Forest Management ~ Delicate

fmI see you when no one else can. That’s what Delicate does. It sees people – the beloved – who have passed on, not through a glass darkly but through a pristine looking glass.

‘I met you in Lincoln Park and we walked into a condo owned by this wealthy married couple…which was nearly empty except for 7 or 8 large glass sculptures by the artist Stanislav Libenský’.

These moments pass by, sometimes with a saddening lack of awareness on our part, before dissipating, just like that. People go. They go and they don’t come back. They leave unrequited goodbyes hanging in the air. This is John Daniel’s personal exploration, a way of coping with grief. Delicate deals with the sudden death of a friend, and of experiences, opportunities and plans that never came about; that were, in hindsight, never meant to be. Sadness is present, but it can’t block out a beautiful memory, even if it only lasted for a second.

‘We went to a taco joint, and talked about the sculptures. We shared how they inspired us, talking about ideas for a future music project. There was this fresh excitement with it. I went home and began thinking about this album.’

The thin drone walks alone, peaceable but with a high chance of tears. The illimitable drone is able to cast off a cloak of sadness and deep shock, and it starts to look at epitaphs. The music is an inscription of itself, writing its drones with love and a great deal of care. Our souls mirror a vase, a fragile sculpture. No matter where we are, the brevity and fragility of human life is always on display. A heartbeat is all that separates the living from the deceased. Delicate is aware of this, and of the images that keep us all going.

The way the light caught her eyes, two opals of angelic light and undiluted radiance; her curling smile, a thing of magic and exceptional beauty. Something never came to fruition here, and the drones are like unfinished thoughts, beautifully sensitive and open despite the churning grief. Lambent drones and slow-to-move atmospheres comb the ambient music, and it leaves behind a soft afterglow. Like a lover’s fading presence, the music lingers before returning to the silence (the dust) from which it came.

‘About a month later, when I was out of the country, I found out that you were gone. Beyond the immediate shock and grief I was reminded of this experience we had shared, and how delicate those glass sculptures were…how we handled them with careful care.’


These drones pass lightly by, like the gentle susurration of a river. The drone consoles. Friendship binds two souls together. Friendship doesn’t pass; the ties do not wither away, even in the face of death. Tears fill a river, the music itself composed from the amber sap of a nightly lament.

‘In a way, our lives are very similar to those glass sculptures. Beautiful works of art, each shaped and colored differently. Not to be taken for granted; taken slowly, and to be handled with love and care.’

Impermanence is the way of all things. (James Catchpole)

In loving memory of Philip K.

Available here

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