From the Mouth of the Sun - "A Season in Waters" (Woven Tide)
When deconstructing Woven Tide, the debut album by the newly formed duo From the Mouth of the Sun, the notion of melancholia seems a good place to start. Once the dust clears from the opening seconds of the first track, “The Crossing,” the album’s skulking in the depths of melancholia becomes hard to overlook. Dag Rosenqvist and Aaron Martin are the two behind the music, but it is Martin — specifically his contribution of elegiac cello strings and piano — who takes the sound into those introspective realms that so transparently tug on our heart strings.
Yes, much is worked in similar impressionistic fashion to acts like A Winged Victory for the Sullen, or Kyle Bobby Dunn, whose takes on 21st Century Classical — as spare as they may be — employ much in the sphere of melancholia. Woven Tide is in many ways aligned with material by these acts, but its neo-classical approach breaks a few of the unwritten rules — namely, its blending of processed and unprocessed sound in making something beautiful and abrasive.
What is rewarding then, in musing over melancholia as the focal point here, is the eventual realization of the notion’s delineative shortcomings. Acclimatizing to Woven Tide is grasping the work’s transcendence beyond dreariness and sadness, or any of the other lowest common denominators that melancholia stands to represent.
Melancholia, musically speaking, is a language, and there is a compositional eloquence that Martin and Rosenqvist strike through their collaborative communication; their sound, as a result, attains a pensive elegance in arcing movements that flow toward crescendos of elliptical cello tones and swirling granular noise. Judging from Rosenqvist’s previous work as Jasper TX, it’s likely his contributions added much in the way of grittiness on Woven Tide. At times, the source material is blurred beyond recognition, while at other times, enough of the original acoustic property is retained, revealing the rasp of guitar strings, or the crackle of a vinyl record.
These lucid moments, like that in the opening of the ambitious “A Season in Waters” — where the buzzing of e-bowed strings surface over a roiling bed of ambience — ground the listening experience in a kind of amorphous familiarity. The familiarity is brief, but it’s enough to let one break from the clutches of melancholia, to hear what’s stirring beneath.