The songs in ‘Sunlit Plumes of Dust’ are all interrelated; call-backs to previous releases. They build upon melodies and phrases to create new spaces/compositions, like the muddled memories of a nostalgic old man, sat on a bench looking out to sea.
This is the sound track to those memories, good and bad; the emotions they conjure and the acceptance of it all, as his final moments play out sat beneath the setting sun.
Loosely based on Adam’s experience caring for his Grandfather during his final weeks, he witnessed how dementia would render him silent, lost in his own mind, but then release him back into reality. From the glassy-eyed expression to a smile as he regained his clarity of mind and memories.
This record combines electronica and folk inflected finger picked guitar to create an introspective world inhabited by the ghosts of memories, the looming spectre of death and the passing of time. Sunlit Plumes of Dust is presented as a journey through the central themes; melancholy, reverie and the feeling of alienation. This state of mind reflected in the pace and mood of the album as a whole.
Like a glass-smash in slow motion reverse, Sunlit Plumes Of Dust rebuilds itself. Fragments of guitar improvisation congeal into distinct melody, forming vivid shapes that cut into the background blur. They are only temporary. The album cherishes brittle lucidity in the knowledge that it will soon disappear again, unravelling into tentative improvisations that drift loose from the continuum of consciousness. Partially inspired by Adam Varney’s experience of caring for his grandfather during his final few weeks of life with dementia, the album enacts a pendulum swing between the tentative gestures of cognitive lapse and the radiant return of memory and identity, embellishing the borders of each soundscape with faint recollections – in the form of muffled voices, blurred ambience and field recordings – waiting to be reclaimed by the mind again.
During these moments of clarity, Varney’s guitar work wanders into the realms of folk: twangs of pastoral major key and cycles of idle finger-plucked harmony, all shimmering in the warm sunlight that bathes the empty chair on the album cover. The 12-minute “Blazing Golden Sun” is a sudden rush of awareness and remembering, lifting the veil of absent-mindedness to reveal the sensations that otherwise dwell out of reach: the tick of a clock in a corner of the room, the chatter of idle voices from a beloved childhood memory, a poem (James E. Smith’s Grovely) that sends lucid sensory experiences gushing out like fresh water from a tap. These moments alternate with descents into inner darkness (“Still”, “Glassy Eyed”); a softening of physical objects into abstract smears that shed their affiliation with the familiar, as dementia reaches forth to draw the curtains again. After this ceaseless undulation between here and gone, it’s a relief to finally be liberated into the album’s final track. The solo guitar of “Cobwebs, Scratches, Plumes Of Dust” is like a music box, self-contained and sweet, paying homage to a mind finally liberated from the sway.
Jack Chuter ATTN Magazine www.attnmagazine.co.uk/music/10986
The particle suspension crossed by a ray of sunshine that identify the most recent work of Adam Varney under the alias finglebone summarize the best not only the English artist's creative dimension, but also a sense of quiet and motionless imbued with nostalgia of his compositions .
"Sunlit Plumes Of Dust" collects eight, resulting from the usual combination of rarefied atmospheres, field recordings and acoustic notes slowly exuding, condensed into a sequence of short emotional snapshots and more complex soundtrack of peaceful intimacy of over twelve minutes of " sunlit Plumes Of Dust ". The latter, pastoral symphony of loneliness miniature, best exemplifies the eclectic aesthetics of Varney, formed by slender resonances and distant voice samples, which serve as the basis for exercising a serene and smooth picking, whose dilated cadences instill the feelings subtly melancholy of a winter countryside, a harbinger of contemplation and memories, however, the occasion explicitly to previous finglebone works.
Not mere nostalgic retreat lives however "Sunlit Plumes Of Dust", whose delicate electro-acoustic sketches ranging instead from enchanting scenery bucolic marked by diaphanous watermarks harmonics ( "Shanty", "Into The Darkness We Fade", "Cobwebs, Scratches, Plumes of Dust ") or diluted in soft twilight shades of the resonances (" The Spider and The Fly "," Still "). It is indeed a warm and slanting light that emanates from the short course of "Sunlit Plumes Of Dust", a landscaped and emotional journey in a rural Ambienta, where Varney has brushed a series of placid glimpses of nature and inner stillness.
Steven De Taeye - Forever one my favourite albums. A true work of curious beauty that garners wonder and charm with each listen.