Kyle Bobby Dunn – A Young Person’s Guide To 8.4
A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is what I’m thinking the title references. Since there are so many different instruments being used for the recording, this interpretation might make the most sense. Picking out any instrument (besides the piano, which is pretty distinguishable) can be somewhat difficult, as the sounds are blurred together to create comforting, floating drones.
There are drones, two hours’ worth of the stuff. Personally, I enjoy it when the artist takes a longer format approach, particularly for the’ lose-yourself-in-it’ stuff like what this offers. Over the course of the two hours, you’re treated to the warmest of drones. How these drones move forward is pretty amazing, he has a certain method to how each piece unfolds so graciously. In fact, picking out a specific movement or dramatic change is impossible, think of watching the clouds float by on a bright sunny day.
“Butel” starts off the two-disc set in positively massive fashion: a 17-minute piece where things build up so discretely (even once compared to the other pieces). Immediately you can feel its warmth, and its fragile state. It never gets loud or overwhelming, but slowly gains your attention. “There Is No End To Your Beauty” has a delightful ebb and flow of sound as if it were almost sentient. After this you get “Promenade” which brings up images of Stephan Mathieu’s drone work, it is simply so bright and airy.
Disc Two offers its own highlights. “Last Minute Jest” and “Set of Four (Its Meaning Is Deeper Than Its Title Implies)” are gorgeous piano pieces. “The Nightjar” ends things off with a quiet sample repeating ‘looking at yourself’.
Maybe there’s something about geography which influences the music one makes. Stars of the Lid had the vast Texas expanse; Kyle grew up in Alberta, pretty similar to Texas’s levels of open space and emptiness. It is always reassuring to have releases this massive, with so much good music to absorb. Personally, I tend to enjoy long-length works when they’re done properly, and Kyle knows exactly the sort of mood he wants.
Once the music ended, I felt happy. Somehow this music just brightens my day, gives me a more optimistic feel. Think of it as music to comfort you in long winter nights, to have these drones combine with the creaking of your building, of the subtle choir of radiators going off. I absolutely adored this.