David Jackman’s latest seems to be a direct continuation of his previous album, “Herbstsonne”.The two albums are each comprised of a single 40-something-minute piece. They have identical sleeve design, with the title and the artist’s name printed in identical font, black letters forming a cross on the cover. Both albums seem to be made from the same (or else very similar) sonic elements; a piano with long reverberation, some church bells, occasional crow cries. The music even seems to be in the same key, so that you might listen to “Herbstsonne” and “Silence In ThatTime” back-to-back and not realize that they aren’t a single album. What does it all mean? David Jackman certainly isn’t going to tell you. All we have is the music, which is as it should be.
Jackman often employs a compositional strategy of repeating ideas a few times with slight variations each time, as he’s done throughout his long and enigmatic career. If there’s any characteristic that distinguishes this new album from the previous one, it’s a small increase in activity. The piano chords crash more frequently, the bells chime a bit more often. The music comes to a pause after 14 minutes, starts up again after a few moments’ silence, then takes another breather at 27 minutes. Are we hearing the first 14 minutes repeat during the second section? And the third? Are there variations among the sections, or not? I’m sure I could look at the waves on some audio editing software and find out for sure, but that feels like cheating. The magic lies in becoming absorbed by Jackman’s gentle pacing, the cycles of percussive piano, the tamboura (?) drone and reverberant echoes that overlap one another in a slow dance. It’s quite elegant and minimal and lovely. Nothing more to say about it than to listen. (Howard Stelzer)