Friday, February 11, 2022

Indie Music: Yuval Ron featuring Úyanga Bold, "Sacred Spiral"

 by Germar Derron

Sacred Spiral is obviously meditative and evocative of spirituality. Somehow, it varies in instrumentation, feel, and scale enough to appeal to all belief systems or devotional desires. And of course, none of those systems or desires are required to listen and engage and relax, transcend or transform.

Surprisingly, as a person who identifies as Black and Christian, the second track clung to me instantly and intimately. I immediately felt the strength-bred hope of an 18th-century slave toiling under a hot sun at a South Carolina plantation. Then later, on that same track, the vocals relayed a call-and-response story à la Negro spiritual. And a later evolution alludes to 1960s gospel worship. I felt this, somehow, before realizing that the track is titled, "Voice of Freedom."   

Based on my experience with this album, I imagine that anyone that has ever said a prayer, or had a hope, or yearned for anything will connect with at least one track here. Sacred Spiritual is a tour of the world that goes well beyond the tangible or material.

"Ethereal Voyage" touches on reflection and possibly transition. "Mind Vision Invocation" teases tranquility. It's a diverse collection of notes, sounds, and rhythms that anyone could instantly relax with and relate to.

Each track doubles the length of the average pop song at nine to eleven minutes. And this is a good thing. This length promotes use as part of a 10-minute meditation before bedtime, test time, or a stressful meeting. The timing is perfect to complete a short soul journey and move on renewed. But also, because each track offers something distinct, it's possible to repeat an 11-minute movement, without moving into monotony.

Maybe more than math, but also through the use of math, music may be our universal language. I felt this sentiment most on, "Mysteries of the Heart." In part, the vocalizations and melodies recall many of our favorite non-Western stories. And there's a specific vocalized rhythm that sounds nearly identical to a 1998 Wyclef Jean sample. So in one way this album is a world away from this Black boy born in the south U.S. And in another way, this album is me. And I think it may be all of us. 

And if all of this still seems too ethereal for your Western-bred tastes, there are also horns, and strings, and familiar harmonies, and beautiful melodies. 


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