Kent Sparling has a way with atmospheric ambient music that is entirely his own. His work has a naturalist quality and a fantastic quality in equal amounts, and they coexist in something akin to harmony. He achieves a balance that is as much sound design as it is composition. Those, too, exist in a balance akin to harmony. The extended hushed chord that is “Tinted Bilaval,” which is up there with Sparling’s best work, contains oceanic depth, orchestral depth, deep forest depth. This isn’t merely the depth of cavernous echo, or the end result of sonic smoke and mirrors. It is a depth of numerous, carefully considered layers. Each time through (I had it on repeat this evening), one can listen to (and focus on) foreground and background separately, and to various junctures in between, and as elements from each zone exchange places with the grace of a waltz, or perhaps the grace of a falling leaf. Or more to the point: both. The track takes its title from Indian music, and you can hear in “Tinted Bilaval” a droning presence like the swelling of a tanpura, one presence among myriad.
Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/purling. More from Sparling at kentsparling.com. I’ve been a fan of Sparling’s music for the longest time. According to a search of this website, I first mentioned him here 15 years ago. That might have been the first time, but I feel like it was earlier still.