I wont pretend to attempt to unravel Amini’s references to Russian author Dostoyevsky in this, his second album of the year, like I did with his previous effort Til Human Voices Wake Us. Much like TS Eliot I’m not familiar with his work and it feels like we’re given more latitude in What Wind Whispered To The Trees‘s more expansive guitar drones, the result being a sensation of perhaps not getting as locked in to it conceptually and afforded a certain sense of personal freedom to explore its philosophical musings.
“The Wind” is the first piece introduced to us, and I think it may be my favourite; an 8 minute juggernaut, it crafts slowly rising layers of dense and lingering, tumultuous guitar drone to forge the mammoth backdrop of the endless forest and its complex, interwoven canopy above. This obfuscated vista is filled with all sorts of growling distortions and supplemented by glowingly melancholic wafts of violin, eaked out of their reverb and delicately encircling even the mightiest of trees. We even get to witness the evolution of the hypothetical woods through the course of a day also, with the haunting “Dusk” following it up with ruffled and chilling distortions as the long shadows twist into mysterious and frightening shapes, and crooning violin lines serenading the slowly fading security of daylight, weighing the melody down with restrictive ponderance. Finally “Dark Oak Woods” ends this particular avenue as we’re left with no visual point of reference of the trees that surround us on all fronts, the claustrophobia being summoned only from memory in its ethereal movements and surprisingly meaty remnant guitar drone.
Whilst “Aliosha and the Fire” is the first of our obvious mid-album excursion into Dostoyevsky territory it still feels like an obvious continuation upon the theme, this retreat into safety and obscurity within the trees as we rest alone around the firepit and stare into its reassuring light and warmth, briefly forgetting the helpless and crushing maze that surrounds. Fragile electronic twinklings reflect the crackling embers and the slow violin turnings the now dimming fire, all slowly descending into lo-fi distortion oblivion as the fuel runs dry and the night closes. “Maria Timofeyevna” parts one and two subsequently invade the dreamspace we now find ourselves in, asleep by a dying fire; sparse drones and unintelligible fragments of distant voice haunt our subconscious, the warped ambience and humming guitar drone the sounds of tired old neurons summoning ancient memories and circling in wist.
What do these trees see, Amini muses in the title track right at the end; how many lost souls have they harboured, how many people have they provided a place of solitude and comfort for? What would it be like to be a tree, to watch the course of human history unfold before us, a bastion of silent strength that shields and provides as generations come and go, their fraught emotions just insignificant blips on the radar of the Grand Scheme. Listen to the sound of history as their leaves rustle, watch as ancient light pours through the canopy, and know through Amini’s guitar drones and melancholic violins that these organisms have witnessed and endured more than you could ever imagine.