The Forest Diaries
A low hood of mist descends over The Forest Diaries. It’s an atmospheric place, shrouded in tonally-dense flora and lightly touched by the fresh dew of the morning. Loose moss clings to the side of a piano. Vines slither inside a tight and claustrophobic gap that separates and divorces the notes. Physically and tonally, the black and white keys are so, so close to one another, but when the music gets caught on a single chord, any kind of healthy relationship that they once may have had quickly dissipates. Like weeds springing up from a crack in the concrete, the music starts to emerge. A sparsely played chord hangs from the music. It’s suspended there, cold-blooded, sensing the air and the mood with a speedy flick of its tongue, staring out at the swamp below. The cool tone drips into a dehydrated pool of murky, stagnant water. There’s something very powerful going on as the moody chord is struck.
Stepping into the music of Dag Rosenqvist is like stepping into a forest of obscured pines. Jungles that hold deep textures and satisfying timbres coalesce in the ancient civilization otherwise known as music. The stone steps never crumble. Cool electronic synths meander through the evening greenery. Shaded in a uniform colour of quiet green hues, Rosenqvist’s music enters a minimal state of mind. The organ-rich tone plays on in a classically-inspired slow movement. Later, a fizzle of static inflates into something a little more deadly. It creeps its way through the brush, tickling the notes and rustling the blades of grass. It moves slowly – as does the record – and the tones seep into the skin. The static is a constant intruder, but it never fully grips the music. The Forest Diaries itself is the project of Swedish choreographer and dancer Jenny Larsson. Rosenqvist’s music is a powerful but muted accompaniment.
The almost funereal sound of the eighth piece solemnly hints at its inevitable extinction. The static starts to burn away at the music. Sparse without ever endangering itself and becoming threadbare, the music glints in the palest of light. Some tracks start off solo. Other leaves flutter in a swirl of air, and they gather around the droning piano. This is the way that the music develops. It is a stately, reserved sound. It walks very quietly, as if it were barefooted. The wind swooshes and rattles against the static. Branches sway. The forest is alive.