The Wind is a peaceful retreat, a meditation on the natural world, and a call to act on the threat of climate change when inactivity and tepid response has become a disturbing norm. The Wind also details the ancient tale of a saint who carried the wind to an airless French valley, and in a similar way, Balmorhea’s debut release on Deutsche Grammophon (which releases April 9 on CD, vinyl, and digitally), is swept up in the air, too. It’s music for the planet, and a timely reminder of Earth’s fragility.
People all over the world are reconnecting with nature and finding solace, rest, and peace in her arms. But The Wind also contains the sounds of Earth. Prayer flags can be heard flapping in a breeze, and piano, pipe organ, harmonium, double bass, wind chimes, and guitar are all a part of its gentle-but-stirring sound. Guitars remain light and airy, and a swooping vocal pulls the music to all four corners of the globe.
The Texas-based duo of Rob Lowe and Michael A. Muller have created protective and quiet music, and the protection of the environment and the opportunity for renewal slips into the title tracks, too. ‘La Vagabonde’ is named after the catamaran that Greta Thunberg travelled on while crossing the Atlantic. Towards the end of the record’s completion, Lowe discovered a translation of the Otia Imperialia, a thirteenth-century compendium containing descriptions of marvels and miracles. Lowe was drawn to the tale of ‘The wind which St Caesarius shut up in a glove’, wherein the archbishop of Arles carries the sea breeze to a desolate valley and releases it to make the area fruitful and healthy. The same ethos can be felt in The Wind, with its life-renewing and reaffirming philosophies attaching themselves to its ambient music.