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Corey Fuller: "Seas Between"

img  Tobias

Cosy warmth, an atmosphere of sweetness and welcome, a magnifying glass looking into emotions and blowing them almost out of proportion, translating them at the same time into feelings of comfort, a retreat into the safety of a mother’s womb... After being agreeably introduced this way, the listener might even assume to be subjected to musical surroundings of a new-age-like-disposition. But then, irritatingly slow and nonetheless with a shocking effect, select elements are deteriorating into disharmony. At first, one merely notices this through the ever-so-slight asymmetries in modulation swelling out of the speakers. Tiny fractions of frequential disharmony are emitting waves of sound irregularly altering the harmonic field just enough to create a sensation of discomfort. And then this discomfort just keeps growing …

This, in a nutshell, is the basic concept of Corey Fuller’s latest work, and in my opinion it reflects an important part of his life. A bold statement, it is backed up by the personal history of the artist: At the age of seven, Fuller's parents decided to move to Japan. Being born in the US, Corey had already experienced enough of the characteristics of his native country to make out the differences with his ‘new’ life in Nippon: Differences in culture, differences in social behaviour, differences in traditions and customs must have irritated him, to say the least.

Memories of home and a sentimental and sad farewell are cogenially reflected by minutely arranged sounds. ‘Late Summer’ opens the story as though it were a mystic sage, words seemingly radiating from an ancient voice of wisdom. And yet, disharmonic hints seem to foretell the threatening departure into a new and unknown world, a forced good-bye to home. It perfectly reflects what must have gone through the boy's mind with departure imminent.

Consequently, the next track (‘November Skies Tokyo’) tells the story that unfolds after arriving in Japan, a steady tone of harmonic and intense quality being only slightly altered over the course of the track's duration. The oscillating nuances contained within this harmony tell a tale of overwhelming impressions, of not yet being able to distinguish and sort out this new life. ‘Of A Winter Dawn’ takes us into another phase of this suddenly changed life of young Corey. Field Recordings of heavy boots crushing freshly fallen snow turn into a rhythmical stumping slowly and very delicately adorned by harmonies adding a sense of increasing pleasure, not really to the extent of overwhelming joy, but still… A base of comfort seems to have been established.

The concluding title track marks the end of this sentimental journey. Lugubrious and melancholic melodies make us intensely feel the homesickness and grief of someone being too young to determine his own life and being forced into a new, unknown and thus ominous environment without really having a choice. The sounds of small waves rolling onto a beach accompanied by the characteristic cries of seagulls and sea lions may be a reflection of the old homeland. A homeland, that is far, far away with seas between…

This is one of those albums aiming straight at the heart. Corey Fuller tells this story, his story, in a touching and unique way. Don’t miss it.

By Fred M. Wheeler

Homepage: Corey Fuller
Homepage: Dragon's Eye Recordings

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