Night Blooms Darkroom & Bookstore is the kind of little place that I would run if I ever went insane again and owned a bookstore, as I did two decades ago. This morning, Shawn E. Hansen (above) settled into the front of the shop for the second of five sessions to present an hour of mesmerizing music on an electronic keyboard in the guise of a hipster pipe organ. The music came in two halves: "Drones," which amounts to a steady rumble of trancelike atmosphere, and "Tapestries," which is an evolving, multi-layered piece with lyrical phrases, waves of celestial propulsion and loops of churning but wholly accessible textures. The latter half especially is very much in the mold of Philip Glass, an influence that Shawn readily acknowledges.
As it happens I sat at a table, browsing books, as he played and landed on a collection of poetry by Jorge Luis Borges. It was perfect text for the music, especially this: "I am the one who never has unraveled// the labyrinth of time, singular, plural,// grueling, strange, one's one and everyone's" (from "I Am," or "Soy" in the original Spanish, which I also read to enhance my recent exercises in the language).
To add to the experience, Shawn is dubbing audio cassettes to preserve the compositions (10 limited edition dubs per Sunday morning piece for $5 each). He'll be back for three more Sunday mornings in July, promptly at 10 a.m. To which I echo the photo: "Thank You." I plan to return.