Quiet Music drifts on and on. At first, low-flying drones give birth to deep, dense textures which hang ominously up above, but they barely ruffle the still air. The drones will later alternate between higher and lower altitudes as they catch different currents, but its ultimate direction is unchanging, and its course is constant.
Melodies are absent, and this results in wide-open music. Nothing is there to clutter or block the way of the drone; the music’s unending and as wide as the pale sky.
The atmosphere is open, but it’s also, at first, slightly heavy, like the approach of rain. Cool droplets dapple the jacket, and a fresh batch of goosebumps slowly form, prickling wet skin. The wind whips through the hair.
The drones are moving and yet unmoving.
“Not Knowing” clears away the turbulent, overcast clouds and settles in thin, clear air. While the music temporarily clears, the five drones alternate between two contrasts: light vapors and congested registers, a deep blue and an obdurate grey, offering an impressive range of tonal hues. Minor adjustments and minuscule pitch-shifts are made throughout the flight, but it’s very subtle so as to not shock the listener (although the tracks do end abruptly). Repeated listens only deepen the calm. Mantle would like the listener to switch off…only then is it possible to tune into the senses. Turning off the noisy channels on the mind’s television set is the first step, transitioning from dullness to a direct line. Clutter becomes clarity as the drones illuminate and pass on a peaceful state of being.
Nothing much is happening. Everything is happening.
The music is a meditation; this is highlighted in the very title of “May You Be Well”, which gets its name from a well-known mantra used in loving-kindness meditation. Quietness does not necessarily mean a lowering of the volume, a decrease in the decibels, and that’s true of Quiet Music…it’s quiet in its stillness and its sense of isolation, quiet in a more profound way – a calm night instead of a near-silent one.
Enjoy the peace. (James Catchpole)