It’s not a common occurrence to be met with an album that strikes upon the reverence of our caverns. Something that speaks and shelters all at once. Perhaps a steady glide of wind or an endless wave, Gia Margaret’s latest album ‘Mia Gargaret’ is a poetic interlude of freedom, wandering, and unraveling all in the space of only 27 minutes.
Two years after her debut album, ‘There’s Always Glimmer’, Margaret employs a different sonic cadence and spaciousness that folds into the emotive atmosphere she occupied while creating this album. It is not a coincidence that this ambient instrumental album offers a saturated delicacy on every track; this album is a mirrored evolution of spending a year and a half with an illness that took away her ability to sing.
This creative constraint anchored her into using a synthesizer to create spell binding loops and collage voice excerpts on tracks like ‘body’ and ‘apathy’, that sampled Alan Watts and a vocal therapy session. The music is not a part from her as she exudes a great deal of poetic dissonance in the ambient constructions that contain no lyrics but say everything. There is a tactility within this album that feels like a memory. Not here or there, but surrounding.
An architecture of safety, she gently constructs a place of refuge where we can lay our bones and reside in the ethereal language of her enrapturing compositions. ‘3 movements’ encases us in only piano with chords that dance and dissolve the barriers of hurt and longing. She pours the flight of questioning and suffering with such bravery and resolve that there is nothing to do but listen and reflect.
Each track holds its own particular gravity and feeling, ‘barely there’ operates like an open letter and we are led into an inner scope with light drones and faint bells over her distant voice.
An alchemist of the bleak she ends this album with the track ‘lesson’, a shifting modality of earnest elegance with earthen vocals that comprise of more than words as she willfully sings ‘when I am alone I think it is to save you’. This ending echoes for a new line of sight that slows our hearts and bodies to a point of wakefulness.
In totality this album will leave you in a pool of your own unraveling. Margaret’s ambient soundscapes invite us to pour into those caverns of ourselves. She bravely lingers between the waning and waxing of duality: beauty, pain, suffering and light.
I have not experienced an album like this in a long time and it will continue to shape a certain framework in which I hold myself.
Words: Rae Niwa
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