I’m going to be honest here, and admit that it was the Philip K. Dick reference in the title that first inspired me to check out this net release by Shane Morris. And while my motivations may be a little suspect, I’m very pleased to report back that “Set the Penfield Mood Organ for Aware” not only delivered on my sci fi geekery, but it’s a really strong album as well.
The album is divided into three tracks simply named Parts One, Two and Three, each with their own mood and tone. Part One features a steady drone with occasional higher tones slowly rotating to create a vaguely hypnotic soundscape. Part Two is a calmer, more subdued track that works on much more subtle levels, in some ways a much more intimate piece of music. There’s a feeling of delicate and fragile beauty here, a real sensuality that works very effectively in inspiring an emotional response. Part Three closes the release with a much brighter, warmer tone than the last two tracks, but don’t be deceived by it’s apparent peacefulness, there are snakes and monsters that lie underneath the surface here, just waiting to be discovered.
It should be noted that listening to the album has prompted me to reacquaint myself with Wilder Penfield and how his theories may relate to my own musical experiences, particularly the way I visualize music when I listen to it. There are some very interesting ideas rolling around my head now as a result of this release, and I expect that I’ll be thinking about them a lot as I further explore Shane Morris’ work.