Despite a great desire to do so, I’ve never been able to go a rain forest. Or any forest really, outside of the pine trees of my time in Montana or the mesquite trees that litter the horizon here in New Mexico. When I started listening to Hoshin’s Path of Dissolutions I didn’t have much of a basis to go on. But that didn’t matter because the sound was so overwhelming and so vibrant I didn’t feel as though I needed to have been there before.
The entire album is subtle, natural, yet it holds an intensity that is hard to deny, the longer you listen the more intense yet subtle the sounds are. I could really pinpoint a single instrument that was used over the course of the album but the mystery added to the experience, it was odd and exotic, the human voices that broke through the fuzz and drone here and there painted a picture of reality. No one was speaking to the listener but the listener, nonetheless, was able to hear tiny bits and pieces of these people’s lives. For a just a heartbeat, we are a part of those lives. It’s sort of an awing experience.
My favorite ambient sound is rain, it’s been a favorite of mine for decades, far longer than any other sound or instrument. I didn’t grow up with a lot of rain (Texas was never known for that sort of thing) so when I got the chance to listen to it, it felt like a spiritual experience. It still does to this day, so when the rain begins to permeate the soundscape of Path of Dissolutions I knew I had found an album that was going to stay in my mind for a very long time to come.
It’s just one example of what makes this album as great as it is, it’s peaceful and spiritual but it’s physical and sinister at the same time. Path of Dissolutions takes place in a world that is still feral and savage despite the wondrous beauty. It’s a gorgeous microcosm, a slice of the world as it exists in the mind of the artist. Never before have I listened to something that sounded so honest, so simple yet so powerful. The emotions of the artists are plain to see through the recording. It’s an homage to the past, a nostalgic, heartfelt ode to a world that doesn’t quite exist anymore. It’s almost more a theory now than a real place.
But maybe the idea that this sort of world doesn’t exist anymore is an illusion. That’s another theme I sensed as the album went on. What if this world is not really gone? What if this world is just waiting to come back? What if we just can’t see it anymore? This of course brings up a whole host of questions that delight literary theorists like me but I won’t bore you with such a digression now (though I reserve the right to in the future).
Every now and then you hear sounds that don’t quite fit the image of a vast and unendingly complex rain forest. Mechanical sounds, machines that intrude upon the serenity of the forests, cawing like crows before a meal. These sounds are unnerving yet they are necessary to the story. These unnatural, ugly sounds remind the listener that there is something out there waiting to devour that which we hold dear, or that which we grow complacent of. Value the sacred images and places that grant you serenity, value those things that help you find peace.
Listen and support!