What happens in a year, indeed.
We all have our 2020 stories of bad luck, the things that happened to us IN ADDITION TO all of the things happening to us all. Mine is the fact I lost my dad in August, and I just traveled to Colorado and back to visit my mom and kind of look around and see where this family’s headed for the next few years. I returned just a couple of days ago and yes, my mailbox was stuffed with countless CDs and several LPs had been rescued from a not-so-dry front porch. I don’t know why I picked the CD ceremonie/musique from What Happens In a Year to play first. Maybe it was the old school cover which I felt was comforting in a minimalist way.
What Happens in a Year is an odd jazz trio, one made up of a guitarist (Todd Neufeld), an electric bassist (Giacomo Merega) and one multi-instrumentalist, Josh Sinton, who is the composer of these spare but vivid original creations. This might seem a little confusing, but Sinton had a concept of music that was “quiet, spacious and executed at fast tempos.” It’s hard to imagine this dichotomy until you listen–these mood pieces go fast and slow at the same time. It’s tiny circling dust devils in a giant valley where the sun is starting to set. It’s free jazz without the mania.
This album just arrived–it was available of October 9, so I’m fine there–but you know I sometimes like to get the review on paper ASAP before the enthusiasm wanes. The music of What Happens in a Year turned out to be the perfect match with the Vimberg Amea loudspeakers I’m currently reviewing. This excellent recording told me so much about the Vimbergs, and vice versa.
I’ll tell you right now that this two-way stand-mounted loudspeaker sounds so unlike any other two-way stand-mounted loudspeaker I’ve ever heard that I doubt it’s important at all. This haunting and strange music doesn’t really have deep bass or even a beat, but there’s so much space that you can feel the boundaries of the room and all the dusty and dark corners where we might have seen a mouse last week. There’s a suggestion of deep bass and strength that is waiting patiently in case it’s needed. There’s much to explore.
It’s another case of music and mood finding a warm, happy spot to meet and reminisce. Sinton’s sax is so immediate and crisp, and the electric instruments are introspective with the kind of inner detail that makes me smile because I know I can go deep and find all sorts of goodies. So while What Happens in a Year isn’t the kind of music that will cheer you up when you’re feeling blue, but it will remind you of why you became an audiophile in the first place–to find that elusive oasis during a challenging time.