In the dark corners of Ryan Gregory Tallman’s Tryst, time becomes a distant memory. When meaning becomes shrouded beneath a leaden veil, we dig in further until a breakthrough is found. Repetitive actions grow heavier with each successive passage, and the advancing narrative begins to crumble under accumulating weight. Tryst is saturated with these moments and Tallman masterfully guides the melancholy toward a place where its yearning metamorphoses into an energizing glow.
Built from two expansive pieces, lifetimes pass beneath echoes while split seconds stretch into oblivion. “October Sixteenth” follows the recurring rise and fall of empires across generations as the mistakes we make are nothing new to the universe at large. Protracted drones shift under pressure, textures slipping past barriers meant to keep such things out of reach. An earthiness emerges in the pallid radiance, wistful drones connecting the flickering dots in the black sky. Everything is covered in a layer of dust, gently tarnished. Within these stretched tones is a contemplative, purposeful build-up, like bringing water slowly to a boil to not scare away the target.
“November, December” follows a similar script, through the arrangement is emboldened. Tallman adds layers of grit and stoicism to the soundscapes, heaving forward in the midnight sun covered in dense, harmonic veneer. Hints of feedback peek through, though the bass is a sandbag that never lets the overwhelmed melodies drift too far skyward. Aural waves echo memories that can’t be forgotten, weaving a connective thread through the entire composition. This music teems with all aspects of life – the joy, heartache, and banality – as it promises new places to find within the static progressions. “November, December” is simply massive in scale.
Tallman’s restraint throughout Tryst is a gift. He never lets these sprawling pieces of music go, keeping held close so that the magic doesn’t dissipate or spread itself too thin. Destruction looms, but we are motionless, unmoved, and ready to let whatever comes wash through us. Sitting idly, content in the stillness of the Earth, we watch mountains crumble and fade into nothingness. Solace only exists in our burial, decay, and eventual reawakening.