I am not usually the biggest fan of albums that are essentially the soundtrack or sound component of a greater performative work. Generalizations aside John Avery's compositional skill in Jessica In The Room Of Lights extends beyond it's original intent and forms a new life. It could be that the success of Jessica is that even in its original theatrical structure and performance the element of sound and the soundtrack held great importance. One could look towards the actors voices even being conveyed and spoken with through prerecorded tape playbacks. Either way Avery's Jessica In The Room Of Lights succeeds in its mission of creating an overarching narrative for the patient and acute listener.
There is a foreboding nature at work here. Cryptic samples permeate through with the odd voice throw in manipulated and mutilated to the core. While the atmosphere surrounding all of the more dramatic elements are created with a skittering electronic buzz. The title track "Jessica In The Room Of Lights" is the corner stone of the album. In effect, the track becomes an integral string holding Avery's somewhat foreboding narrative in place. As dark and dramatic as the rest of the album gets the title track goes the polar opposite route. For the first time a repetitive melodic phrase enters the sonic vocabulary created by Avery's opaque and dreamy synth programming. This moment marks a rebirth or realization perhaps as what follows is a much more subdued affair. "Zero Zero One, Zero One, Zero One" and "The Day Serenity Returned To The Ground" match silence with subtle and slow melodies that feel as though they would crumble upon realizing they being listened upon. While "Almost (1986)" ends with what is close to a piano ballad bringing a theatrical ending to the whole affair.
John Avery's album Jessica In The Room Of Lights is available now via Forced Nostalgia.