the process is the artwork

Endless darkness

“Perhaps they met one night, in the shade of trees, under the light of the darkest moon as a rising storm’s wind carried the sound of howling wolves and ravens flying into the night. This is the twilight zone of the Bohren mystery, where inconclusive evidence and hearsay only strengthens the power of their dark secret.”

– Ipecac’s Bohren blurb (ref).

Just now, a winter storm is raging outside: hail is drumming heavily on the roof, lighting and thunder occasionally fires at the mountain behind and I am working on a laborious drawing that requires a murky, meditative atmosphere; it’s just the right evening to enjoy to Bohren’s album Piano Nights (Ipecac, 2014); Slow, melancholic, haunting, gloomy (Listen on Spotify or buy here.)

Here are some fragments of reviews about the album, taken out of context, that concur with my own impressions of it.

“One reason Bohren persists in being so interesting despite their uneventfulness is that their music contains a kind of secret history. Lounge jazz, dark ambience, the languorous adagios of classical-music requiem, and the saturated romance of Italian film soundtracks: All of it is folded into Piano Nights. Heard at a distance, the album can sound uniform and insubstantial; up close, it not only covers a lot of ground, but ground you might not expect to overlap. (…) For as gentle as their sound is, the band has always played with intensity and conviction. At their slowest tempos a Bohren song feels like a series of notes both disconnected from the ones before it and yet articulated with total clarity, like bright stars forming a constellation in an otherwise dark sky. (…) The sharpest voice in the mix is usually the saxophone, which Clöser plays with the persistent, exhausted tone of someone trying to explain something they’ve tried to explain a thousand times before—too tired to fight but not tired enough to give up.” (ref)

“As you can tell, I love Piano Nights and will be playing it for many years to come. (…) And by “nice” I mean something you’d expect to hear playing in a dive bar after you get fired from your job and go home to find your wife sleeping with a rich lawyer and your children murdered in their beds.” (ref)

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