Rumpistol ~ Going Inside | a closer listen
Written by ELF Radio (Team) on 13.10.2023
Remember, be here. Now trust. Let go. Be open. The way out is in. Surrender to love. If this sounds like therapy, it is. These are the titles of Going Inside, returned to their original sentences. Copenhagen’s Jens Berents Christiansen (Rumpistol) has been producing an ambitious trilogy over the past few years, and this is the concluding and most fully realized installment.
While many artists, especially those in the ambient realm, intend for their music to be restive and calm, Rumpistol goes even further. His music is specifically composed for people suffering from grief, anxiety, stress and depression, which may be any of us at any time. The thunderstorm that surfaces in the opening piece is a symbol of mental and emotional clouds; in “Now,” drying drops fall from the tin roofs, and over the course of the set, the sun will return.
In order to flesh out his vision, Rumpistol – who plays piano and Wurlitzer – recruits eight calming collaborators. The timbres of flute, strings and especially harp lend the music a peaceful, healing vibe. An old western texture is added by slide guitar, the “voice” of the therapist represented with wordless song from Stine Grøn. When the latter join forces on “Trust,” one recalls the young Julee Cruise. The piece ends with the lapping of waves, which stretch into “) ) ) O ( ( (” ~ perhaps a cliche in healing music, but always welcome. Another common sound is that of the chime, which is the first sound heard on the set, surfacing in different incarnations throughout, suggesting a Tibetan retreat center. Only once, at the beginning of “Be Here,” does a chime hit the wrong note, as it suggests an incoming text, the source of dismay for many who are overstretched.
After the Flood (2020) marked the beginning of the current journey, and was written to alleviate Christiansen’s own stress. Following the success of this and last year’s Isola, he started to realize that his music was helping other people as well. Each of the three albums follows the road from discomfort to peace. The first is the starkest, with “Song for Dead Brother” eventually leading to “Walk On Home,” while the second yields “Memento More” but ends in “A New Beginning.” The final part of the trilogy transitions from inward to the outward, the aforementioned “) ) ) O ( ( (” mirrored by “( ( ( O ) ) ),” on the Bandcamp edition, “b b b O d d d” followed by “d d d O b b b.”
To go inside is to seek answers within, although may also require going outside to seek the help of nature or of others. To repurpose Oleta Adams, “I don’t care how you get here, just get here if you can.” In “Is In,” the birds emerge to sing, and “Surrender” is nearly a dance track. The storm has passed. The sun has emerged. The new life has begun. (Richard Allen)
Copenhagen artist Rumpistol releases the final installment of his trilogy, creating therapeutic ambient music to help with stress and anxiety.