Review: Nemeton – Mantra For A Falling Leaf


Nemeton notes that this 54-minute piece was composed using a polyrhythmic sequence with a very slow clock. This refers both to the duophonic Moog synthesiser that sweeps and recedes, but also to the silences of various sizes that splay like canyons between the notes. Where the synth travels through a series of non-repeating justly-intonated harmonies – sometimes aligned and crisp, elsewhere quivering and gleaming with overtones – the silences undergo their own undulation, albeit of atmosphere and time. The silence initially provides space in which to reflect on the synthesiser gesture just departed; moving into a present-tense acknowledgement of the sounds of the listening environment (the ticking clocks, the tinnitus ring); and then, as the silence seems to persist for longer than it should, a taut sense of expectation that beckons the next notes forth, charged with a potential energy that almost crackles like static. The synthesiser seeps in again, and so with it a mild relief as the silence is broken, and so with it the listener’s return to a cyclical starting point. Nemeton aligns the piece with the experience of watching leaves falling out of the window, itself a duet between movement and silence. There’s also a likeness in the presence of gentle forces. Just how slight variances in leaf shape and wind strength result in a drastically different descent, Mantra For A Falling Leaf transforms beautifully through small realignments in tone and time.