(Originally published in the July 2012 Offerings.)
After the forest had stopped burning, Babel decided to walk back to where the monastery had stood to take inventory, with only the glockenspiel that he had saved from the flames as supplies. All the trees and any hunter’s huts had been reduced to low laying burnt stuff, so he could see the blackened, but still standing ruins in the distance. It had been a frantic flight from the fire, but now, with everything gone, and all quiet descended, time took its time to get him there. Then the bellbirds began to return. Slowly at first, but as the rising sun caught the metal bars of the glockenspiel, more and more began to circle. Babel fond that if he held his metallophone to his ear he could understand their gongy tones, and that if held it sideways to his mouth, not only did it turn his frown into a tin-man’s maniacal grin, but he could control the bellbirds movements. Not that he asked them to move that much, but sometimes he did, and if there had been anyone around to hear it, they might have thought a traveling symphony, or the annual Philip Glass Percussive Parade had been passing though.
Translation and Epilogue:
Babel is the modern-classical outlet of Jakob Rehlinger, who can also be heard as the lonely guitar (that sounds like a peyote trip in the desert) called Moonwood, and also the owner of the great, Etobicoke based, experimental/freak-folk label Arachnidisks Recordings. One of the most prolific musicians in town, this is his third release this year on his own label, and his second as Babel. Glockengeister finds him in a quiet, minimal mood, experimenting with a recently acquisitioned glockenspiel that acts as a centerpiece for the album. Joined only occasionally by sparse percussion, that is similar to the backing bells of his Moonwood work, these pieces take all the time they need to mature, lasting anywhere from one and a half to thirteen minutes. There’s a real feeling of exploration on this disk, as if his new fond instrument were a huge cathedral he had just inherited, and he was wandering threw all the rooms, discovering their particular personalities. Some require more attention than others. Some are busy with bells. Some are barely there. Overall, it’s a very soft, spiritual atmosphere that should be your next soundtrack for falling asleep into lucid dreaming.