I am staying in a room at an aunt’s house. Her dog sleeps in the backyard. Last night, I looked out my window, into the dark, and found myself, with a jump, starring into glowing eyes. The phenomenon has a name, eyeshine: tapeta lucida . But naming a phenomenon doesn’t neutralize the affect of the glowing presence of eyes emerging from the dark.
Tenebroso, William Fowler Collins’ newest album, derives its name from Caravaggio’s method of “dramatic illumination,” in which darkness dominates so that bursts of luminescence can be brought to the fore. “Part of the theme,” Collins wrote to me, “relates to my music and how it emerges slowly from silence…”
Maybe that’s the easiest description I can think of for Collins’ wonderful, uneasy electroacoustic compositions on Tenebroso: vague textures emerging from the silent dark. Sometimes with eyes, and sometimes with less.
Tenebroso, the follow-up to last year’s The Resurrections Unseen, will be released tomorrow, August 21, by Handmade Birds as the third installment of the Dark Icons Series. Listen below to his “Tapeta Lucida” emerge: