Emily A. Sprague Water Memory / Mount Vision

[RVNG Intl.; 2019]

Styles: away from metaphor, how to being, inside my chest
Others: Sarah Davachi, H. Takahashi, r beny

Is there water in my heart? I am interested in biology, not metaphor. I crave an exactness of fluidity, an aquamarine proof of me. I want to know if there is moisture on the walls and in the lines and through the chambers of my heart.

For selfish reasons, I will not turn to any search bar or database for answers.

For selfish reasons, I want to wonder if there is water in my heart.

Satie, a composer, wrote in a poem called “The Swing”:

It is my heart that swings
so.
It is not dizzy.
It has such tiny feet.
Will it ever come back
inside my chest?

I suspect there is water in my heart. There is blood in my heart, I know that, and I think there is water in blood. Are all things that move and flow as liquids water-containing? Not all things, I think. Not lava. Unless lava is just the water and the mountain moving together.

I turn the handles of a faucet and let the spray fill the tub. I enter into it, like Satie must have. I think about his Montmartre bathtub, all probable claws, its silt rings and singings.

Selfishly, I want to review the water.

“A Lake” is its first song, an exclamation of location and a designation of a destination. It’s free-standing and lolling. To submerge in the steady synth is to know the shore remains in reach. “Water Memory 1,” a dizzy swing. “Water Memory 2,” a gilled heart. Emily A. Sprague, a composer, said of working with modular synths: “I found the format for the way that I like to create.” This re(re)lease, a collation of 2017’s Water Memory and 2018’s Mount Vision, is a joyful opportunity to hear Sprague’s ambient intuitions, a-way from meaning-making toward meaningless-making, or maybe -unmaking. In creating a voice of patches and coils, a new language must follow. “It is truly about existing without any sort of structural guidelines.” What if ambience could tell us, inscrutably, how to speak anew?” Music that would be a part of the surrounding noises,” Satie described.

On a train of surrounding noise, I watch condensation slip on ventricle walls. I think about how my heart and my water might need a new alphabet to coalesce.

Florist, a band, said: “That light is real and the heart is right and it’s not a lie.”

It is wrong to mention Florist, Emily A. Sprague’s sometime-band here, to piece and parse unrelated words to fit a critical narrative. Let the languages sit separate! Let them speak for themselves! It is wrong to review the water. As if waveforms could be innovative, as if floating could be prizeworthy.

But I came to review the water.

I might try to review the mountain. To compare bones to loam and cliffs to skin, or to see erosion in my toenails and wonder if the drifts and loops in “Piano 1” is like when I sit on a train and count the sighs, if the skittering “Huckleberry” is healing or alienating.

Instead, I watch an ant (one of the big ones) scrawl across the laptop screen. He is biology and, in meaning nothing, is his own language. And now a beetle falls down the couchside. A window somewhere, surely, is open. Are there ants in my heart? Am I too mountainous?

Like an ant, the art of Emily A. Sprague’s, in Florist, as a photographer of the American West or in poetry (not a metaphoric designation i.e. her music is poetry, man — the RVNG Intl. release is accompanied by Ambient Poems 2017 - 2018, which collects some of Sprague’s words) is ambient liberation in the scope of a benign, ambivalent nature. In Water Memory / Mount Vision, that nature and ambience finds its most affecting tone, a song of designing one’s own instrument, a voice finding. This is art as excavation, an ever-reaching, as incomplete as a day or a kiss or a language. It is a joy. It is a gift beyond articulating. It is new alphabet.

There is water in my heart, I am sure of it. Selfishly, I will not articulate.

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