Lost in the night sky is a lone, illuminated pathway marked by fading stars and gentle reminders. There is the place where we are at and the place we want to be. Connected through dimensions and millennia, soporific waves can become a guide, pulling us from one to the other. Nailah Hunter’s universe in “Forest Dwelling” is the destination built from longing to leave the busy world behind and find communion in the stillness and quiet of the forest.
Hunter’s music always captures and elevates an introspective undercurrent, connecting with listeners through the vulnerable spirit threaded through her compositions, and with the emotional weight these passages carry. This is especially true in the expansive serenity of “Forest Dwelling.” Ethereal drones glide through aqueous sheets aloft in a cool breeze, plucked harp notes piercing that incandescent veil like silver drops from lands beyond. Birdsong paints peaceful textures enlivening the floating architecture of soft glissandos.
Recorded after she and Cadmar Fitzhugh spent time at Yosemite, “Forest Dwelling” is an all-encompassing aural environment. When I think of music’s transportive power and the ways sound can instantly build new, intricate worlds, the living structures buried within these continuous stretches of delicate, inviting arrangements are exactly what I imagine. Eyes closed, heart open, I am somewhere else completely. Faint arpeggios drift away as subdued synth leads add points of light for our drifting focus. It calls us further toward the core of the woods.
Oblivion lives where we least expect it. Distant resonances mark out where each elegiac memory is smeared on the bark and where harmonies are buried. The air is damp and sweet. Crisp and alive. Hunter’s graceful movements levitate off her harp’s strings, soaking into every hollow and communing with the ancient paradisical presence. “Forest Dwelling” is otherworldly; an impossible journey that was simply waiting for a divine invitation.