There’s a long-running feature in Mojo magazine giving musicians, actors or writers a brief questionnaire about their listening habits. Even if I don’t buy a particular issue, I will have a covert peek at the All Back To My Place answers as it is the quickest way to get to know an artist’s tastes without having to wade through too much biographical detail. Although some of the questions have changed over time, What’s Your Favourite Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Listening has remained. It even survived the pandemic when Saturday nights and Sunday mornings ended up blurring into the same thing. But in essence: party music for the night, recovery music for the following morning.
While many contributors to Mojo pick out folk or gospel music for a Sunday listen, ACL readers probably have a stack of favourite ambient albums within reach. Never mind what has happened the night before: we all need music that heals and restores. It’s not about ‘chilling out’ as such, as it is providing the opportunity to refocus, refresh and renew. We don’t even need that much time, which is why the new album by Lynn Avery & Cole Pulice, running under 30 minutes long, is warmly recommended for those contemplative moments.
To Live & Die In Space & Time is a weighty-sounding title, yet the music is gossamer-light. Avery’s soft keyboard tones and delicate piano playing sit unobtrusively under Pulice’s breathy saxophone. This is music to get lost in, to let the mind wander. The four tracks on the album gradually expand their arrangements and duration, so the closing track “The Sunken Cabin (Night)” is nearly half the whole album’s running time and is enlivened with the saxophone howling at the moon. It’s a clarion call to draw the listener back into the world.
Both artists have recorded and collaborated for Moon Glyph before, with Avery releasing music as Iceblink. The majority of this album originated from an improvisation made for the Drones Not Drones Festival for Doctors Without Borders, which you can still support. It was committed to tape in the pre-pandemic days of 2020, with the final piece arriving in September 2020. Given what has been going on since then, To Live & Die In Time & Space’s release in February 2022 remains prescient. We need music to get us through our lives, to act as a comfort and friend, not just on a Sunday morning. We did when these tracks were recorded, and we still do today. Even more so. (Jeremy Bye)