the End - Podington BearThe End
Podington Bear
Hush Records

No, this musician is not to be confused with Paddington Bear, that saccharine little children’s book character with the dumb hat and raincoat. In fact, this bear is not to be confused with anyone. Mr./Ms.Bear is a mysteriously shadowy individual. Look up the name online, and see what you get. Podington’s website gives very little information about the person or the music. But this individual is dedicated to the Pod aspect in the name. Believe that.

Podington is an extremely creative instrumentalist, fashioning lush sonic soundscapes at an incredible rate of output. Check out the simultaneous Hush Release- “The Box Set,” for verification of that assertion. That 10 CD set contains 135 pieces (including this album), over 8 hours of original music, most of which was composed and created over the past year. Last year, the Bear attempted to release (via the website and Podcast), a new piece of music every couple of days and nearly accomplished the task. Lael Alderman, eat your heart out!

Podington would have you steal the music, or at least borrow it, rather than to conform to the age-old practice of selling it to you via the usual channels of treachery and corporate hypocrisy. This album- and the rest of the compendium are a nod to the fact that not everyone has the wherewithal to obtain this stuff via the electronic media. Some people just like to hold “product” in their cold clammy hands, don’t you know.

This particular seven piece construction conforms (loosely) to the work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, whose groundbreaking work in the field of death and dying, and whose Five Stages of Grief, was pretty much the last word on the subject (so to speak) throughout the last several decades of her own life (which ended in 2004).

To Kübler-Ross’ “Five Stages of Grief”- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, Mr./Ms. Bear offers slight modifications. The seven pieces presented here are entitled “Change,” “Denial,” “Bargaining,” “Fury,” “Ebullience,” “Grief” and “Acceptance.” As to whether Mr./Ms. Bear has experienced a death in his/hers immediate family cannot be ascertained.

However, those of you put off by the subject of death and dying have nothing to fear with this cinematic display of sonic splendor. The music here is transcendent and uplifting, without being morosely grim nor glumly self-pitying. Only the elegiac track “Grief,” Satie-like in its construction, connotes anything even remotely sad.

And what glorious music it is! Comparative allusions have been made to Aphex Twin and Brian Eno- and though atmospheric in its own right, this music is far more melodic and emotionally immediate than that with which this music is compared.

Words are hardly worthy to describe this music. Highly orchestral. Warm. Emotive. Passionate. Thoughtful. Extremely well executed. Original. Deep. Unique. Far less precious than Mr./Ms. Podington’s moniker would imply.

It is music that must be experienced to be appreciated and it really should be appreciated, if but for the incredible depth and scope of the output. Try it. You may or may not like it, but you will come away with a profound respect for the musician that is Podington Bear.

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