Flower-Corsano Duo – “Four Aims, The” – [VHF Records]
“The Four Aims” is the sophomore full length release by Michael Flower (of Vibracathedral Orchestra and many other projects) and Chris Corsano, the much esteemed drummer. In this project Flower plays Japan banjo, tanpura, and organ and Corsano plays drums, melodica and cello. “The Four Aims” is somewhat like an inverted Indian raga taking the listener on a journey of sound to an other level of consciousness. Music can do this and if you let yourself go this recording will push you there. Many reviews of this album focus on the technical virtuosity of Flower and Corsano, and rightly so. The opening and closing tracks are an outrageous example of free… free jazz…. free experimental sound… free rock (if there is such a thing). Whatever, it is an onslaught of improvisational sound that is jaw dropping. It’s difficult not to obsess on the musicianship because it is so overwhelming. But the true joy of this is to let go of the analyzing and to just fall into the sound. Tracks 2, 3 and 4 are much quieter, bringing the drumming to a minimal place and allowing for space between the sounds. Silence, however brief, is also a music in this recording. The titles allude to a journey of sorts, possibly a spiritual journey, one with unexpected outcomes. The cover and interior art, by comic artist Alex Holden, shows the journey not expected, of a plane falling from the sky and having landed in a forest, covered by the plants where it crashes. Is this altogether saying something about how out of chaos comes calm, that through extreme experiences comes transcendence? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but the puzzle pieces seem to be there to be fit together.