by Jeff Laughlin (@beardsinc)
The distance between two points is infinity in Dustin Wong’s creation. Not theoretically or ironically, but realistically, the songs on Wong’s newest record, Fluid World Building 101 With Shaman Bambu, augment the shared distance between imagination and actuality. All beings walk at the same pace in a created world, all light is calibrated in the eyes of the inhabitants.
You’d think that would be impossible to know, Wong used very few vocals on Fluid World Building. The evidence is there, though. “Don’t Be Ashamed” allows inhabitants to walk through the new world. “Village Made of Zephyr” sets the weather pattern. Societies interact by the end of the record, wandering loosely about the structure. The desert is there, but not outlandishly big so that a hover-camel cannot escort inhabitants quickly to the infinite realms surrounding the sand.
Where are the insouciant devils that wish to tear down creation if not here? Perhaps they languor in the old world, positing disenchanted ideologies to wayward souls on their way to work. Perhaps they entreat fools to justify their existence or listen to teachers who have no desire. Or they may fly to unruly habitats to feel alive.
Those of us in the new world have no time for this. There is so much to explore! The bells ring without disguise in “Cup of Seashells at Neutral Tower.” What sleep may come? What expectations rise? None to speak of! None to pass along! Meetings among inhabitants display marvel and alliance. Considerable work may yet need to be done, but the muse for those jobs bellows out with intermittent bass, otherworldly chimes and muted bells.
We gather at the fountains and marvel at “Dawn Thru the Marble Parthenon” – the one known entity recreated from the old world. Perhaps it is here that we graciously nod toward those who stayed behind. Maybe a few cry out forlorn but that fleeting feeling vanishes like all do. The emotion of past lives crusts up and flakes off where our sweat used to drip. Where arthritic hands used to grasp time they now caress wild surfaces and unkempt landscapes.
Perhaps we can ask questions, no one knows. No one thinks to know. Beings flow in tandem, so resistance gains no foothold. Wong allows creativity to leak from each crevice but not so much as to intimidate. Worlds should be so lucky as to be questioned but be so beloved as to never fret about answers. Meanwhile, souls clamber about as drum sounds, tickling the world’s surface with unencumbered motion.
There’s eating and fullness but food is unnecessary. Clocks tick with no time lapses. No bodies float to the surface. The only mystery is creation. Fluid World Building exists to make us creative; to bend our brains toward cosmetics. Beholders in the eyes of beauty – the album Dustin Wong made believes solely that we belong listening to it. Maybe that’s all we really know about the new world and that’s enough. In the infinite space between this and his next collection, we don’t really need to know too much anyway.