REVIEW: John Orsi’s “A Room For The Night”

Photobucket New music from John Orsi means new worlds to explore, and for A Room For The Night (it’s Twilight Time), the six songs here are meant to be filled with surprises and delight, but you’re not meant to stay there for long. Look, listen, and head out.

The music here could be considered incidental music, the kind of songs that would create susprise in any action film or drama, in fact as I was listening to “Jaldi”, it’s clock-like precision and pace made me feel like it was an indication of time for someone in a movie that was trying to crack open a safe. Without cinematic themes in mind, it could also be the sounds of a Middle Eastern or Indian marketplace at peak hour, although when is it not peak hour at the marketplace? Or perhaps it’s Asian in nature, as it sounds like three or four gamelans at once trying to sound unique among one another but still coming through. A perfect example of this is the aptly named “Togetherness”, where one might hear a xylophone or vibraphone playing along with what sounds like a room full of clocks ready to strike at the same time but doesn’t. At times, Orsi’s work seems chaotic and peculiar but I think they’re both that on purpose. Behind each assembled track is a pulse that keeps not only each song working, but the EP as a whole working as one being. “Companion Wheel” combines synthesizers and distortion (sounds like a guitar at high volume but could easily be keyboards going through effects) with the heart of the percussion in the background, and I was wondering if I should listen to the song as an entry way, a means of escape, or simply existing within the orgy of sound. The EP ends with a subtle moral of sorts called “Two Trains Passing In The Night (not that many trains pass in my nights anymore)”, and while one can listen to this as the exit in this chain of songs because I see it listed as the final track, it can also be interpreted as a beginning to, or the final destination of solitude and meditation, or simply just finality in this project, the end of the stay in a room for the night. Now it’s time to head home. It’s also the album’s longest song, and with most of the album having limited time constraints (done on purpose), hearing this is almost orgasmic, or at least it’ll make you wide-eyed and wondering where each sound will lead. Going through the last track will make one assume this was an album going on for twice its actual duration (full length of this EP is 23:10).

The progressive sense I hear comes from hearing music mixed with machinery, traffic, and natural sound as a means to convey an aura. You are perhaps put into a city unfamiliar to you, and you’re hearing quick glimpses of an audio diary, page by page. Or maybe these sounds are partly familiar to you, and you know how to get back home through the unfamiliar. I could easily see a project like this taken to other musicians, composers, and sound producers to see how far this could go, so that one can say in the room for longer than a night, or to find different delights in different rooms along the way. To simplify this, it’s like hearing the non-musical portions of Pink Floyd albums and wishing one would create more music like that. You’ve now found that album, if only for one night.

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