Positive sounds immediately bloom outwards. Eyes are opened, and the senses converge on this lightly scented collection from Margaret Harmer. Falling Inside is a lush and peaceful place, somewhere you can go to both lose and find yourself, to let go completely and utterly.
A lucid piano kisses a pair of bright chimes. A pretty plain of existence, much deeper than this one, blooms into the present moment. A scented candle flickers but never goes out. The infinitesimally deep sound of the tabla plays as part of a beautiful raga and birds caw in “4 blackbirds & a black cat” (which is much better for the bird than four black cats & one blackbird). A sighing vocal, and what could be an open mantra, emerges with a lovingkindness meditation practice that opens hearts; not just a little bit, but to the fullest possible extent. Calm drones snake around underneath, and tinkling bells seem to blur into one another, the stained sisters of ink making up a set of lagging watercolors, each note reverberating one after the other, creating halos of symmetry in an alcove of the galaxy, rippling over a water garden’s pond and refracting a white light from above.
Medieval bells and crystal bowls offer a place of contemplation, solitude and inner rest. Using marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, glockenspiel and a tabla, Harmer colors her record, turning up its brightness; indeed, it is a thing of bright-eyed beauty, and the field recordings both help in shaping a warm experience and in bringing you slowly back to life, back to reality. For example, the sound of cool rain at the end of “Organic” dispels the meditation gently, enabling you to go about the rest of your day with a renewed spirit and a thoroughly relaxed body. Nature is here – wash yourself in her, feel her, and enjoy her healing, unconditional love.
“Content” isn’t worried about anything. The bright and fine piano sits outdoors, bathing itself in the uninhibited and open spring warmth. It’s healthy and radiant, getting its vitality from the sunshine, either manifesting from a happy mood (the field recordings of laughter) or from the sunlight itself (the warm piano). It doesn’t really matter: laughter is the only thing that matters.
There is no sadness when the rain falls. Her drones and electronics are natural and organic, shooting up from the soil like fertile and well-watered plants. The heart blossoms along with the music. The sound of the rolling surf – one of the most beautiful and relaxing sounds you’re ever likely to hear in this lifetime – closes the album. Don’t believe everything you read – there are still abundant acts of kindness out there. You must spread it yourself, because only then can the world change for the better. For now, Falling Inside is your remedy. (James Catchpole)