Donor Lens - Desire Path
May 6, 2022
Isolation can be a life-sapping experience. Cut off from friends and community, we are forced to find solace in ourselves, in the day-to-day process of work and wellbeing. When we find that we aren’t overly happy with our self-care routines it can be a troubling experience, especially when adrift from social contact. But in the modern world, we can look to technology to act as a bridge between us and our friends. That way your personal space becomes a shared space with respected and solid boundaries. And in this space, you can find that solace of friendship and connection once again, and even creative collaboration can be sparked. This is what seems to have happened in the creation of a particular 4-part supergroup. Inspired by Celtic mysticism, the rejuvenating energy of collaborative music and the uncertainty of our times, the four artists both became and created Galdre Visions.
A breathy chorus of pads step uncertainly into focus. Varying in their velocity, the sound is pleasurable yet a little disconcerting. We hear the sound of lapping water, a strange sense of homeliness in an environment that is beginning to feel endlessly expansive. An arpeggiating synth sound rolls in slowly, as if we watch a rotating orbital career past a wash of pulsating stars. Nailah Hunter cuts through the haziness with strokes of organic harp that spring upwards. Her inclusion seems to ease the boundaries of the other parts of instrumentation, things begin to blend together with a warming glow. Sung vocals begin to float towards us softly. ‘It kind of feels more like a bad dream’. The line is repeated, rested gracefully against the feathery atmosphere. Though the content of the lyric provides a beautiful depth, and it is sung in a pleasurable manner, it infers a sense of disconnection, or confusion. As if we are floating on a lake in our sleep, enjoying the tranquility before realising that it is in fact a nightmare, a kind of false realm that is too good to be true. That moment is presented by the four artists beautifully, and the listener hangs between a lulling atmosphere of comfort and feelings of encroaching concern. Possibly the line is a reference to the current global situation, the artist reflecting a moment of deep calmness in a chaotic time.
This cloudy, cushiony atmosphere is carried over into Super Passiflora. Glassy pads are joined by effected vocals falling in gentle descending scales. At points great instrumental power disguised as floaty euphoria, sound waves buffet and drone before peeling off into heavy and slow oscillations. Taking inspiration from space is fairly common in music and art, the endlessness providing many artists with inspiration, but it really feels as though Galdre Visions interest in it has permeated the sound design they have created. Aspects of the track that could just be left as standard background din have been engineered to be dynamic and spatial in their delivery. It makes the track feel real. A membranous form of shifting colours and shapes, with the organic sound of harp and voice permeating the bubble every once in a while. It falls into a playful binary rhythm that the collection of artists instantly find their feet in. Choral voices reaching over the top of beautifully played harps and pads. The four artists exist in this tranquil space, beckoning the listener inward.
It feel as though the first track in the album was a precipice from which we dived, as the third track expands on this soup-y ambience with loose structuring that evokes a free-form style. Breathy notes arrive almost stacked on top of each other, their timing like gentle but laboured exhalation. Once again, the four artists rally around this hazy ball of light in the middle of the mix. Dulcet bells and ritualistic vocals fringe the central point. Synthetic bubbles escape from dark crevices. Galdre Visions illustrate a location that could be either the dark depths of the ocean, or the great expanse of the ink-black sky on Moon Ferns. There is a sense of otherworldliness, but the lower throng of sound feels like the weight of water against the listener. A tinge reminiscent of Carnatic music as a voice appears strong and emotionally heavy, feeling its way through notes. The instrumentation gently recedes.
We reach the other side of the landscape, hauling ourselves up out of the mystic expanse. We find some sort of naturally formed plinth on which to sit and recoup, having just missed the last of the light. “I can remember, a time you smiled.” The vocals sing out proudly, welcoming the listener back to a more vocally structured excursion. Once again, the timing from each of the artists is impeccable, supporting the vocals as sitar and harp bloom from either side. And then, catharsis. “The sun will rise again”, the title of the track is set sail on a raft of beautifully heartfelt keys. The vocalist’s mix of triumph and reminiscing sorrow is almost too much to bare. Galdre Visions grasp the very nucleus of general feeling at this current time. Feelings of isolation, of sadness and loss all soothed by the assurance of salvation. The affirmation that another day will come, that our time is not over yet.
The four artists, evidently very talented in their own right, knit together seamlessly. They are dynamic at points, and a powerful singular force at others. The opening and closing tracks stand like pedestals, edging more towards a structure that is guiding of a vocal performance. The two middle tracks offer a different experience. It is one of swimming and soaring in equal measure. Galdre Visions appear only briefly, made up of 4 songs and 4 members, but they act as salve to the deep feelings of melancholy that run through us all.