Aaron Martin and Dag Rosenqvist and their musical collaboration as From The Mouth Of The Sun seems to elicit immediate excitement from an ever-growing number of modern classical, post-rock and experimental music fans from around the world. The duo appears to be on a mission to bring their dynamic breed of electro-acoustic classical to the masses this year. From composer David Wingo selecting three From the Mouth of the Sun songs to appear in the critically acclaimed sci-fi thriller ‘Midnight Special,’ to their first original score for A24’s feature film ‘Menashe,’ praised at Sundance and in theaters this summer, Rosenqvist and Martin are well on their way to receiving the recognition they deserve.
‘Hymn Binding’ is the pair’s third album as From the Mouth of the Sun, and their first for US label, Lost Tribe Sound. The album is teeming with all the soul-stirring character one has come to expect from their work together. The long form crescendos built from Martin’s mournful strings and vast array of acoustic instrumentation are a perfect compliment to Rosenqvist’s delicate piano melodies, humming electronics, and waves of warm static.
At the core, From the Mouth of the Sun’s sound is comprised of cello, piano, acoustic guitars, lap steel, banjo, ukulele and pump organ. Yet with ‘Hymn Binding’ they’ve allowed those acoustic sources to change shape, at times turning them into something that more resembles synths or digitally rendered sounds. They do this, not as a means of disguising them, or really wanting them to sound like synths, but to bring out new layers from already existing timbres.
Rosenqvist mentions, “There’s something very beautiful and rewarding to working with acoustic sound sources. Because when you record them, you never know what you’re going get, and you can never repeat it exactly the same way. The wood in the instrument changes from air pressure and with different temperatures. You change your sitting position from one take to another and all of a sudden it sounds slightly different. You move the microphone or you move something in the room and it sounds slightly different. Acoustic sound sources allow for chaos to be a part of the creative process, allowing for something you can never fully control."
While From the Mouth of the Sun’s first album ‘Woven Tide’ took the first tentative steps, and ‘Into the Well’ was an attempt to create something more acoustic and stripped down, “Hymn Binding” is a fully realized vision. It is bigger, with a broader sound palette and more full-on arrangements. And with that understanding, it is no wonder Martin & Rosenqvist are proud to call it, one of the strongest works they’ve ever recorded.
Without revealing too much, ‘Hymn Binding’ is an album predicated on the rise and fall. It has little fear taking deep breathes between each movement, reveling in the most minimalistic and subdued moments only to make the massive peaks of sound seem all that much larger. What makes a masterpiece, is always subjectively at the mercy of the beholder. Yet From the Mouth of the Sun make a strong case with ‘Hymn Binding,’ that the pairing of two such individually talented musicians can create a synergy and timelessness all its own.
‘Hymn Binding’ was given the deluxe vinyl treatment. The edition arrives as a lacquer cut vinyl pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl, housed in a matte finished gatefold tip-on jacket with artwork throughout from Gregory Euclide (Limited to 300). The deluxe edition also comes with a download card offering a choice of formats including FLAC, 320K MP3, etc. Mastering for vinyl and digital was performed by Taylor Deupree. The CD edition is also a work of art, housed in a heavy stock, handcrafted 7" x 5" book-style case with glass mastered CD and a download card for the album in high quality format (Limited to 150).