Alone In The Hollow Garden ‎– Lhun Drub

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[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

“Lhun Drub” follows the album “Nothingness Without End”, like a shadow occupying the space behind an object. This time, the music oozes out of concentric volumes of sound, heavily stretched out to the point of breaking.

The artist’s inspiration dwells again on Buddhist teachings, as transmitted here by Lhun Drub, a Tibetan monk from this century, who served in his late period at the Nepalese monastery of Koplan (which is known in fact for teaching Buddhism to westerners).

There are ravishingly calm modulations played on bleak drones, and scarce drops of transcendental sounds that can lift the heaviness resting upon the body. The album itself is a musical metaphor upon the three bodies (Trikaya) of Buddha. “Dharmakaya”, the unmanifested body, is first pictured on the cassette. A musical piece has more chances to suggest the concept if the listener is more or less familiar with the subject and, in some cases, the song helps one to get deeper and approach a certain theme on a personal level. “Dharmakaya” favors both ways, using raw minimal frequencies dressed up with scintillating reverbs that built up concentrically a sense of assertive meditation.

The second song and aspect of Buddha is “Sambhogkaya”, body of light, the manifested body that appears to practitioners through visionary experiences. The ambient soundscapes painted by the Romanian composer Dan Serbanescu envision the “pure lands” where these bodies of light inhabit. V Vibrations constantly increasing and decreasing in volume make visible the limitless forms occurring inside this realm and, at the same time, bleaker drones suggest how that celestial plane is stirred up by those reaching it by meditation.

The descent into immanence bears along grave tone accents, laden chords and funeral notes. “Nirmanakaya” is the form of the body, the body which is manifested through birth in the physical world. We find ourselves in the realm of transformations; the musical flow and structure dwells on uncertainty, a sense of fright and indecision. Far from the drone-soothing ambient or the ritual cadence found in the first two songs, the songwriting is now touching grim industrial minimalism.

“Ye Lung” seemingly refers to the concept of breath, the flow of energy carrying the dynamics of the mind, speech and body. The music mirrors this process, expiring and inspiring a sparse cumulus of drones. The barren mass of sound fails to be kept in retention. A musical analogy to the apprentices into this art of breathing, as they too, at the beginning of their mental gymnastic, fail to control the three Vajras or receptacles (body-action, speech-voice and thought-mind), which, for the sake of hermeneutics, is good to know that they correspond also to the three kayas (aspects of the body) portrayed on the album.

The cassette is released through Red Cavity, a label releasing only projects from the Romanian composer. As in the case of “Nothingness Without End”, the physical aspect is delicate and rough at the same time, completing the music. You should visit the project’s Bandcamp (https://aloneinthehollowgarden.bandcamp.com/ )and then try to have an exemplary of your own.

Alone In The Hollow Garden ‎– Lhun Drub
Red Cavity Records ‎– RDCVT-016
MC/Digital 2015

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