Isnaj Dui ~ Abstracts on Solitude

Many, when hearing the word ‘solitude’, will think of something unsettling, the fear of being alone (a broken communication, time fleeing away while they are trapped within the failure of self-consciousness). A few others will think of something comforting, a moment to affirm their passion for life, not a broken line to others but the very conditions that allow those lines to exist. Solitude, for them, is the place where every wish resides, where every story starts, and not where desire dies and stories end; it draws a roadmap of insights shared in secret with everyone else, simple like a minimalist flute melody and yet blurred like a picture out of focus, like a quiet electronic drone. It is in this way that Isnaj Dui presents the listener with six Abstracts on Solitude, six pieces that essay the warmth of distance and its subtly noisy tranquillity – thoughts suddenly appearing, ideas and feelings flowing from each other and turning into memory…

Using only a bass flute, a dulcimer and an assortment of un-processed electronics, the artist finds a balance in harmony, letting sounds flourish and repeat, flourish and repeat like an introverted exploration, self-contained and infinitely in progress. This is ambient music with no grandiose intentions of changing the way we listen or the way we relate to a certain place; its only goal, perhaps, is to find itself reflected upon us, for if we listen attentively, we might come into the peaceful sense of seclusion that such a simple and profound series of pieces evokes, not putting a barrier to the outside world but internalizing it. The joy of letting the mind run, brimming with the soothing inertia of a bass-heavy drone, highlighting every wordless encounter of thoughts with bright harmonics, becomes an internal celebration, a deeply moving wave of self-knowledge. There is, to put it bluntly, no point but to know that “What Lies Inside” is made of the cold wind on our skin, the perpetual noise of cities, the penetrating aroma of grass, molded into being by the sad look in a stranger’s eyes, the smile of a friend, two voices in dialogue…

Abstracts on Solitude moves upon the field of ambient music, but its core is always at the verge of poetry. Interpretation becomes almost an academic exercise, and the strength of every poem, every abstract, comes from the experience of a bit of someone’s life, a constant provocation into making one’s own. The electronics seem to breathe in the last track, “The Last Wil Become a Darker Grey”, as if we had an ear upon someone’s chest. Immersed in their heartbeat, we can only imagine what our own sounds like, and for an instant their pulse reflects upon us: for a few seconds (seconds which, nonetheless, will endure) we share solitudes, coming together not as one but as many, as many feelings and thoughts collide at once to make us speak, listen, and move. The poem is realized as we recognize each other, in all our out-of-focus glory, in all our droning harmony.

The only problem is that, like all poems, it lasts too little, and there is not much left to do but put it on again. This is to say, of course, that there is no problem at all, and that this is an album that you should listen to as soon as you can. The ambient tag is a bit deceiving, but it’s the closest short-hand description one can recur to. Use it as background, use it to meditate, use it to brighten up your late-night party, or, better yet, just share it, and let yourself be shared by it in the process. I’m sure you won’t regret it and, perhaps, you will come to realize that solitude is but one of many paths to others. (David Murrieta)

Available here

One comment

  1. Pingback: ACL 2012: Top Ten Ambient « a closer listen

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