Songs and Prayers from the Kathmandu Valley by Mirt
Tomek Mirt works within quite extraordinary framework. He has been a CatSun record label chief for quite a long time releasing solo and One Inch of Shadow's albums. Now focused more on his solo stuff, working on modular synths as well as releasing his field recorded cds on Saamleng label hits the chords of some serious work that comes across both as authentic, naturally well-structured and unassumingly interesting.
His latest work released on Saamleng are the recordings from Nepal. Before I started listening, I have to say I had some expectations even though I knew the title of those tracks. Nepal as a country which I have once visited struck me with beautiful nature inter-wined with paths of time and cultural heritage. But as the wheels of time revolve - all the idioms of cultural identity have to be taken less seriously and not at all literally. The parenthesis of appreciative approach towards the sound material is one thing that is album is not lacking.
The richness of not so obvious rhythms, subtle noises which we just can perspire and comprehend as this or that, rattle and hum of something distant yet not graspable. The quality is rest assured by the sure hand of the artist himself but there is more to it that goes on in the background of my mind. As Nicolas Bouvier once said - the bedrock of our existence is not necessarily family or work or the opinionated world of discourse. It's more in the nature of transcendence that the moment, this short while which makes us exalted and overwhelmed by it. There is a link between that notion and the process we set ourselves in while attentively listening to field recording. While our analytical mind tries to pause it and highlight or blow out certain elements to understand it - the contemplative part just follows the vanishing, elusive beat of it. Needless to say it never ceases to process even ordinary sounds with unusual, extraordinary outburst of reflection. Which this album is nothing short of the good example to that.