The opening minute or so of Eiko Ishibashi’s “Torn Page” is a ruse. Granular tones echo through darkened tunnels, a quickened heartbeat expecting the worst. Yet, the worst never comes. Solemn drones breathe into the air, pushing back the darkness as disembodied voices invite the light to return. The seamless transition from one pole to the other is effortless, enchanting. Ishibashi is a master composer, her guidance like a velvet hammer in that her touch is soft, but the effect can be felt for days. Repeating chords expand toward the horizon as “Torn Page” is illuminated from within. Slight fluctuations in timbre offer somber recollections of painful memories fading in the rearview even as worry builds about harder days ahead. Unfolding glacially and methodically, “Torn Page” still sings as it drifts skyward, searching for a celestial embrace from the cosmic reverie. This is beautiful music; a warm cocoon where we can find protection from the outside world, at least for a little bit. In the closing moments, Ishibashi brings the outside back in with a distant cry, the moment flickers out and the circle closes on itself.
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