ATARAXIA II – Oneirataxia album review

Toronto-based experimental musician D. Burke Mahoney is the focus of this review. His project is named ‘Oneirataxia’. According to Mahoney, Oneirataxia is the inability to differentiate between dreams and reality. The sounds contained in this release exist in both places simlutaneously

This music is very experimental, a type of ambient chaos, churning up from the nether regions of the universe, expanding as it ascends, and then emitting mass and light as it permeates the ether. The swirling sound masses imply something vague and archaic, the type of feeling a person gets when reading a Lovecraft novella pertaining to The Ancient Ones. ‘

This type of experimental sound collage can take a little time to coalesce in the ears and filter through a person’s consciousness, and when it does filter through, their is a realization of grandeur and beauty. This perception of beauty is something terrible to behold, awe inspiring, ancient, and life-changing. This sensation is especially apparent on track two, where long, drawn-out synth tones wash over one another, ensconced in an underpinning of amorphous din. If Messiaen recast The Ghost of the Eternal Church as ambient synth music, the effect would be somewhat similar.

The album itself plays like a giant piece of music broken into sections. Imagine a one-movement modern classical symphony, where the composer composed the music without breaks, but in such a way that separate movements could be implied if the conductor wanted to.

Overall, rhythm is the driving force here. The rhythms employed- broad, deliberate, temporal constructs- are responsible for the monolithic feel of this recording. It is the sweltering face of creation, passed through your ear canal.

By Paul Paradis

Paul is a musician, writer, and teacher living in Tacoma. When not engaged in the endless task of raising his six year old whirling dervish James Sparhawk, he spends his time creating music, pursuing a bachelor's, working out, and living. He is originally from the east coast: Worcester, Mass. born, and Providence, RI bred. Having traveled around some, the Pacific Northwest tends to feel more and more like home with each passing day, Very similar to New England in some ways, but different in a way that is refreshing. Rock on.

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