Lagging behind, slow, thin orbs of light sigh softly in the stark presence of loneliness. The cloudy headlights give away the location of lost cars, streaking down the highway in an endless blur like falling tears that have nowhere left to go. Resting in sorrow, the bleak, tender strings are left to reflect on the mystery of their misery.
Gradual in their movement, the orchestral drones are reflective and thoughtful, but they are underpinned by an icy slab of sadness. A subtle tension strains itself against the music, squeezing tightly – clutching at something, a feeling, that is continually escaping – felt as the sharp, painful tug against the pumping heart. It is the indescribable sense of loss as the promise of life drains away, failing and fading as the ship sails away into the fog, never to return; it is beautiful and yet upsetting.
American label Sedimental originally released Fragments And Compositions Of in Spring 2008. The early work of Canadian composer Kyle Bobby Dunn is just as beautiful and just as captivating as his recent In Miserum Stercus. Dunn’s music is cathedral deep and emotionally responsive to life. Downcast to a degree, his music is nevertheless approached with a soft kiss of kindness, incredible sensitivity and a stark cinematic beauty. Dunn would later go on to refine and sculpt his sound in a slightly different way, but stylistically his music is steeped in the same deep and aching melancholia.
“Miranda Rights” begins gently, and as the strings swell they leave behind their fragile, trailing tears. A deep freeze of the heart has set in, producing a tired but ultimately soothing sound. Deeper drones, ice cold to the touch, seep into “Sedentary I”, chilling the skeleton with its cold heart and merciless atmosphere. It is minimal music, but Dunn has the capacity and the courage to evolve the composition. And while the six compositions are supposedly described as fragments, they are proved to be anything but. Recorded over a two year period, the introverted music settles into its surroundings comfortably. Abiding in the light of its own sadness, its broken promise, it is nonetheless beautiful.
“Furthest From It” introduces some light static and the lower drones provide some weight as they glide beside the higher strings, which in turn helps to lift the sorrow. The loneliness is allowed to abate, but only briefly. The coda “Sedentary II” was composed on a piano when Dunn was just a teenager, and yet it is a remarkably mature piece of music. Although there are seven billion people on the planet, sometimes the world can be a lonely place. If you can see through the tears, these fragments and compositions are an early glimpse into his full-bodied tapestry of mournful sound. (James Catchpole)