A moment, magnified and crystallized, slowed down for emphasis, sought and then returned to, forgotten then happened upon, draws close to begin again. The music of Kyle Bobby Dunn exists as charged moments, filled with emotion, drawn out to exhaustion before they whither, but linger for the listener long after, at times, without knowing.
Bring Me The Head of Kyle Bobby Dunn comprises two hours of extended moments; they sit and gestate with the listener for an eternity. On one afternoon, when I received this album and began listening, time had elapsed slowly, allowing genuflection, and deliberately. The music filled my house, my head, and I was drawn away from reality and then, without knowing, returned. It seemed to bring me at once in tune with the thoughts in my head, the places I'd like to be, the elsewhere I'm drawn away to, but upon returning me to familiar surroundings, I understood that the places I seek are here and the thoughts I have were always within reach. For many, on a constantly moving carousel, we look beyond and past what is right in front of us, breathing down our necks, bustling below us, to the next, which is irrevocably above and beyond what we take great pains not to see.
I think more than any other artist, Dunn connects me to this process of retrieving the forgotten moment. The feelings, images, and sensations conjured in each sliver of sound has such an enormous breadth that it bears returning to again and again. It's the same set of emotions that drew me to releasing "Ways of Meaning" and now, with this new body of work, it's even more amplified, enormous, and everlasting.
In order to clarify what I felt and understand where Kyle was drawing this well of emotion from, I asked Kyle a series of abstract questions that had no discernible answers to them. After rethinking this process, I sent over three questions concerned with origin and resolution.
MV: What do you find in creating your music?
KBD: There is a sort of monumental sense brought forth in the finished work. I feel I've defined some element of my life as clearly and explicably as possible, since I find talking out emotions and ideas very difficult. Sound and music are fine communication tools for us humans. I find some peace but it also exists in a rather sad, almost quiet hateful element.
MV: What/where do you begin with, or from? Is anything resolved?
KBD: I guess it's obvious that I try and begin slowly and through that see where it can go. I'm often slower than everyone when it comes to deciding and choosing things. I'm usually sad with whatever is decided upon, so I am not sure if there is really any resolve for me. But it's not about finding resolve or even some kind of phony peace within, I don't think music can do that. It is quite simply, an effective communication tool, once again.
MV: Is the music more a result of the outer: places you've been, the people you've met, or the inner: memories you have, sensibilities, feelings?
KBD: Well it ties all those elements into one I think. This album is more abstract in terms of a place or person and their meaning to me. I do try and harness things to make them more listenable or maybe understandable for people, but I've never reworked something because I thought it wasn't accessible enough. People will make of others works what they will, which is why people must refrain from talking too much about their music or going too academic. Yes it is personal, but that doesn't mean the listener can't find a personal element of their own with it.
- Michael Vitrano, Experimedia
Bring Me The Head Of is an album containing some of the most brutally honest and complex moments of Dunn's young career to date. Drawing upon a love for emotional detailing and cinematically charged grandeur, these suites offer an apex in romantic, haunting and lonely bliss. Recorded over several years at Bunce Cake, Brooklyn and remote parts of Canada the works mainly reveal themselves in quietly unfolding loops and waves of strings and electric guitar. To compare is difficult, however, Dunn constructs atmospherics which at times most closely resemble Andrei Tarkovsky's darkly autonomous films and the sheer grit and humanism found in the works of Sam Peckinpah (especially in ‘Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia’, a personal favorite of the composer). Very different worlds all seeming to fit inside one massive, cohesive and overwhelmingly emotional whole, one that clings to the heart strings of the listener like smoke and honey.
This double disc album much like 2010’s, A Young Person’s Guide To…, expands and contracts with large flowing pieces and shorter but just as powerful vignettes. An album which creates landscapes that will become impossible to forget and something you will want to travel with for years to come.