will oldham – ode music

the peak of powers, in time. the quietest you can imagine. and perhaps most repetitive, but not exactly.

it first appears as music to tune out to the background. it happened to release around the same time as i see a darkness, perhaps a kind of countervailing force. you listen along and feel as though the disc must have been on repeat; for, by the time you get to ode #1a which is the fifth song in, it sounds initially just like ode #1. and it’s not not the same. i mean that. it’s clearly signified in the song ‘names’.

this is actually soundtrack music, to a film called ode by the same director who included will in old joy, kelly reichardt. the score itself was actually written by paul oldham, not will, though it has been released under the latter’s name. there is also thanks given, as etched on the disc itself, to mick turner. in this regard, it’s a kind of non-lyrical conceptual sibling of previously cited get on jolly.

in his and his brother’s playing here, i actually relish the absence of their voices for a change. it’s not about irritation, or saturation, but an opportunity to notice the smallest parts of songs and performances.

the invocation is, to me, of hearing all the sounds in the bush when you stand perfectly still. the creaking of tree limbs; leaves brushing against each other; bugs moving; bird song. sometimes you are amazed at the tiniest things you can hear, if you just listen.

[at 2.25, but watch first]


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