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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Rudy Adrian A Walk in the Shadow Garden (2023)

Rudy's hesitant fingers weave embryonic melodies that find their way in the bliss of our listening

1 A Walk in the Shadow Garden 5:10

2 Clouds Over Fields 6:07

3 Dawn Redwood 3:54

4 Hemlock Grove 4:59

5 Of Mosses and Liverworts 6:05

6 Maple Glen 7:46

7 Rising Mist 6:18

8 Dark Waters 6:31

9 Perchance to Dream 8:56

10 Beechwood 1:29

11 Conversations with a Gardener 7:26

(CD/DDL 64:41) (V.F.)

(Ambient music)

A WALK IN THE SHADOW is an album of ambiences about the very intimate relationship between a complacent walker and the delights of a garden of a thousand wonders. It proposes the very poetic vision of Rudy Adrian on 11 structures without rhythmic life. The universe is in suspension and nature calls out to us with an envelope of sound effects, sometimes organic, sometimes acoustic and electronic, linked to the life of a garden. Of its avian and arthropod fauna. Of its secrets and its shadows. Rudy Adrian walks on the paths of As Dusk Becomes Night to offer us in A WALK IN THE SHADOW a more than tangible complement. The synths multiply the vibratory waves, sculpting living winds that take on different hues and shapes to create these atmospheres that blow us reveries on the power of our imagination. These waves, winds and fluty breezes cover floating but unfinished melodies. They are sculpted by pensive hands on a keyboard, a piano or an acoustic guitar. These melodies crumble their destiny in an organic fauna and in its stridulations that have a delicious percussive texture, imagine a lyrical jackhammer. These elements bloom with majesty in this musical fresco where the beauties of this life hold only on the thin thread that connects the universe of the New Zealand musician to the door of our imagination.

We can guess an azure blue in the sky, if only for these electronic hoops that dissolve into long organic filaments in the air of the title-track. The link with a form of avian language obsesses the senses with these cooing sounds that crumble in fine jerky lines. The ambiences are filled with acoustic guitar chords thrown here and there and whose resonances leak towards a swarm of stridulations. Hand percussions and shakers blows fall in dribs and drabs, stigmatizing the glance of our ears towards the shadows of an unsuspected life which is the genesis of a garden. Flirting a bit with the shadowy side of his previous album on Spotted Peccary, Clouds Over Fields is a track of pure meditation with breezes of synth, and some waves of wiisshh, that float and shift like quietly driven winds and whose various musical hues and shapes pamper fields as far as the eye can see easily painted in our imagination. The music, like the atmospheres, are caresses to the ears! With its equally slow moving winds, Of Mosses and Liverworts is of the same kind. The movement is equally slow, equally meditative, with astral tinkling and blowing flutes and darker breezes, a bit like those of an oboe, whispering an elegy. Perhaps a bit wittier, because of the astral tinkling bells, and darker, because of its cavernous breezes, Dawn Redwood offers a suspended structure, like A Walk in the Shadow Garden. The keyboard replaces the unfinished melody of the acoustic six-strings in a more murky, even dramatic vision, with organic croaks and that dark shadow hovering in the background. These elements bring in return a more cinematographic texture which can easily make a link with the atmospheres of the television series of the same title.

There are many unfinished, suspended lines of melody in the musical panoramas of A WALK IN THE SHADOW. And that keyboard tinkling its pensive chords in Maple Glen sounds like the most beautiful Antarctic nostalgia in Vangelis' universe. This coldness tickles our ears in a sound fauna where insects and heavenly birds hum and whisper between the vast synth layers that border this melancholic atmosphere when the night absorbs the day. A very beautiful title! These arpeggios of glass and ice also sparkle in the very obscure Dark Waters of which the shakers have this texture of shamanic percussions. The waves buzz here, creating a more sordid atmosphere and giving a more Buddhist texture to the chords lost thoughtfully by some dreamy fingers on a keyboard. The bass hums along, like the uncomfortable rattle of a night creature watching for visitors to come to the edge of these dark waters. Perchance to Dream is of the same genre but offers a more oneiric vision with an emotional gradation in the melodious keyboard procession. The winds hum with less dark nuance and more atmospheric musicality. Between the quietness of its warm winds and the more tenebrous aspect of its night breezes, Rising Mist hooks our ears with a more obscure shade. The stridulations of night insects and their twilight chants flow like a stream of marbles over guitar and piano chords scattered ever so sparingly. Beechwood is a short, quiet prelude to Conversations with a Gardener that has the same lyrical tones and emotional level as Perchance to Dream.

Listening to Rudy Adrian's A WALK IN THE SHADOW on a lakeside evening lit by a campfire must be an absolute delight! The musician sculptor of sylvan atmospheres offers us here another very beautiful album if you appreciate lyrical meditative music, since poetry without words transpires through its 11 tracks. With his hesitant fingers, he weaves embryonic melodies that find their way in the bliss of our listening. The organic and ambient music universes merge here with a shadow of filiform rhythm that exists only in the ear of the one who makes it beat. Very beautiful! Very poetic!

Sylvain Lupari (May 17th, 2023) ****¼*

(NB: The texts in blue are links you can click on)

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