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CD Feature/ Paul Bradley: "Sophia Drifts"

img  Tobias

Most of the time, a piece of art will slowly come into being. Switching over from the world of ideas and from a state of infiniteness, it will materialise and take a definite shape in the hands of a painter, sculptor, writer or composer. Sometimes, however, a piece of music will simply “be” there. Suddenly a note can be heard, a chord is struck or a sound emerges from the depths of your PCs memory chips and there is nothing which needs to be added anymore. That’s what “Sophia drifts” sounds like.

Set out to emphasize the “now”, this is indeed an album which rests in itself, travelling at the speed of your watches’s hour hand in slow motion. Yet move it does and there’s not a moment that goes by without the distinct notion that time is progressing, both inexorably and compassionately. A darkly shimmering diamond sun pulsates at the heart of “Sophia”, while a high-frequency breeze cooling its heated surface. Emenating from the void, it slowly grows into its destined form and simply continues from there on, merely allowing in some crackling and fissling as well as some subterranean water gurgling. Most comparable pieces use volume to create expansion, but Bradley chooses to explore the concept of thematical contraction instead – tiny musical motives come up and are unfathomably sped up. While their cycles become ever more closely intertwined, the listener’s mind starts to glide frictionlessly, like a silent figure skater on a moonlit sea in winter. Finally, the piece falls back into the sea of mystery and myriad opportunities, this time with a sense of thankful acceptance. Or maybe with an entirely different feeling, depending on your disposition: What has happened between pushing the “play” button and the return of the laser to its intial position can not be described by a summary of its content, nor by the time which has passed.

“Sophia drifts” has become something of a silent classic, one of those works that you read about empatically on those tiny, but loveable web spaces, far away from the frenzy of the magazine market and the daily media. It deserves to be: A whole life seems to be comprised in this single composition and it takes you to all the places it has been and to all the faces it has seen. Sometimes that is all you need to be happy.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Mystery Sea Records

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