Ioana Fortune here begins a planned series of eight albums exploring the individual symbols of the I Ching, with Tao Of I. Following on with the Eastern theme, Fortune focuses her attentions on Eastern instruments like the Guzheng and the Gamelan, then swathing them in various electronic approaches to make the sounds her own. LP release on Optimo Music.
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Some deeply droney doings transpiring on this one, where sound artist Iona Fortune debuts her project charting Eastern philosophy and the symbols of the I Ching, a text that’s a couple thousand years old and carries weight over much divination to follow. Since I’m absolutely no expert on this I’ll add that Fortune’s exploration occurs through a structure of sounds made by Gamelan and Guzheng, creating both percussive and resonant sounds that combine to create sounds that both punctuate silence and leave it ringing with melody.
The record is perhaps best listened to alongside the liner notes, which go into great detail about the hexagrams of the symbols, along with their religious and philosophical meanings. The sounds themselves are deep, brooding and often shimmering, and occasionally gain rhythmic pulses that juxtapose their high octave sound with the deeper, more brooding sounds Fortune is creating underfoot. Whether or not you recognise these Western interpretations of Eastern sounds and ideas in other artists, spending some time with this record will no doubt be essential, as the material sourced for it has clearly been well studied by Fortune.
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- Tao Of I by Iona Fortune
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