Our appreciation of music is tied to our life events and our personal circumstances. Even if unintended, every album released this season will be viewed through the lens of the global pandemic.
Ambient music seems perfectly primed to address the current situation, offering peace in the midst of turmoil. Endless Melancholy‘s latest album is described as “an album about the constant attempts to live in harmony with yourself and searching for your inner peace. About trying to shape your own perception of everything in this fragile and ever-changing world.” While written before the pandemic, the set is ready to address it.
This is the first review I’ve written since the coronavirus crisis shifted into high gear. As I write, an elderly friend (who did not seem so elderly before today) is fighting for his life in intensive care: on a ventilator, tube down his throat, unable to speak or have visitors. His wife is under quarantine; her loved ones cannot hug her. It’s difficult to concentrate on music in an intellectual way, but music can also make us feel, and A Perception of Everything feels comforting, which is just what I need right now. It may be what you need as well.
Oleksiy Sakevych’s music exudes a calming spirit, graced with the expected nostalgia: abraded tones that fall just short of distortion. Piano is usually central, less so here as the flow of overlapping tones is more important. The album enables one to disconnect from events and dislodge from time, if only for the length of its span. Even the cover is a comfort: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Maybe the album is saying, “Go out and look at a pond or a lake, or if you can’t, a puddle.” Maybe the album is saying, “for 40 minutes, relax.” The title of the closing track is disconcerting: “As the World Quietly Ends.” But some kind of world is ending, has already ended. The acknowledgement feels like a shared burden. Children play in “Caught in a Memory.” We know they will play again.
Thank you, Oleksiy. Peace be with us all. (Richard Allen)