Mark Rownd/Painting Twilight

row-pt.jpg Mark Rownd: Painting Twilight
(Spotted Peccary Music - 1998)

I've pencilled a new word into my dictionary, right between "obloquy" and "obnoxious"... it's "Obmana-like", an adjective meaning "showing a marked similarity to the ambient musical sound and style of Vidna Obmana". Besides increasing one's vocabulary, Painting Twilight offers a really nice way to relax one's ears, mind and spirit.

Some tracks are notably reminiscent of the esteemed Belgian's works, particularly those utilizing primitive percussion. the first day is the short (1:36) opener. Slowly pulsing shimmers are decorated with slow beats and occasional shakers, sounding quite Obmana-like. before there was rain builds from drifting layers of synth choir, sans percussion, then fades away... The shaker-rhythm of earthbody spiritbody definitely echoes the Obmana sound, and accompanies a densely welling stream from which leaps a recurring flutey pattern.

Brassy tones blend together to paint a portrait of parting , which results in a smoothly flowing drone... like a liquified orchestra. More spacious, wafting tones rise from somewhere else, a place where veils of assorted translucency percolate. at the edge of calm waters - I fades in on whispy tendrils of sound, evocative of tranquil mists.

Not surprisingly, through the valley of shadow is a detour into, then out of, a darker zone. Hollow winds blow ominously, but warmer rays of synth shine in to lighten the latter movement. eyes of azure ebbs and flows with more percussive elements that call VO to mind, though not as intricate. Like its first part, at the edge of calm waters - II rises and falls in a lush atmosphere that truly evokes a tangibly sensual humidity.

The piano dominates (though wistfully) a moment alone ; the moody, elegant keyboard duet is joined and briefly outlasted by a slight electronic haze. place of grace swelters and swirls like some magical wonderland... subtle wind and frog sounds add a strong outdoorsy feel. storm's passage is another short piece which, suitably, features some hollow winds and runbles.

Saving the longest (13:40) piece for last, painting twilight fades in on rising choral waves. Windswept tones are discernible between the strengthening sonic drifts, phasing in and out beatlessly (and frankly, somewhat repetitiously).

Except for the title track, many of the pieces seem too short (eight are less than 3-minutes-long), but all in all, Painting Twilight  is a fine example of the alluring soundworlds that can be created by combining varying dosages of lushly-rendered modern electronics with ancient instruments.
This review posted December 25, 1997

previous home next
  a-h i-q r-z