David Garland | Flowering Flows
(Tall Owl Music)
Any checklist of under-heralded native treasures should embrace on the very high Hudson’s remarkably proficient David Garland, who has referred to as the area house for a few years now. Rising within the fertile early ’80s Downtown New York scene as a multi-instrumentalist and resourceful composer of wry, postmodern artwork songs, his work has been complimented by a variety of parallel actions: journal editor, artwork director, author, and, very notably for followers like myself, a three-decade run as a sublimely eclectic host for New York public and noncommercial radio stations, shifting his distinctive “Spinning on Air” program to podcasting after his retirement from WNYC in 2015. Garland stays an enormously prolific recording artist, and the two-CD Flowering Flows is a compelling addition to his burgeoning discography.
The complete album (much less Julian Lampert’s resonant double bass cameo on “The Tonic”) is drawn from tones created by a 12-string acoustic guitar modified by Garland’s son and frequent collaborator Kenji into an engine for sympathetic vibrations—directly consonant and clangorous. Items construct from silence into multi-tracked layers of pure—and not-so-pure—overtone-rich drones that counsel a number of early Eliane Radigue digital works overlaid, though Garland is realizing his sonic architectures acoustically. Sideband melodies abound, harmonies each extensive and a semitone or much less aside convey a way of kind that is each monumental and intimate. Items like “Undiminished Reward” roar with a thick, enigmatic, and nearly metallic depth. Austere on the floor, Garland’s ecstatic textural explorations on Flowering Flows are as dense, exquisitely lovely, and infrequently treacherous as a teeming rainforest.