The third album from David Moore’s ambient project ‘Bing and Ruth’ is the perfect soundtrack to a dying summer.
Starwood Choker, the album’s opening track begins with a flourish of vibrant keys that quickly form from a rippling pool into a vast lake of shimmering golden light. Each note has a long release value, giving the track a vast feel. Each key that is played quickly bonds with the next and creates a new sound that is alive and dances like a flickering candle. It sets scenes of glowing autumnal colours, falling leaves and romantic walks through orange and red woodland. Low strings hum and thicken the sound, adding a deeper, more emotional element to this sophisticated opening track.
As Much as Possible is the next chapter and it follows on flawlessly from the first. It’s more restrained, less involved than track one. Chords have room to breathe and reflect on the beauty we have experienced. A light breezes brushes past you and the track seems to consist of three primary elements. A piano at the forefront which is accompanied by low, mellow stings and somewhere in the distance, a pad like sound hums and gently resonates into the front of the mix.
Scrapes once again shapes each key that is played into a long tone that spills into the next, creating a vivid audio palate that is teeming with life. The overall sound is relatively damp, no key is too bright or sickly and this gives the track a natural feel. It’s believable and is where a lot of the record’s appeal lies. Everything sounds organic and well balanced even when the instruments are winding through each other.
Chonchos places emphasis on deep, droning strings. the piano’s chords take a back seat graciously. Moore achieves a composition that would feel perfectly at home accompanying time lapse footage of the changing seasons. The whole album so far has felt like a film score and the tracks could be applied to a variety of moving images effectively. The Bing and Ruth artist profile on the 4AD website says “Moore was writing the sort of music he wanted to hear: minimalist ensemble music with a certain filmic sensitivity”
The How of it Sped is the fifth track on the album. It starts with Moore on keys again, playing a gentle, repeating melody that has a slightly skippy quality too it. After just over a minute Moore is joined by the same low, humming strings that have backed his keys in previous tracks. This time they bend up and down, twisting through each note from the piano and coating the world of falling leaves and amber sunsets that Moore has crafted in grey clouds that obscure the beautiful scenery from view.
Is Drop turns these grey clouds into a thin icy mist. The strings are sparse and cold, carried by synth pads that summon the first light of a new dawn. Moore’s keys slowly glisten as the mist clears and begin to fall like tiny snow flakes. Moore reveals a vast space created through the droning release of each note. The strings and pads swell up creating a large, epic sound. This quickly calms down allowing the piano to once again steal the show. My mind is left creating my own film for this to be part of. It’s one of the strongest pieces on the album displaying Moore’s awareness of narrative and journey in his music.
Form Takes thrives with life, it’s a shimmering sonic eco system, every element works in total harmony to sculpt a dazzling and ornate soundscape. A documentary film maker’s wet dream, with endless possibilities for beautiful time lapse sequences to match this with. Once again strings add muscle and body to the track whilst the keys etch ornate details into every available area. Tones that hang after each note from Moore’s piano stay suspended in time and space and form luxurious, complex arrangements that make this track sound absolutely massive. This is not the most emotive or atmospheric offering on the album and if anything, the sense of narrative is lost here slightly, but it is clever and flaunts the unique characteristics of Moore’s ‘Bing and Ruth’ project brilliantly.
To All It begins with some quiet, restrained chords bringing you back down to earth after the dizzying rush of the previous track. Atmosphere is key here, siren like pads blow through the mix like a cool breeze. It’s a pleasurable comedown, thinking music, a moment of solitary bliss which should be experienced alone. It’s a personal and deeply thought provoking composition. If the last track shows some the most involved sounds from this album then this track demonstrates the most human. It feels like an opportunity to stop, think and take in your surroundings, a brief chance to totally escape from the grey realities of life and focus purely on the bright colours.
Flat Line/ Peak Color eases us back into Moore’s autumnal bliss. It begins with a cold sound but warmth is quickly reintroduced via the piano. There is a slightly melancholy feel to the melody that drifts from it in this track. A feeling that this journey we have been taken on is coming to an end. I feel this even more at the 04:40 mark. The intensity grows from all directions and I feel like I’m clinging on to the last strands of this sound world that has been created for me to escape to. The intensity grows and grows, more distorted sounds are appearing now. It’s the sound of a struggle you know you are going to lose and whilst Moore is building you up you know you will be bought back down to earth in no matter of time. We are entering the final chapter of Moore’s adventure.
What Ash it Flow up is that final chapter. Beginning with the familiar fluttering keys and the same siren like pads from ‘To All it’ sweeping around the ‘No Home of the Mind’ landscape. keys and strings climb and fall in scale, like waves lapping at your feet. There’s a slightly off or ‘free’ sound to some of the keys played every now and again. The track begins to develop and build. At around 04:00 minutes the familiar droning tales of the keys become more audible. Then the individual elements start to drown each other out mixing together and forming a river of sound that slowly fades from view and vanishes.
‘No Home of the Mind’ is a glorious achievement in story telling and narrative. There are some genuinely touching moments on this record that will inspire creativity in many. Except the track titles, everything on this album makes sense and succeeds in creating a simply beautiful sound world.
Written By – Andrew Everington 21/03/17