“Tryshasla” by Secede

Every once in a while you stumble across something by accident that turns out to affect you in a meaningful way. Secede’s “Tryshasla” is one of those hidden gems that I just happened to stumble upon. I almost overlooked this album because I haven’t been in a big electronic music mood lately. With spring opening up my ears have yearned for sounds that invoke and enhance the temperatures and the smells of nature waking from its winter nap. Thankfully this album found me on a groggy and wet weekend.

The central character of the album, Frank, is dying. As the opening track rumbles in we hear his hospital equipment churning away and faint talking in the background. It’s uncomfortable. You can feel the tension in the air he breathes. He’d rather not be there right now. A voice speaks out to him, asking him “Where’ve you been?” After a few inquiries, Frank pleads “Let me go…” and then the medicine kicks in. Frank’s being put into a sleep as per his wishes. You’d think that perhaps Frank doesn’t want to be awake for he’d be in pain.

But that’s not the case. Frank instead wishes to return to an imaginary and beautiful land called Sanda. As Frank is finding himself back in this fantasy world for the last time, we are taken on a tour through some very powerful ambient work. Coupled with the artwork provided with the album, the music captures the children’s storybook hills, lush forests and exotic wildlife of Sanda. This is a world all of Frank’s own making. Everything has been lovingly crafted over the years in his mind to create the ultimate place to escape. Some technologies exist here as well, from the strange things lighting up the castle’s towers at night to a train we see referenced to in the art but don’t hear until the very end.

There’s a loving, homey warmth to each synth swell, bird chirp, and field recording here. This is a dream, and the sounds convey that very well. But as sweet as it all is, it is a dying dream. Everything we hear is also tainted with a hint of sadness, Frank knows this will be his last time upon those beautiful shores and traversing the countryside smelling the grass in the wind. What’s even sadder, perhaps, is the fact that not only will this blissful world no longer exist to Frank once he passes, no one else will ever know or be able to journey there. It’s going to be lost forever.

By the final track, Frank has said his goodbyes to our world as well as his own. The last thing we hear is that train chugging off into the distance, signaling the end to our visit of Sanda. Thankfully for us, Frank’s beautiful world just so happened to be a work of art, preserved in a format for us to find and explore with him, and revisit as many times as we wish while we’re still alive. We will one day have to wave farewell to this land as well, but hopefully by then we will be able to let go as gracefully as Frank did.

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Published in: on March 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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