Thursday, March 7, 2013

Artist of the Day: Moving Mountains

Two weeks ago tomorrow, I lost my grandmother. The moment I knew, I picked up Pneuma again, and began to listen; it was a wordless, unrelated connection that affected me on a level deeper than skin, or even consciousness. Moving Mountains' debut album is deeply musical, thoughtful, and powerful. They draw the name of the album from the Greek work pnévma, meaning "breath," but commonly translated as "breath of life." The sounds that appear on the album are fluid, light, and move lightly, like exhaling steam in the winter; the emotional side, however, is more like a sigh, that you release heavily from your chest. Pneuma burdens you, and creates a weight from nowhere that stays with you for a while after you stop listening. The tracks make you think, about sadness at first, but level out to a broader plane, and eventually, even existence itself comes under speculation. It takes an inspired mind to write an album that causes you to think so much, and absolutely deserves the belated critical acclaim it received. The music is wonderful, studio tuned to perfection, and the time and the effort spent on refining it more than deals justice to the message original band members Gregory Dunn and Nicholas Pizzolato were trying to send: one of fleeting love, loss, and somehow, acceptance. I know my grandmother isn't coming back. But I know that, like this album, all things end, sometimes on a low note, sometimes on better terms. Pneuma is one of the things that makes me able to move on - if an album this depressing can end with "Hallelujah," I can acquiesce to the impermanence of life. It's the final and hardest step of moving on, but we all can, and we all do, with time.

You can find Moving Mountains' newer music on their own site, and their older material on their Bandcamp page.

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