Desolate Horizons (Constantine Horizon) has been releasing music on a steady basis for the past few years. Perhaps best known for a pair of watery split EPs with Endless Melancholy (Wide as the Golden Ocean / Deep as the Dark Blue Sea), he’s now turned his attention to the heat of the sun. The new set calls to mind Danny Boyle’s 2007 film Sunshine, which featured a score by Underworld; should a new score ever be needed, The Story of the Sun and Its Fiery Death is ready to go.
An oppressive sadness bobs on the surface of these drones, like swiftly-fading debris on lava. Even without the titles, one would guess that something is dying ~ a relationship, health, a star (and by extension, a planet). By using the sun as a metaphor, Desolate Horizons extends personal sorrow to the realm of the communal. We all carry stones in our pockets. The older we get, the more hunched we become. But is there an exquisite sadness in our decay?
The ephemeral nature of life is described in poignant words and phrases not commonly used in Western culture: saudade, mono no aware. The candle is dying, but is beautiful as it burns. Even a relationship in its final throes can burn bright. The set’s second title tugs at the heartstrings: “I Miss the Soft Words, the Song of Birds, From the Days When the World Was Alight.” This light is now extinguished, but memories of the flame remain: enough to provide a soft, albeit inadequate warmth.
The undulating chords of the music, wave upon wave, occasionally give way to reveal an underlying melody. Beneath the drone lies a piano; beneath the sorrow lies strength. All is not yet lost. For all of the sadness, the gravity, the downward tug, hope remains at the bottom of the box. When the feeling has been wrung from the despair and the last beam has retracted its warmth, a tiny seed remains. Sometimes a forest fire is necessary for the rejuvenation of a forest. We won’t be around forever, but we’re here now. And so, in the words of Horizon: Take every moment of this. And live. (Richard Allen)