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Six Twilights – Six Twilights

Six Twilights - Six Twilights

CD+DVD, Own Records, 2007

Watching the Six Twilights DVD, I learned from the first spoken word section that there are in fact six twilights in every day. Civil twilight is when the sun is six degrees above the horizon and terrestrial objects can be clearly discerned under good weather conditions. Nautical twilight is when the sun is twelve degrees below the horizon and only the outlines are distinguishable, when the weather is fine. Astronomical twilight is when the sun is eighteen degrees below the horizon and the sun does not contribute to sky illumination at all. These three twilights occur both morning and evening, and therefore six twilights happen every day. That is the most interesting thing about this release – revealing scientific information that most people would not usually consider.
Six Twilights is Aaron Gerber, with considerable assistance from two other vocalists, Liz Isenberg and Zoƫ Wright. This is some kind of very gentle and ever so slightly folky experimental electronica mostly dominated by manipulated voices and backed up by minimal loops possibly generated by guitars more often than synths. As such this is quite at the boundaries of what usually appears in this webzine, lacking the darkness and depth of most ambient artists reviewed here, and instead giving a quietly melancholic and often whimsical outlook on life and love more in keeping with the everyday normality of the indie scene. There are plenty of gentle and emotional moments, and the whole work seems to have been made with a great amount of love, although it is hard to work out if this is a breaking up album or just inspired by separation from a long-distance girlfriend.
On both the CD and DVD, very little actually happens. The DVD is probably not intended to be watched actively, but rather to leave playing in the corner of the room while enjoying a quiet drink with friends or closeness with a loved one. The music moves slowly but is made slightly uncomfortable by the occasionally random and improvised sound of the vocals and their subsequent treatments, often in between singing and speaking and frequently out of tune. Lyrics and lines discuss simple pleasures of nature and subtle details and observations of people and places, creeping dangerously close to hippy territory with arguably meaningless sentiments such as “This Is The Newest Day So Far.” The video consists entirely of vague, out of focus footage of trees (“Oak Trees Like Stray Hairs”), lakes and snow, or slow-motion views from a car window, close-ups on a mysterious girl’s face, and two hands stroking each other affectionately. Further there is a wide shot across a beach in winter, with mist rolling along the dull brown sand and birds huddling together for warmth on telegraph lines in the snow, while a minimal piano melody plays gently indoors. Yes it’s all lovely stuff, just as long as you’re not easily bored and you can allow sentimental feelings for simple things.


— Nathan Clemence

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