David Parsons: Puja
Released: 15 March 2017
For decades, David Parsons has been a traveler of admirable character. A silent, restless witness to humanity, his movements are directed by curiosity, which, in an Artist, is always outweighed by fear. The seven slow-burning compositions on Puja (73’35”) seem to originate in specific parts of the world, and move beyond the boundaries of any Western construct of time. Better than the perfect nowhere of lesser Ambient works, up close listening reveals the sound elements to be beautiful; worn, rough and resonant in ways that invite contemplative scrutiny. There may be dark stories from out of these places Parsons likes to visit, making Puja somewhat unsettling in its eerie calm. His sound worlds cover the listener, coercing you down – to some forgotten, primitive stage of thought, and an exquisite haunting. We may not enjoy every track, as one may not find it enjoyable to feel these works seeping into early parts of the psyche, which have never been accessed before. Low, gritty drones bedevil ethereal choirs above, as the unknowability of The Universe comes to us in a warm whisper. A subtle work, this album touches nuanced notes of reverence and ceremony that are rarely known in innovative music. While synthesizers seem to rub up against cold stone, further in notes please – as would the afternoon air redolent with bruised flowers. Exhibiting an understated melancholy, Puja offers field recordings of ceremonial ringing, people in prayer, and an environment teeming with nature. From a specific cool 4AM black, to hot, hazy afternoon gardens, this music feels authentic – proving Parsons’ willpower to be the strongest force on Puja. It is difficult to tell people of the digital age that there is more wisdom in the ancient world than in the computer. This requires an act of imagination almost completely missing from the present day. Usually Spacemusic takes us out of the mortal realm, providing respite from troubles round the globe. Puja is music from the world, and shows us just how wondrous a place it is – if we would only just see its landscapes, breath in its air, bask in its sun, and know its people. This music takes us beyond the limits of technology. It senses the wonder of the past, while ignoring the disappointment of the future.