There’s a small moment of stasis that happens in between the different ways I listen to something when I know beforehand that I will write about it. It’s nothing particularly zen, but not so long ago I began to notice a little space in the shift from listening to a piece of music, and when I start listening for it. I’m not listening for anything in particular, but it does warrant a different kind of attention. Which is not quite the point.
I mention it merely to highlight the space in between the shift in focus and energy; stasis in this context refers specifically to the equilibrium caused by the meeting of equal, opposing forces, rather than an implication of simple motionless. There’s quite a lot of that going on in the world at any given moment – the meeting of opposing forces, I mean – and in quite a varied manner of ways, some of which are desirable, and others which are not at all. So, too, the outcome when one ultimately prevails over the other. Again, not quite the point.
What is the point, is that the aptly named Lying On Your Shoulder seems to inhabit that moment – and one that feels decidedly the result of one of the more desirable meetings. Composed by 17 year-old Dmitry Evgrafov, the five tracks have an unusally warm and content feel to them. Why is that unusual? Perhaps it’s just my experience, but it’s considerably rare for the art of any 17 year old to carry that kind of sense with it, over the general turmoil that is part and parcel with the age.
In place of things like melancholy, antagonism and defeatism, are touches of bittersweet tenderness and something that I think is best described as the sound of slightly wistful admiration. The customarily mournful tone that is inherent in string arrangements is balanced with a reflective and intimate piano, delivered in a pace that is ultimately both settling and uplifting.
Dmitry has been referred to as prodigious, having been composing since the age of 14 it’s not without justification – there’s either an old soul at work here, or someone who learned far younger than I ever did to not just notice and appreciate the spaces in between moments, but translate them into a language that feels intrinsic. (Well, I’m still working on the latter skill).
Lying On Your Shoulder is released on February 14th, for more information and to listen to the second track – Peals of Thunder – head over to Sonic Reverie.