Dr. Lee D. Carlson has reviewed “What’s Real?” album
An approximation to twenty-first century moods
Date: July 30, 2012
If a collection of music in this century is a reflection of its moods, this one is a close approximation. “Mirage” in particular exemplifies how difficult it is becoming to discern what is real from what is imagined. The skillful and yet unfettered imagination brings about real things with a speed that is unmatched, and usually what is impossible today becomes a stark-deafening reality tomorrow.
“Oceans of Illusion” seems to delight in unreality but one could easily form bodily patterns that match or succumb to its rhythms, as modern dance can be both resonant with and antagonistic to musical themes.
“Vital Doubts” celebrates doubt as a fundamental emotion of the twenty-first century: it picks up the tempo as if to pay homage to it.
“Curtains Over Eyes”: if modern experience is like a drape, to look behind it is not only necessary but inevitable. The temptation cannot be overcome. The background includes a bouncing ball rhythm, which drops with metronomic uniformity and then ends abruptly. This piece is proclaiming loud and clear that there is nothing periodic in this century: one will always be fooled by any seeming regularities.
“Sorrowful Truth”: Here the music is seduced by gravity. It is pulled down to earth just like the truth always is: raw, naked, and difficult to accept at times, but always beautiful just like the melodies in this piece.
Much more malevolent is “Deceived”: the music twists the psyche just like lies always do, however they are crafted and whatever their magnitude.
“Real Fantasia” is a temporary diversion from the superposition of monotony and exhilaration that so characterizes modern existence.
Whispers wake the listener in “Consciousness” and stay steady throughout. They are gentle nudges that however signal the burden/joy of decision-making and its consequences for the conscious being.
“Diversion” from chosen paths is the rule rather than the exception today: this piece pushes the listener to accepting this stark realization.
“Echoes From East” again is a reminder that repetitiveness is an anathema and an impossibility in the twenty-first century. There is so much activity, so much work and play, that they become indistinguishable.