Album of the Week - Pantha du Prince - Conference of Trees
The average mature redwood tree grows to be 500 - 800 years old, and the tallest can reach up to 350 feet high. If you have ever visited a grove of these giants in coastal California, and have felt the spiritual weight of their mere existence, then you are familiar with the sense of wonder that these trees elicit. Pantha du Prince's new album, Conference of Trees, conjures up these same feelings through strings, bells, handmade percussion, and synthetic beats, and with this media, he explores the phenomenon of tree-to-tree communication. The album clocks in at around an hour and fifteen minutes, and seems to follow a narrative with its interconnected movements. Beginning slow and soft, the album features only ambient strings, but it gradually builds through samples and beats, before tapering off again in the end - almost like a long hike in the woods, a sun-up to sun-down day spend outside, or a life cycle of an ancient tree, perhaps. And although Pantha du Prince explores some new territory, sonically, his distinctive style still shines through in many parts, which is just fine for this listener (who ranked his 2010 song, Lay In A Shimmer, the twelfth best song of the 2010's). Music and experiencing nature do not mix for everyone, but if they do for you, and you are planning a trek into a forest this spring, consider this album as a companion.