Jim Perkins ~ Immersed in Clouds

The EP may be short, but so is the life of a cloud.  We identify shapes in clouds, turn to a friend, look again, and all too often the shapes are gone.  Such is the nature of the skies, as well as our days.  By the time you read this, the year will already be 1/24 over ~ as if a year were a day and had expended its first hour.

In much the same way, these miniatures make brief impressions that linger in the short term memory, seeking to edge their way into the long.  Jim Perkins‘ compositions are brought to life by violinist Anne de Bruin, who treats the pieces with wonder and grace.  An ambient gloss is applied to the strings, a liminal underpinning of light.  As she reaches for the higher notes in “Seeking,” one can feel a sense of striving to be lost in something larger than one’s self.

Bonus track, “Cloud Memory” adds piano, a surface to grasp in the midst of the mist.  Do clouds remember being parts of other clouds, of having once been groundwater or seas or streams?  Are they saddened when they let go of their rain?  “The Waiting Room” implies that some answers are beyond our ken, dancing on the periphery of understanding before dissipating.  Chords rise to the surface, then vanish.  With looping, the piece might be extended to twice, even four times its length while retaining its ephemeral nature; the same is true of all these pieces.  But that would defeat the point: life sometimes seems long, but the days pass before we know them and the year is already flickering.  What will we do with our minutes and hours?  Will we pass them like clouds, floating from one to the other without contemplation?  Or might we anchor ourselves in time and make a difference?  The wide sky remains, open and vast.  (Richard Allen)

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