rf – falls

here’s a lovely bit of ambient electronica blended with some orchestral elements. i don’t think it’s an accident that the band’s name means radio frequency. in here, there are sounds that don’t seem musical at all. they’re quite different to the organic sounds contained in something like the set fire to flames recording a little earlier.

but at the same time, the ‘name’ is that of the lead artist, ryan francesconi. in reality, it’s closer to tortoise, for instance. well after this album was released, and beyond when i acquired it (through the excellent cd baby), he arranged and performed with joanna newsom.

the pictures within the cover are clearly, to me, of europe. though perhaps it’s equally believable that they’re of some other northern hemisphere place. trains, industry, mixed with nature. autumnal leaves.

i think that’s partly where this music sits, in the seasons. falls seems to be of the autumn featured visually. the last two gorgeous songs here, after 65 minutes, are winter and spring. at the same time, some of the sounds are so close, as though they’re in one’s head. you look around to see if it’s a genuine ambient sound in your immediate environment before realising it’s there in the speakers. the almost unreal sound of perhaps rain on something plastic is a great example for three quarters of winter. it begins to remind me of telegraph hill from boxhead ensemble’s original release for dutch harbor – where the sea breaks its back.

it’s coincidence that i feel this music so keenly tonight. as i left work there was a fog descending on the valley in the dark – illuminated by the fake glow of street lights, buildings, sport fields. it was as though the fog itself was phosphorescent. it was notable; eerie.

it’s the first time this season that winter is winter. i have thought quite a lot lately of the lyric from gillian welch, wherein she sings:

what will sustain us through the winter?
where did all of last year’s lessons go?
walk me out into the rain and snow

though of a very different genre, this album by rf makes me ask those same questions, but with slightly more hope. the next two months will feel like an age until we start emerging from the cold.

[this is a little different to the music on this album, but all i could find and still beautiful]


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