At its core, To Move is an album for two pianos, until (as Sonic Pieces describes it), “the melodies are pulled and dragged.” While tape manipulation threatens to move the notes far from their moorings, an inherent magnetism keeps drawing them home. This makes the set a metaphor. One might think of a couple in love, and all the outer pressures put upon them; or even the stubborn tug of daily life on a person just trying to get by. Either way, the result is encouraging, because not only do the pianos “win,” the electronics do as well. Their air of unpredictability adds flavor, while the struggle adds strength. In the same way, one might conclude that a bland life is hardly worth living, while adversity can build character. These self-proclaimed optimists insist that “optimism in a distorted shape” may still retain an air of positivity. In this context, the title of the first single, “He Said, She Said” need not represent opposing, but complimentary views. In like manner, “They Said, We Said” may imply harmony. And while “Bait” slows almost to a crawl, it leaps upward again at the end, not only intact but rejuvenated.
Life produces scratches and abrasion, which some bear as an accumulated weight while others embrace the scars. To move is to adjust, to incorporate, to recalibrate, to rethink. If the signal is distorted, does it still have beauty? If the face is wrinkled, is it less attractive? The now-popular concept of wabi-sabi indicates that areas of wear may be badges of honor, in everything from wrinkles to kintsugi. These notes have survived, and while no longer pristine, they retain their essential core. The struggle implies a greater truth: that adversity need not produce damage. Remembering Jacob wrestling in the night, it may even produce a blessing. (Richard Allen)