LP, Gnome Life, 2016
Individually hand-numbered – #15/1100
Style: Spiritual Folk, Outsider Folk
Vibe: Mystical, Pantheistic, Contemplative, Uplifting, Enchanting, Intimate, Heartfelt, Forest, Ritualistic, Meditative, Morning, Warm, Storytelling
Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Suite, Spoken Word, Melodic, Lyrical
Instrumentation: 12-String Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, Marimba, Vibraphone, Vocal Harmonies, Gong, Percussion, Shakuhachi
On Fountainsun’s debut LP, Music Today, Daniel Higgs and Fumie Ishii served as guides on a multidimensional pilgrimage through the cosmos. We return, with their second album, to find our Dionysian duo not at journey’s end, but settled down within a many-chambered temple –contemplating matters of the heart and sprit; immersed in daily ritual both sacred and profane.
As the title suggests, the central theme of “Sweep the Temple” is one of purification. Cleansing the inner and outer sanctum, primarily of limitation. Limits imposed upon us, and the Universe itself, by the very idea that we can fully comprehend the nature of reality. “Sweep the Temple” is a call to action, and an embodiment of that call. We must “sweep the temple free” each day from notions of duality, perceived separation, and the entanglements of socialized beliefs.
Time-honored forms of expression (folk song, parable, ballad, rhapsody) populate this album but appear slightly out of phase with ordinary reality. Fountainsun employs many instruments to purify their anarchic sanctuary, including a 12-string banjo, vibraphone, marimba, guitars, drums, gongs, and even an actual broom.
These songs coax and goad in equal measure, drawing us ever deeper into holy negotiations between sense and nonsense. Take the Dadaist deconstruction of Aesop’s Fables that comprise the lyrics of the track titled “Aesop”. In order to “Sweep the Temple” we must at times surrender narrative entirely and simply exist in marvelous uncertainty.