How do you keep the creative juices flowing that allow for composition or creation of any kind of artistic work, and where do you find the drive to continue to push your own voice out amongst the screaming throngs? For some that drive comes from within and others from without, but when you are staring down the barrel of a quarter century of work, the idea that you can consistently conjure new and challenging work is a dream that many musicians have; and Geir Jenssen continues to release music in just this manner under his Biosphere moniker (as well as solo work and collaborations).
The Petrified Forest is a mini-album from Biosphere that draws its inspiration from a 1936 movie of the same name, and while that might seem fairly cut and dry, the aspect that Jenssen’s album continues to leave me with a sense of wonder, is just how gorgeous these tracks are; you can hear some playful and hopeful sounds on pieces like “This Is The End” or “Just One Kiss” that possibly boarders on romantic while songs like “Black Mesa” have a more ominous and desolate mood that permeates the landscape that is hinted at in the samples, which seemingly act as mood guides as the record progresses from the melancholy “Drifter” through to the closing moments of the album.
There are records that have a palpable cinematic quality which guide and usher listeners through a journey that seemingly tell stories without vocals or even words, and Biosphere certainly captures my attention in this manner by honing a number of musical motifs that are hypnotically entrancing without resorting to repetition alone as the primary component of his trance inducing suite; and this quality certainly makes a great deal of sense as The Petrified Forest is inspired by an old movie (also entitled The Petrified Forest) from 1936, and, even though this act (making a soundtrack or music inspired by an old movie) has been done previously, Biospheremakes an album that stands completely on its own owing naught but a few samples to its namesake.
The Petrified Forest is a moody and entirely enjoyable listening experience that still does not answer any of my questions because the record sits in line with the incredible consistency of the work of Biosphere, and while I keep playing the record over and over again, I keep looking for these answers as I listen and maybe that is it, that journey; or maybe that journey is the answer (or lack thereof) driving the artist and the listener on, “looking for something to believe, something worth living for…”
7.5 / 10
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