If the sheer, highly detailed sound-design particulate and effortlessly modulated quietude of “states [excerpt]” lure you into the track’s warm embrace, do pay attention to its less comforting undercurrents. Heed the ghostly intonations about 30 seconds in, in addition to the muffled voices later on. Do this in part because by focusing on the discrete elements of Cory Ryan’s recording you’ll gain access to just how much is going on in what, by most objective measurements, is deep, subtle hush. Do so as well because just as the piece is coming to a close its less savory aspects rise to the surface in a burst of possessed-ham-radio noise that will knock your headphones off.
Like the track I wrote about yesterday, Midori Hirano’s “Remembrance,” Ryan’s takes common aspects of experimental sound, namely a stately silence and an attention to minute variations, and puts them in service of a larger, narrative-driven purpose.