Potent music has the capability to provide heightened experiences of harmony, whether it is physical, mental, or spiritual. When these energies articulate, and the realms of the mind and body begin to overlap, natural intoxicants emerge and alter the human experience, offering a kind of freedom that may be hard to find otherwise. Some might even propose that this is music's sole and noble purpose.
The music of Ashley Bellouin is a most welcome addition to the modern catalog of harmonic experimentation, providing a truly visceral experience, which, in turn, expands the mind. With her debut album, Ballads, Bellouin presents the listener with two sidelong tracks, "Bourdon" and "Hummen" that slowly evolve over their respective courses. Both pieces focus on the acoustic and psychoacoustic phenomena that arise from microtonal tuning variations, and they invite the audience to enter a heightened state of listening where small details become the primary focus.
Each track unfolds into an intricate auditory journey, suggesting subtle alterations to the perception of linear time. As the pieces progress, select tones emerge and transform the sound by revealing hidden overtones. The negative spaces between closely paired pitches create complex tonal structures and shifting rhythmic patterns. In summation, both mind and body transport to a new understanding of harmony.