Review: Joshua Tristan Churchill – Walks

Joshua Tristan Churchill - WalksThe path can never be familiar. It is not just a bald ribbon of earth or tarmac drawing a fracture through the landscape; it’s a meeting point for sensation, event and coincidence, with changes in direction instigated from within the transient brew of circumstance. As Churchill’s clarinet swerves gracefully between pitches, like a distant plane navigating its course of flight, the action is both gentle and monumental – a recalibration to accommodate the eternal flux of present tense, unveiling instinct as a deep, subconscious intercommunication with the mutative factors of time and space. The melody changes slowly and seemingly innocuously, but ultimately, it changes because it has to.

Solitary notes emerge like a fine wisp of smoke, quivering delicately under the inconsistency of breath. These moments remind me of Stars Of The Lid’s And Their Refinement Of The Decline for the way in which the drones often stretch across the image like a horizon line, beckoning movement through their sheer stillness – sure enough, clouds of rosy dissonance drift into the vacuum and hover there, like a mist for the walker to stride through. What fascinates me about Churchill’s clarinet is that the usual configuration of instigation and cause feel reversed; the note emerges and Churchill’s breath follows it, curiously, as it slinks between bushes of warm overtone and over hills of wobbling mid-frequency. Sound summons him forth, and down a path he cannot possibly know.