"Time and Silence" by Valotihkuu

Огромный день залит водой и дымом, / огнем и тишиной, сребром и златом

Over the last seven years or so, the attention of Denis Davydov has turned increasingly from the exotic to the existential. Earlier albums by Valotihkuu were inspired by imagined locations, either on faraway planets or equally inaccessible beaches. Desire was directed over the horizon. In the last eighteen months, however, Davydov's longstanding emphasis on broader notions of "here and there," near and far, has included some essential differences between life and death. 

Tropical lands and starlit planets are replaced by considerations of bottomless water or darkness, pure and simple. Ambient soundscapes become resultant drones. Snippets of accompanying prose ask listeners to consider somewhere both "gloomy and overcast, with absolutely nothing on the horizon. Only the tip of a tower protrudes across an endless body of water. Complete silence."

Human structures dissolve.

Now, with the newest Valotihkuu recordings entitled "Time and Silence," comes a poem from Pablo Neruda's 1970 collection "Las Piedras del Cielo" (The Stones of Heaven). Since Neruda  was extremely ill at the time of publication, any juxtaposition of life death - of geology and theology, stones and heaven - would be especially poignant. "A flow of events, years, periods, and epochs" makes naturally petrine forms look fantastically permanent. Trees and other fleeting bodies merely "tumble into heat and clay," themselves saved from oblivion only by fossilization. Stones deserve recognition for their emotionless, if not heartless endurance.


Just as those fossilized, fallen leaves modestly "imprint themselves upon eternity," so the sounds of Valotihkuu grow more introspective, resonant, and distant. They actually depart for those locations of which they once dreamed. Noiseless death is realization of all hope. 

Огромный день залит водой и дымом, / огнем и тишиной, сребром и златом, /
засыпан пеплом и размыт потоком / событий, лет, периодов, эпох. /
И дерево, упав в жару и глину, / скрывается под толщею столетий /
и превращается в безмолвный камень, /  свою листву впечатав в эту вечность.  (Пабло Неруда, 1970-1971)