Agitated Atmosphere: Loren Connors - The Departing of a Dream

Agitated Atmosphere, Album Reviews
05/10/2013
Justin Spicer

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Loren Connors.

[For all the name dropping and fringe discussions concerning Loren Connors, it is amazing this is the first solo LP I’ve brought to Agitated Atmosphere.]

Connors is a master of silent manipulation. As much room as he gives his compositions, it’s the space in between those strokes—be they fragile or mangled—that defines his best work. There’s a museum quality in the air; the echoes of shoes and coughs in an expansive area that has but a few paintings on the wall. But those masters are the best the museum has to offer; even if it is a gallery few ever visit.

Beauty in solitude is the essence of Connors, and it is no different with The Departing of a Dream. Reissued by Family Vineyard and expanding the album’s two-part tribute to New York post-9/11, it’s the overarching sentiment of Connors’ honoring Miles Davis that sticks. Mirroring the musical pioneer in which The Departing of a Dream is indebted, the juxtaposition of static and dynamic sound is what propels Connors’ work. What happens when a note is allowed to fade naturally; swallowed by the air in which is reverberates and rattles? It’s the stilted strokes of Monet meeting the elongated breaths of Davis behind a velvet rope, under an elegantly hung spotlight.

Much like the masters in which he shares space, The Departing of a Dream is to be consumed as a whole. It’s not for plucking out one idea or sound, but allowing them to work as a wall’s worth of art to tell a complete story. It’s why Connors continues to create new fans in a world with diminished attention spans. Patience is rewarded with breathtaking craftsmanship without losing the fallibility of man.

And, you know, it’s just good music bro.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist whose work can be viewed at his website. You can also find him on Twitter.

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