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CD Feature/ Organum: "Omega"

img  Tobias
David Jackman would probably rather not talk about his trilogy at all (or about his music in general, for that matter). For some reason, however, he did anyway: “Look, all of this is highly retrospective. Does it have any value?” he asked rhetorically at the end of a recent – and, by the way, highly valuable – interview published on his website, implying that the music contains all the answers – or rather asks all the right questions. At first, that sounds like inappropriate modesty.

 “Sanctus” and “Amen” were like dreams come true for all those among his flock for whom the essentiality of his work was its main attraction. Like few others, Jackman is able to get through to the core of things in a process which seems nothing like the typical subtle technique of taking away until only the elementary remains.

Rather, he resembles a sculptor chipping raw chunks of wood from a vast, solid block in an inspired rush, resulting in raw, but incredibly intense forms. The halucinatory and yet lucid effect of his music lies in the monolithic spirituality of its majestic outlines, as well as in the neverending Mandelbrot-like granular structures of its surface material.

“Omega” is no different in that respect, a work of awe-inspiring persistence. Divided into three segments of great clarity and (almost) perfectly equal length, Jackman concentrates on nothing but two gargantuan piano chords over a carpet of floating harmonics and glistening tanpura strings, merely allowing in some distant field recordings (or is it a rainmaker?) at a later stage. Over a minute of silence lies at the end of each movement and a short moment of quietude opens each new one – on paper, there is hardly any music here at all.

The idea of really important things taking place between the lines is definitely being taken to an extreme. The abovementioned piano chords are the lead motive of “Omega”, but the vast majority of the music is expanding in the breaks of their succession. It is as if Jackman is trying to demonstrate the continuum between two conscious thoughts, stressing the coherence of all things.

While the basic blocks remain intact, he carefully shifts both their emphasis and the listener’s perspective over the course of the album’s duration: “Omega II” stretches the atmospheric passages to infinity and “Omega III” has a consoling, pieceful spirit to it, sounding out the album in a mood of harmony.

Needless to say a great amount of detail has gone into the music, which plays with the notion of repetition and relishes the moments of tacit intrusion on its symmetry: From the question of which piano chord to use first to matters of arrangement, there do not seem to be all too many coincidences here. It is this form of absoluteness and a mentality of locking out doubt, which lends “Omega” its sacral feel. Or, to put it with David Jackman, “the visual patterns are the music”.

All of this is, of course, highly retrospective and of arguable value. It’s like finding out about love from reading a cheap medical novel: While you may understand its gestures, you won’t understand the physical impact it can have on you. Composing is doing, seems to be Jackman’s creed and listening is understanding.

Have I said enough?

I have said enough.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: David Jackman/Organum
Homepage: Die Stadt Records

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