Richard Moult Ethe

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Ethe is made up of mostly piano and piano-based compositions of a minimalist kind, which should not be misinterpreted as meaning reductionist in the Philip Glass style, and more of a modernist return to essence. Rather than those jingles expanded cheaply by the use of arpeggios for which Glass is mainly known, Moult approaches a freedom and flexibility that brings to mind the impressionist influence of Debussy through Satie. There is, however, a sternness, a seriousness, that lends ‘The Five Daughters’ of Moult a weight —gravitas, even— where Debussy seemed to channel a wild, childish imagination and Satie the careless aloofness that is found in inexperienced naïveté.

Perhaps influenced by the more linear, avant-garde thinking of British prog rock musical genius, compositions in Ethe drive forward, and evolve. This feat is accomplished elegantly and remaining within artistic voice and musical style, having no need to make use of superficial gimmicks to communicate said evolution of thought. Like Genesis or King Crimson, Moult crafts of a clear and expressive narrative thread which sometimes braids, and at other times untangles until a thin line alone remains. It is also, then, even more appropriate to compare Ethe to works by Robert Fripp such as The Gates of Paradise, or to make a note of Klaus Schulze’s early work, whose methodology and style differs immensely but whose end result is not necessarily so far off from this aural search, these ripples over the calm of dead stillness.

Timeless Melancholy is seemingly intertwined with a longing for eternity, perhaps knowingly doomed to fail but nonetheless ever extending in the direction of that unreachable paradox. For the archetype and symbol as objects of concentration and aim are always a mirage, and it is in our reaching that we become and discover ourselves. In so doing, in ripping away the illusion, great suffering is incurred, an anguish that is made patent throughout Ethe. In its expression of development and transformation (purposely avoiding the use of the word ‘growth’ or ‘progress’), the longing and anguish here expressed is not one for one’s own life, but for a distant, almost mythological form: something beyond one’s own causal existence, the presence of which may be felt more keenly by virtue of the meaningful, painful passion of one’s own experience.

Pensive at first and mystically alienating in its conclusion, this collection of compositions could be described as a journey starting on a starlit night facing the ocean, and ending in an inscrutable cave beyond an old forest’s Hallow , whence the offspring of Azanigin spring forth. A black-skinned terror of horrific beauty, shifting through the fog; a progeny of serpents intermingling in orgiastic trance; unfathomable dark waters from the depths. Ethe can be thus heard, experienced, as an unfolding destiny, a discovery born of primordial suspicion, unto a dissolution of illusory individuality into the realization of one’s role in a larger reality that is a species’ fluctuation within an unfathomable (to the common, daylight mind) cosmos.

 

“I wanted to explore uncharted, forbidden landscapes – to visit and dwell in other dimensions, and to communicate and learn from other hitherto unknown beings; to return Home, as I understood it.” —Richard Moult, Myndsquilver

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