Teresa Winter has the power to bring flurries of snow even in the hottest days of summer. Spectral sounds with an atonality, circular structures, duplicity and dreamlike sounds are the weapons of Winter. In “Canticles of Ecstasy”, the opening track of “What the Night Is For”, sounds circle back on themselves nonstop, moving closer and further apart, they pull away at the precise moment in which they threaten to overwhelm us: the repeated clusters of the organ covers the whole sonic environment and does not leave the space for breathing to the listener: it is a sing-song, petulant and exhausting, which works however as a balm for the mind, which manages to get lost in the sonic current without being interrupted by thoughts.
Almost two minutes of screeching and dissonance lead to the song “For Murder”, one of the album’s most intense pieces: insistent and massive pulse acts as a dense network of sounds, among which appears the persuasive and inexpressive voice of Winter, inserted in a choir of heavenly and diaphanous souls. Heaviness and lightness are perfectly calibrated, then compared, contrasted and made to dialogue.
Duplicity is an intrinsic property of almost every piece of the album, but it takes on a completely different form and raison d’etre throughout the disk. “Mother Of Death” allows us to witness some classic contrasts, between absolute silence (which does not exist and has no counterpart in reality) and noise: the start of a thunderstorm, the sound of a car darting through the street on a rainy day, the sobbing of a girl that, repeated time after time, turns into the spasms of a woman drowning in water.
And, after death, finally at peace: “From So High That I Might Die” is the sonic representation of Zen. A nymphic, other-worldly atmosphere, created by tinkling metallic percussion, rarefied voices and drones that soothe the soul from all evil. In short, peace is impalpable and distant, unlike death which is tangible, sharp, noisy, obsessive and onmipresent, as an integral part or ultimate essence of life: a message Winter, finding full expression in her music, communicates with such clarity and effectiveness that it renders my and anyone else’s words superfluous.