Carolino ~ Woven

wovenThis story may shatter your heart or weave it back together.  Isabella Faith was born a few days before Christmas and left this life a few days after.  This album was written and released while she was waiting in the womb.  As it stands, the album is a testament of hope, underlining the impact a child can have on this earth, even if present only for a brief time.

Woven is triumphant in tone, an uplifting post-rock set in which every note sings of anticipation.  The melodies shine even in the retrospect of knowledge.  Now tinged with a bittersweet patina, the album still manages to uplift by its very existence.  Instead of being pulled off the market, it continues to exist as a statement of faith, a comfort as well as an elegy.

Jon Carolino wrote the album after learning that his wife was pregnant.  The father-to-be was inspired by the 139th Psalm:

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

The pregnancy was difficult.  On September 11 (talk about horrible timing), the couple learned that Isabella was suffering from a terminal disease and might not make it to term.  The fact that she did was a tiny miracle.  In one sense, the story printed on the Bandcamp page is incomplete, while in another, it says everything that it necessary. Woven is an album of love and gratitude, even now.

Life is not just a sequence of events, but the way we regard these events.  In the face of a personal loss, one can choose to focus on the sorrow or on the time that was shared.  This story is played out daily in funerals around the world.  Healing arrives when one regards the loved one with more joy than pain.  In this case, joy may take a while to arrive, but the seeds were planted by the very music that preceded it.  The album’s most poignant moment is the sound of sleigh bells on “Weave”.  When hearing these bells, one thinks of falling snow, a baby in a manger, and pure, unbridled hope.  The glockenspiel of “Who I Will Be And What I Will Become” shares the same tone, as do the album’s closing notes.  What will Isabella become?  She has already become music and memory; she has become eternal.

The peaks and valleys of post-rock are perfect for this release.  When one hears the slow melodies of the opening track, one knows that fuller, better things are coming.  At first, this meant a birth; now it means something else.  The bloom arrives at 3:52 with a crash of drums, and all is well in the world.  By reminding us that all was once well, we remember that one day all may be well.  As Julian of Norwich writes, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”  For now we see as through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.  (Richard Allen)

Available here

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