Weaving Portraits by Cousin Silas
“Weaving Portraits” is Cousin Silas’s second work with Sucu Music and, by happy coincidence, also the release marking the first anniversary of the label. There couldn’t have been a better way to celebrate our first birthday than by releasing a beautiful work of meditative music entirely created by textures of keyboards and delicate touches of electric guitar. No rhythm, no percussion, nothing that might encompass this music into a closed system. Cousin Silas’s is music for open spaces, and it doesn’t matter whether we are speaking of real spaces or inner spaces of the mind. Call it cinematic, call it ambient, call it soundscapes, call this music as you like, but be ready to leave everything behind and experience it with every pore of your body, every neuron of your brain and every unnamed substance which makes up what you really are.
The album begins with THE OLD TRACK, and we can say that it is a very appropriate title for this … er … track, in that the music really takes you for a walk or glide or fly or slide along sandy tracks of the mind which stretch along imaginary plains and woods and plateaus. Just keyboards and long, deep guitar notes accompany the wayfarer in this journey. The mood is very relaxed but nowhere grim or new-ageish or anything like that. This is music which doesn’t know what frenzy or haste is. Music that takes time to develop and take root within you, every note is like a wavelet that rolls and rolls and rolls into something big but peaceful which will flow but not flood.
HIGH ON THE HILL. Ascension. Climbing to the crest of a hill. The plain stretches below, as far as the eye can see. The green of the land and the blue of the sky. Silent flights of birds in the distance and a gentle breeze combing the grass. Time to sit or lie down and follow the road to introspection these keyboards and guitar notes lead you to. Time to get in touch with somewhere beyond the horizon. Time to forget about the ugliness of daily life and rejoice in the simple act of breathing.
BELONGING. Floating and gliding and flying in the vastness of a silent world which could be ours or a different one. Endless water and endless earth below. A different perspective on beauty as seen from above. No impending doom in these notes. Again, no rhythm, no percussion of any sorts, because here the normal rhythm of living is suspended for moments of eternity. Textures and soundscapes, sustained airborne guitar notes that add new dimensions to the three ones we are accustomed to. A sense of Belonging to the whole universe in sounds and music.
A VIEW THROUGH SEPIA. Yellowed photographs found in the bottom of an old, dusty chest in an attic. You sit down and look at them, one by one. A flux of sepia memories and you are in a gondola at the centre of a placid lagoon, waiting for the breeze to gently push you to the shore. You shade your eyes from the sun, but when the hand is removed you find yourself in a clearing in a wood. The grass is soft and invites you to roll in slow motion. That’s the magic Cousin Silas’s few, spare notes of keyboards and guitar can work.
ASCENDING. The mood in this, the shortest track in the album, is highly meditative and spiritual. The sequence of keyboard chords and the guitar melody have something deeply religious in them and the feeling is pensive but not dark or heavy. A feeling of hope in a better tomorrow.
AN AGE. Can an introspective journey reach an end? A point where one can say ‘Here I am, this is who, what and where I want to be’? The answer is uncertain, but the final track in Cousin Silas’s work seems to suggest us that perhaps it would be better if we weren’t so sure, and kept on searching instead. It could take ‘An Age,’ as the title might suggest, or even many ages, for life could be an eternal wheel which turns relentlessly and what we refer to as death is not an end in itself, but only a moment when the wheel changes the way and direction it turns. Endless music, revolving sounds, layers upon layers of sound which discreetly add to the overall organic system which is Cousin Silas’s music.
- Tony Colina
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