Slovakian composer Lukáš Bulko (Alapastel) has produced a gorgeous album with Hidden For The Eyes, an album which also has the honour of being the first in Slowcraft Record’s new series, Slowcraft Presents, which focuses on ‘exceptional, unclassifiable music’.
These sounds take the listener on a faraway trip to a wonderfully realised locale, a place of sweetness and light, of dense jungles and hidden coves, where electronic-ambient music can kiss the orchestral. Vocalised incantations and heart-born lyrics flutter above the orchestral sweeps and the blossoming drones, and these deep, roaming drones lift the music up to higher vistas, giving the music life in all its fullness with lush, cinematic and colourful soundscapes. On this sunshine isle, chirping birds call out from jade-tipped trees and clear, beautiful vocals scent the air. Darker drones occasionally eclipse the sunshine, but they’re gone a second later. While the footprints we leave behind in our own lives – both for good and for bad – will vanish without a trace, Hidden For The Eyes leaves behind a soulprint. Mountains and meadows rise up on the tips of the sweeping strings; you can hear nature’s jubilant song within the music, and the music’s at one with nature, with the fresh smell of loose soil and fertile earth.
“You don’t know…what a tree is, let me tell you about one. He grew up by accident in an abandoned house without windows, searching for a light. Just like we need to be immersed in oxygen and fish in the water, so does the tree need to swim in the light. As his roots need to be grounded in soil and his branches need to touch the sun, the trees are mediators that are connecting us with the stars. The tree struggled in darkness but finally broke the skylight and flamed victoriously towards the sky. In the fullness of leaves he unfolded his patulous crown, nourished by gods in sunny feast. Every day I observed his fate. By the dawn he woke singing with the birds and, like a good-natured shepherd, he released all this treasure towards the sky. They flew away and let him be alone till the evening. My tree – my house, my tree – my castle.”
Our perceptions only go so deep, for the most part paddling in the shallows. There’s so much more to life: we only pick up the tiniest part of the spectrum. The music here colours in the rest, colours in what we’ve been missing with an authentic vibrancy and a thermal of warmth, a prism dissecting colour and transparent light. The music helps to broaden our horizons, making us more aware of and attuned to our place – and our responsibilities – on this planet. You have to take good care of things that do not belong to you. You have to nurture and look after your temporary home. ‘Walk as if you’re kissing the ground with your feet’ isn’t restricted to Buddhism – it’s a message for us all.
“I hope that if we are able to uncover the profound beauty of things that seem to be hidden, it is possible to become more humble and appreciative of life around us” – Lukáš Bulko