Invisible Birds Arise

Victoria, seaside
I watch float planes cross paths
a hummingbird hovers above a bush
its wings in figure eight motion
so I'm told and have been told
camera will not focus
microphone out of reach
a gift for mind
I surmise
otherwise invisible

Ingenting Kollektiva - Fragments of Night
(Invisible Birds)

One of two new releases this evening by the ever impressive Invisible Birds label. The one in question tonight is courtesy of Ingenting Kollektiva, a quartet made up of Diane Granahan and Matthew Swiezynski (proprietors of the label) and the mysterious Kirston and Tarrl Lightowler pair, who've chosen to keep nearly nonexistent profiles. Before one even feasts their ears on the music of Fragments of Night, it can be rather enrapturing reading the album notes, which include a passage explaining that the band's name is an homage to Ingmar Bergman and Sven Nykvist, and that the music was partially recorded in a barn, while also being a direct response to music recorded and released in 1969; not the 1960's, we're talking one year here.

The specificity of it all shows an attention to detail that translates into the music. Upon visiting the Invisible Birds website, one will notice a nearly indispensable reference guide to pertinent works of drone, field recording, classical, and jazz music. While it's clear the members of Ingenting Kollektiva have an appreciation for many musical styles, they choose to work more in the drone territory, bringing to mind a few names that appear regularly on those reference lists. Don't get me wrong, as it's obvious that the band brought much of their own to this, I just can't help but hear a work that's in one way or another overly tangled up in reference. It could just be my incessant perusing of the lists, or perhaps that so much about this project seems to be about reference and/or homage. Fortunately, it's not a feeling that's unshakable, and hasn't really affected my appreciation for the album.

"Fragments...A" sets the tone with a low-end wavering drone, prepping the listener for two expansive, slow-shifting sides of vinyl. While the music is made up of a myriad of instruments and sound devices, it sounds almost as if it could have been composed entirely with loops, and not just "loops" as its featured here among a list of 15 or so instruments. The rising and falling path of the music induces a meditative state on the listener, broken only by the end of the run-off groove, which is true for the work as a whole. Field recordings, like that of birds are introduced and allotted enough time to mingle and run their course. I particularly like the midway point of side A that features some rustling and a repeated spring-loaded sound, which plays forward and then reverse in a cycle. I imagine some nifty analog tape work was needed to pull this portion off. There's much to like here and one needn't think twice before acquiring Fragments of Night for their late night drone fix.

Ingenting Kollektiva - Fragments of Night, Side A (Excerpt) by ScrapyardForecast

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