credit: Ava Mirzadegan
'small circle', the latest work by Philadelphia-based ambient musician Jason Calhoun, begins with an offering. The listener is given a moment of quiet grace before being cast into an abyss of static, where clarity is foregone in place of a disorienting veil.
Calhoun’s work has always suggested the deeply personal while maintaining a certain distance, with each collection seemingly building upon the last, tangled with hidden truths and confessions. Entries are written and rewritten, intimate thoughts are quietly shared, providing a communal reflective space. In contrast to his previous two records, ben c, this is for you and notebook, tonal direction has been lost, but the harsh textures of ben c linger. The melodic is purposefully obscured, requiring a quieting of the mind.
small circle is confrontational in the same way that contemplative spiritual experience leaves nothing but one’s self to face. It is an expression of gestalt emotion, where impressions made are a passing blink amid an overwhelming divine emptiness.
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Events featuring Jason Calhoun
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