“These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.”
Emily Dickinson’s poem introduces The Wind Blows Summer From The Trees, recited by a ghostly, feminine voice, present despite the swoosh of wind and the approaching haze of electronic synth, until the reading ends up as a swirl of echo, accenting the very last line over and over again. “Taste thine immortal wine“.
Four words that will encircle the music, and four words fundamental to the reflective state Andy Condon, who records under the name The Glimmer Room, spent in the duration of her creation. Slowly, these loving synths dissolve the poetry, awakening an emotional ride of introverted introspection as seen with a realisation of life’s steady passage, and a yearning for it to never end. Although poems are open to interpretation, one can’t help but feel the clear sense of reflection concealed inside Emily Dickinson’s prose, and this reflective atmosphere is mirrored inside the music.
Due to this realisation, The Wind Blows Summer From The Trees is a quietly intense listen, one in which the artist has poured absolute heart and soul into the music, and this all adds to a special kind of electronic ambience that is appreciative on the outside, yet inside overflows with a bleeding longing for those past experiences. Nostalgia is a frequently overused theme, but it invariably produces desired music; in this instance, nostalgia is the essential element, and there is never a feeling of a deja vu recurrence on the reliance. If you’re in the midst of life, the approaching winds of Autumn may already be lightly shaking the youth of Summer free, an epiphany that prompted Condon to record the music.
At 43 years, 4 months and 27 days old, around half an expected lifespan had already headed into the distance. The Wind Blows Summer From The Trees is a 49 minute sound of that realisation, and the pause for reflection; poetry into music. It’s taking one last look at the past, and what has led up to this point, before continuing on once again. Rarely will you find a more emotional listen than right here; the music is also a reaffirmation that lyric-less music can reduce one to tears of longing which the wind cannot blow away. These synths carry their own stanzas, life chapters shrouded in nostalgic synth. Field recordings are interspersed regularly, book-ending the chapters. A day at the carnival raises a smile, under an azure sky that leads directly into the past and the soul-trip chained to it. The rhythm of clinking bells tied to morris dancers and the bleating of sheep all filter into the back of the eye. Yet, the sky is a shade different to the one seen on that scorching, Summer day; this is another place, where thoughts are slightly cloudy – adding to the surreal, out-of-body feeling, fading to black with the arrival of singing birds. Looking back, loved ones we once knew are born again, and people we thought we’d never see again are embraced tightly; cling to me, never let me go.
At this altitude, crows fly above and the voices of children playing echo around the swirling synth. The sudden realisation of our fading footprints leaves a sense of open vulnerability; you may get a dazzling view scaling the nostalgic heights, but it’s also the perfect vantage point for the fears of loss, masquerading as a hundred vultures. It’s the sound of your life running its course all too quickly, but don’t be afraid. It’s clear that during the recording process, The Wind Blows Summer From The Trees became personal music, and this is often only capable of resonating with the musician. The Glimmer Room succeeds because we all feel this sudden despair and longing, but above all, it’s a message to enjoy life. Appreciate it.
The Wind Blows Summer From The Trees is an ode to life, and for the love of life. It’s also a chance to say thank you. All paths eventually lead into one, final clearing – all that you love will be carried away. Despite the reference of Summer, it doesn’t feel particularly seasonal. One has the impression that the Summer is in the distance, and the breeze flickering against the face are the years and decades never to return.
These are the days when birds come back, flying with broken wings and slowly shattering memories. As in Emily’s poem, only a very few return; the rest have already descended, their final flight taken. The Wind Blows Summer From The Trees is the one, final look before the descent awaiting us all, and so the four, final words echo on.
“Taste thine immortal wine.” (James Catchpole)