The title of the fourth solo album of New York-based violist Jessica Pavone hints about the Covid-19 pandemic depression, but Pavone focuses in recent years on the healing effects of vibrations, sounds and music at all, after studying about cymatics from sound healers and alternative healing practices. «When No One Around You is There but Nowhere to be Found» distills Pavone’s intensive long tone practice and an interest in long tone rituals and experiments in repetition, sparse lyrical content and song form (Pavone collaborated with guitarist Mary Halvorson in a singer-songwriter duo), and sympathetic vibration into her most personal, beautiful and compelling album.
The four distinct solo pieces explore the tactile and sensorial experience of long tones and vocals as a vibration-based medium. Pavone lets the vibrating sounds flow, resonate and accumulate organically and patiently as if she is only the medium of these suggestive sonic rituals. Slowly, the repetitive and highly resonant bowed harmonies offer elements of timeless, distant folk melodies like on the opening piece «Performance Novels». The effects-laden title piece offers a sensual, song-like form, with an infectious, sensual theme, that Pavone layers with delicate nuances, and eventually it lingers in the mind long after this piece is over.
«Only in Dreamz» for processed, looped vocals and plucked viola is indeed a sensual account of a highly eventful and colorful dream, stressing Pavone’s gifts as a storyteller, in both sounds and words. The last «Aedant» investigates the sonic effects of vibrating and resonant long tones and their overtones, as an enigmatic and quite effective healing or purifying ritual.
I can guarantee that there are many attentive listeners waiting anxiously to follow the fascinating sonic universes that Pavone explores.
Jessica Pavone (viola, v, eff)