Published on Tuesday, 24 January 2017 20:21
Band: Randal Collier-Ford
Album title: Piano Movements
Release date: 17 November 2016
01. Teddy Bear
03. March Of Embers
05. Letting Go
07. Final Thought
Dark ambient musician, Randal Collier-Ford has returned to Kalpamantra after several years and releases on Cryo Chamber. From the very beginning of his musical career, Randal Collier-Ford has pushed the very limits of the dark ambient genre. Coming from all directions, each of his albums seems to adhere to a totally different set of criteria. Starting his career with albums which had extremely esoteric/ritualistic even Satanic elements, it wasn't long before Randal Collier-Ford moved into territory which seemed more sci-fi in theme. This sci-fi element would come to its pinnacle on his quarter of the Locus Arcadia collaboration on Cryo Chamber. Never one to linger long in any one area, he has now taken probably the most extreme turn yet. With Piano Movements, Randal Collier-Ford has completely broken the mold of his former self, reaching into realms of beautiful sounds which seem destined to find their way onto a film score in the near future.
Piano Movements is absolutely beautiful in its execution. There is a sense of dreamy wonder and hope which resonates through each of these tracks. Yet, this beauty isn't necessarily pretty. The album is totally encompassed in a sense of melancholy and loneliness. As any loner knows, loneliness and melancholy can perfectly mingle with beauty. Like the crying virgin, weeping over her crucified son, there can always be beauty and wonder within the darkest of tales.
Piano Movements walks this line between darkness and light perfectly from beginning to end. On tracks like "Teddy Bear" we are able to reminisce on times of our youth, times when the world was a simpler place for us. But we remember this history through the filter of our modern selves. The childhood will never return, it is as beautiful of a memory as it is saddening. "Nomad" looks to a more fantastical place, as if one is standing alone in the cold night breeze, pondering the stars and their meanings, realizing all the while that reaching their lofty destinations is an impossibility of reason.
Each track through Piano Movements tells its own tale, sheds its own light on a story. This story can be interchangeable, each listener finding their own safe calming space within the beautifully melancholic sounds.
As Randal Collier-Ford continues to branch out into yet untrodden territory, we, the listeners, are able to grow along with him. We grow older, just as he, and we are able to see these shifts in style, theme, and genre as that of a man who continues searching for his true self, just as we the listeners grow and mature in a sort of strange synchronization.
Randal Collier-Ford may just be one of the most versatile artists within the dark ambient / post-industrial realm. With each album, we can see yet another of his complex traits pushing its way to the forefront. Piano Movements is no different in this way. I would highly recommend Piano Movements to anyone who loves a piano focused album, which still manages to hold its dark identity. I would also keep an ear open, when digesting upcoming films, because it seems probable that we could hear one of these tracks make its way to the silver-screen before we know it.
Written by: Michael