Dark Sines ~ The Space Time Paradox
Written by ELF Radio (Team) on 14.10.2023
We are living in the last hours of summer; autumn will begin overnight. To some, the solstice brings a welcome transition; to others, a loss. Phil Cassella’s evocative cover photo portrays the dimmed light, a puddled path, umber leaves clinging to nearly-bare trees. This change is coming and cannot be avoided. Yet there in the distance, a bridge that looks like a door, or perhaps it is a door, a passageway to another time, another season, another mindset. All is not as it seems; even the line that runs parallel to the photo curves as it descends, a playful string.
The bottle boasts a matching image. This is the fifth entry in the Ceremony of Seasons series, the second to address fall. The wine is Reveal the Paradox, a fitting title for a “contemplative after dinner wine,” known alternately as a dessert wine or apéritif, although it pairs particularly well with macadamia nuts and asiago cheese. This is the most immediate wine in the series to date, yielding upfront notes of apricot, smoke and cinnamon, a distinct alternative to pumpkin beer. One must savor every sip; too much would be overwhelming, the compact bottle a lesson in restraint. Might autumn also offer such sweetness, doled out to those whose summers were too arid, humid or oven-baked? Subscribers to VISUALS WINE’s Ritual of Seasons Wine Club will also receive items made by local craftspeople: a new reason to savor every season. (Bottles are also available separately.)
Ease me lightly into autumn. I am among those who hate to see the season go. Each solstice begins with a little mourning, la petite mort. This melancholic stretch lasts until the blessings on the other side are seen: the surprise beyond the door. In The Space Time Paradox, Dark Sines (Asheville, NC musician Taylor Proffitt) expands the changing of seasons to the celestial realm, highlighting the astronomical aspects. Drawing back, one remembers the elementary school models of planets in motion around the sun.
There’s a science fiction aspect to the music as well, which begins with primordial rain and light ambience before heading into electronic realms. If one could fly west quickly enough, traversing time zones, might one reenter the day before? If entering a wormhole, might one “arrive home before departure,” in Proffitt’s words, “still time to save Earth?” Hearing the homonym prophet, one thinks of greater regrets: not the loss of summer, but the loss of safety, stability or civilization. The wine says, do not ruminate, but be grateful. The music says, in another timeline, we are saved. Instead of falling leaves, there are nebula clouds; instead of coolness, there is absolute zero.
A distant chime tolls in “Adrift in a Plasma Cloud” ~ but what are chimes and markers when time itself is obliterated, falling back on itself, dreams unfolding before memories, comfort arriving before pain? The crickets return to their eggs, the leaves to the trees, the love to the fantasy, the career to the dream. The wine asks, all this sweetness, you would do without?
Mid-album, percussion establishes a seemingly-unstoppable momentum. Beyond a certain age, one begins to time travel. The outer world travels forward; the inner world travels backward. By placing the seasons in a greater narrative, Dark Sines reminds us that our molecules will one day become part of other things, just as fallen leaves become the mulch that feeds the tree. The glass may be empty, but the bottle remains. (Richard Allen)
The content discusses the transition from summer to autumn and introduces a wine called Reveal the Paradox.