A twelve-faceted sonic inquiry into celestial cycles and the illuminating nature of darkness, Bellowing Sun is the majestic culmination of composer, harmoniumist, and synthesist Jaime Fennelly's immersive explorations of the natural world's sensory dimensions and the dialogues between musical traditions – acoustic and electronic, vernacular and avant-garde. Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago for its world premiere performance, and recorded and mixed by Fennelly with John McEntire (Tortoise), it features Janet Beveridge Bean (Freakwater), Jim Becker (Iron and Wine), and Jon Mueller (Death Blues).
Sonically, Bellowing Sun is both kaleidoscopic and telescopic in nature, offering a radiant palette of rhythmic, textural, and tonal complexity, as well as rapid shifts in scale, from the intimately corporeal to the dizzyingly cosmic. Though long associated with his meditative solo work for harmonium, tape delay, and other effects, with Bellowing Sun, Fennelly has ascended to a thrilling new communicatory stratum, departing the solo, interior monologues of his early work and the deeply focused dialogues of the album's recent predecessor Undying Color (2017) for something broadly communal, massively polyphonic, and unabashedly spiritual in its scope and scale.
Though divided into twelve movements, or aspects – zodiacal sectors, perhaps – the piece functions as a heroic, integral whole. Several instrumental components and vocal motifs function as modular and parallactic, originally recorded for different sections but interchangeably transposable elsewhere, much as certain constellations share stars in common. The album's sequence reveals a dynamic push and pull between contemplative stasis and headlong momentum, imparting a palpably physical mass to the cataracts of sound.
2LP-set features heavy-duty gatefold matte board jacket with artwork by Grammy nominee Timothy Breen, color LP labels, and high-res download code.