Suplington ~ Repeating Flowers

I’ve always liked seeing music released during its season ~ winter music in winter, scary music at Halloween, and now, spring music in spring.  Suplington takes this two steps further, having released a teaser single on Arbor Day and now offering a plantable wildflower card with the purchase of the cassette.  It’s obvious that he cares about the environment.  The opening seconds of “From Soils Grow the Flower” highlight falling rain and calling birds, a way to introduce the April showers that bring May flowers.  One can plant the seeds while listening to the music.

The entire project is a work in bloom, a cornucopia of styles that operates as a bouquet.  “A Ritual Dance of Growth” conjures images of dances around a Maypole, the villagers in full regalia, asking for blessing.  The music is often contemplative, sometimes jittery, but always alive.  Late-track changes offer a sense of surprise: hints of percussion, bells, and field recordings.  “Spring Dance” is the album highlight, the right choice for lead single.  Rising from the sedate tones of the prior track, it leads with bells and bongos, casting a spell like a handful of pixie dust.  The piece is a medicine dance for the earth, its quickening pace tempered by the patient ambience of its backdrop.  The stereo effects draw one into the piece like colors drawing one into a garden; one cannot help but approach.  “The Ocean As One Being” is similarly lovely but more languid, a blend of field recordings against a lull of synth.  It all changes in the seventh minute, becoming pure bliss: the music receding with the lapping waves.

All good things must come to an end, even the loveliness of spring.  The title of “From Time Dies the Flower” is a counterpoint to that of the opening track.  The tone is wistful, that of letting go.  But as some flowers die, others bloom; and even those that die let forth seeds.  “An Infinite Loop of Time” highlights this hope: that nature is cyclical, and while beauty may fade, it may also change.  In the finale, the bells and dancers re-emerge.  A virtual choir sings spring home, and a new celebration begins.  To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.  (Richard Allen)

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