Robert Davies: Afterlight
Released: 26 October 2016
With a deliberate simplicity Robert Davies produces music that welcomes the listener’s thinking. His album Afterlight (62’20”) is a work that transports us from the perception of our physical reality to an imaginary realm of open, luminous, harmonious space. For the ten minute duration of each soundway, we are in Robert Davies’ world. His six delicately shaded sonic studies explore stable terrain. With no linear configuration, stark tones and strong textures present a featureless plain stretching in all directions – the perfect nowhere, beyond the literal directions of music. But once we align our thoughts to the stillness of its slowed down thought zones, we find Afterlight to be quite active. Sustaining organ tones present as naturally as the summer field insects gently buzzing nearby. Softly breathing drones hold deep support for the slow notes of a muted electric piano, and the gradual motion of electronic ornamentation through upper regions. As sonic values gradually progress in slow spiral recessions, a low churning draws our attention to something making its way on to our plane. Another interesting feature, Afterlight easily assimilates the sounds of outside the listening space. The rain drops on the roof, the rumbling delivery truck out front, the kids next door, the dog across the street; in a true Ambient Music sense this music accepts and incorporates whatever is happening around us. Within its timbral modeling of contours and volumes Davies’ has found this area to be unmapped, and open for exploration. Should one listen to his minimal music? Is it even possible? We should encounter Afterlight as we do the beautiful sounds of crickets on a solo night walk in the woods, or the surf at the edge of the ocean at sunrise. Afterlight conveys depth, volumes and contours within the sphere of a consciousness – as a respite from the cacophony of the modern world.