Published Jan 21, 2020Often discussed in the same musical conversations as Harold Budd and Erik Satie, Robert Haigh's storied career reads like an almanac of ambient music. His latest is an unhurried flow of ambient piano pieces that, despite the implications of the title, are only momentarily dark and far from risqué, perhaps at times more suited for those soft intimate moments made for two, or most certainly personal reflections made for one.
Black Sarabande glides between delicate piano phrases with subtle electronic treatments to minimal piano compositions. The opening title track sets the temperament with tender piano arpeggios contrasted with brief and often fleeting melancholic tones. The narrative throughout the majority of the 40-minute affair seems to almost suppress uneasiness to pursue a more pleasant and calming path.
But before the final track, "Broken Symmetry," offers a resolution by way of a peaceful acceptance of our defective world, "Painted Serpent" plays the role of a plot twist, expanding on moods that have previously only been teased and never fully developed. The song highlights Haigh's adept orchestration, contributing a sorrowful but engaging departure. (Unseen Worlds)