The latest album from Shara Worden’s project My Brightest Diamond is in my heavy rotation this week. Of the ten tracks on her release “This Is My Hand” (2014), the one that is really getting under my skin is “Resonance“.
It’s a complex piece of work. The disparate musical and rhythmic elements phase in and out, each on its own apparent time signature, starting and stopping at its own whim, mashing together into a polyrhythmic, atonal whole. This serves as a strong poetic allegory to the hunger of Worden’s lyrics, of seeking resonance with the rhythms of other people as they phase in and out of our lives, of reaching out in search of a matching heartbeat in the noise. “All alone, we come and go / I long to be known by you / A resonance coming through”. The dense structure never fully congeals into a hard rhythm — just like the complexity of interpersonal relationships never fully merges into a beating dance — but eventually things melt together into an understandable drone where we can let go and let it wash over. “Can I dance without pulling back? / I can’t control you / I don’t even want to”.
The parts that swing together are the choruses, the points where the author draws inside and paints an overall conclusion about the world. A single, solitary viewpoint, an ideology, an interpretation of reality, As the author reaches outward for a hand to pull her back into the dance, the polyrhythms reappear, the chaos restarts. Other voices, other views, other lives take the floor. Reality is not so clean and pure. Holding hands to stay together, a resonance eventually comes through.
The vibration of one inducing the vibration of another. Resonance. Tuned strings. Poetry.