Is there something deeply poetic happening on Black Dimes’ latest album, or is it all just coincidence?
It’s difficult to listen to Dream House, the latest release from composer and musician Evan Matthews, without trying to tie it in with our current predicament. Even though it was conceived and recorded well before the world was locked down in a state of emergency, the very nature of this album – seven improvised instrumental tracks created and performed by one individual in an act of self- isolation – conjures an eerie premonition of where we’d all find ourselves just over a month into the future.
Matthews describes the project as, “walking through a house in a dream, simultaneously relaxing and energizing, a soundtrack to an imagined environment of interconnected layers moving around and through each other.” This description may have a familiar ring to anyone who has been trying to work from home recently while surrounded by family engaged in the same mission, especially the part about “layers moving”.
Despite being recorded over a number of sessions back in January, Dream House flows along like one giant act of improvised music. Textures bleed and fade into one another and tempos shift slightly over the 42 minute runtime, all in a way that seems to create a soundtrack of self-isolation for self-isolation. Just like any day spent at home trying to keep busy, Dream House has its highs and lows, its stationary moments and its movement. While it could never be called an exciting listen, there is a great deal of comfort and familiarity to be found in the many repetitive layers that exist here in Matthews’ latest mediation.