«A Horizon Made of Canvas» was recorded by New York-based clarinetist Jeremiah Cymerman and guitarist Charlie Locker in Los Angeles in January 2020, a month before the Covid-19 pandemic changed the life of all of us, but unexpectedly captures faithfully the atmosphere of the current times. The title of the album is borrowed from the first chapter of a book by neo-reactionary writer Mencius Moldbug and suggests the bleak, foggy tone of the album, a highly resonant, spacious and sparse one.
Cymerman and Locker have performed many times as a duo and in expanded formats but «A Horizon Made of Canvas» is their first album. The mournful and expressionist, free-improvised sounds of the acoustic clarinet and the pedals of Cymerman and the electric and acoustic guitars, and occasionally the piano of Locker, move slowly in the studio space, sketching a sparse sonic territory that draws elements from ambient, drone, jazz and contemporary music with some klezmer sparks and radiates Cymerman and Lockerm love of the seminal work of 20th-century master composers Giacinto Scelsi and György Ligeti.
These quiet and dark, almost tangible sounds weigh in gently on this imaginary sonic canvas but threatening to drown it with their microtonal yet distorted and unsettling storms. Cymerman and Looker create a tight and vulnerable sonic entity within these mournful, minimalist textures, intensified by suggestive titles like «The Ecstasy of Betrayal» and «Speaking of Dust». The emotional, effect of the effect of «A Horizon Made of Canvas» reaches its climax on the melancholic title-piece. But the last piece “Samson” finds some ray of hope within these subtle, apocalyptic storms.
Jeremiah Cymerman (cl, pedals), Charlie Looker (g, p)