Greg Davis: Mutually Arising

Mutually Arising is not the Greg Davis of Arbor, nor is it the Greg Davis of Curling Pond Woods, Ku, or even Somnia (arguably its closest kin), for that matter. What it is is Greg Davis setting the controls for the heart of the sun in full-bore meditation mode. No vocals, no acoustic guitars, no percussion, no song structures or melodies but instead two long-form drones (the twenty-nine-minute “Cosmic Mudra” and twenty-three-minute “Hall of Pure Bliss”) Davis birthed using Korg Mono/Poly and Crumar Stratus analog synthesizers, effects, and computer. Like a visit to LaMonte Young's Dream House distilled into the most compact aural form, Davis strips sound to its time-suspending essence and stretches gently modulating tonalities across limitless expanses. As the sound mass in “Cosmic Mudra” gradually builds in volume, waves of overtones rush in, so relentlessly it feels like a drill boring a hole into your cerebellum, until a state of becalmed and blissed-out stupefaction is reached during the piece's final minutes. “Hall of Pure Bliss” begins gently with swirling pools of synthetic chords and thereafter travels a slightly less epic road than its predecessor. Rather than ascending to an alpine peak, “Hall of Pure Bliss” situates itself in the empyrean at the outset and then softens over time, becoming ever more peaceful and cloistered with each passing minute until fading to nothingness. Needless to say, the recording, designed “with good will for the entire cosmos,” documents the spiritual side of Davis 's music in its purest form to date.

July 2009