“Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows…
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.”
Rainer Marie Rilke
Go to the Limits of Your Longing (1905 Book of Hours.)
Nobody knew how to keep things tight quite like our old friend Rilke. He’d just toss these glimmering pearls off like they were nothing much, as if not knowing how lustrously they would continue to shine over a century later. Rilke revealed himself to me when I was 18 or 19 years old, and the sentiment of these lines has inspired me through the years. He continues to inspire many people, and in the context of the past year, one hopes that these encouraging words also found their way into the minds of folks who needed bolstering.
When presented with such beautiful cogency we should genuflect Rilke’s memory and his gift of expression. And expression really is a gift — not only for the receiver, but also for the generator. I mean, telling someone I love you can be as precious to the teller as hearing that one is loved is to the beloved.
How wonderful it is, then, to come across another piece of art that is no less eloquent in its expression, even though its language is solely created and understood by its singer. That is the case with the gorgeous new song Sala by Briars of North America. The words of the song are recognizable only as mysterious syllables, and are the invention of Brooklyn musician, Gideon Crevoshay. The song is from the album Supermoon (2021 Brassland Projects Inc.,) and it is due on June 18. I am so eager to hear it.
With the allure of Sala, the Briars of North America propel listeners into the atmosphere of Cocteau Twins and Sigur Rós: soaring vocals, haunting melodies, plus ethereal instrumentation and production. The song carries along with drama and operatic flare. The video is a meditative representation of the song: a pretty mountain majestically dips in and out of view through a gossamer mist; the eternal undulating tide washes over and exposes salt-scrubbed sea life. Watch and listen here: Sala.
I learned about this group recently from a very brief song description by singer Crevoshay on NPR’s All Songs Considered. The Briars trio is rounded out by his cousin Jeremy Thal, and classical musician and bassist, Greg Chudzik. You can find Briars on Apple Music or help them directly here: Briars Bandcamp.
Just keep going.