finding New Language” (5:50). I think that I hear the calling which always goes on, long sustained signals from the creatures in the dark that we can never see. Up where the mountains might be the train is no longer audible, until we rest in the empty darkness.

 

3. Where to buy the album Murals For Immersion?

You can buy the album Murals For Immersion on Bandcamp.

Written by Robin James, June 14th, 2024
 
 


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