Jordan Wayne Lee is a musician who recently released Constructs of a Human Sanctuary. His music on this release are ambient soundscapes not unlike artists such as Fennesz, Stars of the Lid and Windy & Carl to name a few.
His music leans in to hypnotic and meditative patterns. It comes at you in waves. Some of it’s warm, some of it’s dissonant and all of it is surrounding. Up first is the transcendent and reflective “We are the sacred temple.” He does a great job on this, exploring the gray areas where the emotional resonance doesn't align with the limited framework of a single word like “joyous,” “sad” or “tender.” There is this sort of foundation of what you might call awe or wonder. After the sound emerges from the substrate the emotions bleed into each other through a foggy lens of interpretation.
“In Entrance’ is lighter and ethereal. He punctures the sound not with fine points but with blurry edges where it has more resonance and keeps reflecting off frequencies between 200 and 500 hz.
We hear reverb laced guitar on “Alleluia” which sounds like Sigur Rós is playing in a cavern. You however are not close but only hear the echoes from outside the Earth’s crust. This song is very singular and really more like mediation with micro movements that you won’t catch unless you are paying close attention.
“A Quiet Benediction” tries to get closer to the source. It’s basically a sine wave with minor degrees of fluctuation. It reminded me of the recent track from Jon Hopkins “Singing Bowl” in how the reverberations ring out. Last but not least is the seventeen minute “The Solitary Hymn.” It’s a slow burn and probably the prettiest song in a lot of ways. Three is a sense of stillness and gratitude.
I’ve loved this kind of music for over twenty years now. This was an easy win for me. If you aren’t familiar with the genre then take your time and make sure to listen on high quality speakers or headphones. Take a listen.
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