mp3 - "Elegy And Rapture (For Margaret)"
01 Dark House Walk
02 Staring Into Black Water
03 The Beauty Of Doubting Yourself
04 The Might Of Angels
05 The Devil Would Steal Your Joy
06 Elegy And Rapture (For Margaret)
07 Staring Into The Light
Daniel Thomas Freeman is a founding and current member of Rameses III,
the South London group who in the last ten years have released
ambient / drone / folk albums on labels such as Type, Important, Digitalis
and Under The Spire and who have supported such genre luminaries live as
Stars Of The Lid, Current 93, Murcof, Fursaxa, James Blackshaw, Yellow Swans
and Astral Social Club.
The Beauty Of Doubting Yourself is a deeply personal document from the Rameses
III musician Daniel Thomas Freeman. Written over a period of six years this
instrumental album is split into three movements chronologically representing
the artist's deep depression, his slow transition to recovery and his eventual
experience of grace.
Whereas Rameses III's music is designed to instill beauty and peace with every
release, this album is a challenging yet rewarding listen in its own right whilst
keeping the luxurious depth of the later Rameses III recordings.
The first movement commences by pitching a mutated 2004 field recording of
Westminster Cathedral bells against junk percussion to create Dark House Walk,
named after the tiny London street near where the composer reached his nadir.
Imperfections and leakages in the field recording enclose the listener in a
claustrophobic well with daylight a dim and distant memory whilst juddering
strings loom half-seen ready to swallow the few last remaining shards of light.
Thomas Köner-style thunder announces the main drone of Staring Into Black Water;
a nervous malevolence of hydra heads breathe out fogs of despair. Drop-out waves
hiss and spit and cave rain pelts and mottles grey skin. Improvised beach drums,
voice echoes and groggy keyboards rail uselessly against the black tide as the
rain pours in. Finally only the hydra is left, howling victory over the barren
rock as it sinks back into the oil-slick ocean.
And yet hope exists.
The second movement dawns with the hammered icicles of The Beauty Of Doubting Yourself.
The worst over, the artist's previous self-reliance is shattered revealing a higher truth.
An utterly forgotten component of an old unused track, Beauty was discovered glinting
in the wreckage.
With The Might Of Angels there is lightning in the clouds. Violin loops soar and
blood pounds once more. The simple underlying riff grows ever more immense, sweeping
away despair before it climbs into the clouds, its job done, leaving the hypnotic
loops to circle gleaming metal points. The Devil Would Steal Your Joy speaks of the
fragility of transition. Rough and scarred slabs of concrete drone and torn vocal
fragments try and overwhelm the clean dulcimer echoing high above, yet to no avail.
The third and final movement is peace. Elegy And Rapture (For Margaret) - dedicated
to the composer's late mother - documents the sadness for the time lost in chaos
since her death in 1999. The most accessible and conventional track on the album,
most of the components are generated from very heavily edited violin recordings. A
stately drone gives way to interlocking lines. Horn calls mourn what could have been
and the different and clearer path that might have been taken. Slowly the requiem
melodies are obscured by a rapture of a thousand points of heat distortion burning
the sadness away.
The album ends with the mirror image to Staring Into Black Water. Staring Into The
Light is based on a drone directed through the same reverberation chambers and filter
clouds as the former track. Water is again present but this time the waves announce
salvation. Rhodes clusters gently caress the pain away and vocal sighs breathe easily
as the drone increases in strength and complexity. Low Mellotron strings glide into
view and the Westminster Cathedral bells from Dark House Walk return, this time in
their original unaltered form. Finally the drone ebbs away and the remaining Rhodes
shards sparkle and shimmer into the sky. Grace is upon us, pain can be borne and
the waves reflect the light all around.
Daniel Thomas Freeman, March 2011
Edited by Spencer Grady
All tracks written, produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Daniel Thomas Freeman.
Design by Jeremy Bible, cover photo by DTF.
Catalogue Number home n025.