Capturing an ephemeral moment in time in this frenzied world is the goal of Tom Oakes’ new series Streams (of consciousness). Newcastle-upon-Tyne melodeon player and long term Auvo Quartet collaborator Julian Sutton is the guest for the first three track EP that marks the initial step of the Devon guitarist and flautist’s new experimental project.
Wooden flute and melodeon effortlessly intertwine their voices from the first to the last note. From the opening Route to Blue, an original tune from Oakes, to the final set of French bourees, passing through Sutton’s Boxism, the music flows sinuously, intuitive and natural as the breath.
A little detail that enforces the unmistakable feeling of familiarity is the conclusion of the last track of the EP with the voices of the two artists caught for a second while talking each other.
The small touch of jazz improvisation and some elements of Indian music are just the icing on the cake: take for example the mesmerisingly wistful, almost lyrical, intro and the inventive passages with many accidentals in Route to Blue....
Just like the impressionist painters fixed fleeting instances on the canvas, Oakes successfully manages to grasp the very essential nature of music with genuine and enthralling enthusiasm. It is not surprising that this project comes from the author of the equally imaginative The City Vanishes.
Oakes is not new to avant-garde releases and this new series looks more than promising. We cannot wait for the next volume.Michele Mele
Released Digitally on Bandcamp on 12 May 2020 by Window Weather Records
1. Route to Blue