Falkner Evans’ Distantly Haunting New Album Underscores How Love Is Stronger Than Death
Pianist Falkner Evans’ wife Linda killed herself in May of 2020, consequence of the lockdown. A professor whose specialty was Latin American literature, her favorite author was Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She was bright, introspective, well read and a talented visual artist. Evans’ response to this devastating and totally preventable loss is his first-ever solo album, Invisible Words, which isn’t online yet. It’s both a loving portrait and a reflection on unspeakable grief. On the whole, the album is more pensive than anguished, and surprisingly dynamic considering the circumstances. A handful of themes recur, sonata-like. Space plays as much a role here as melody.: Much of this is Mahmoud Darwish’s concept of the presence of absence, incarnated in these songs without words.
Evans opens with the title track, beginning with a tentative, minimalist fondness that grows to a sparkle and then a serious, carefully considered insistence. Clearly, Linda had a joie de vivre to match any despondency.
You’re Next, Ladybug is a warmly expectant ballad, Evans pacing himself slowly with more than a hint of Errol Garner lightheartedness through a series of gentle neoromantic cascades that occasionally drift toward ragtime or stride. Likewise, there’s plenty of space in Brightest Light, a wistfully anthemic tune which quickly descends toward a portrait of emotional depletion.
Breathing Altered Air is a lockdown parable, Evans reaching for jaunty glimpses of hope amid the somber, austere chords. Moving toward a steady stroll, he livens the heavy atmosphere with variations on a series of wry soul/blues riffs, up to an unexpected ending that packs a crushing wallop.
Made Visible is part wounded Chopin prelude, part sagely reflective Horace Silver wee hours refrain. Like so many of the tracks here, there’s a steady resilience, an autosuggestive quality, a mantra to just keep going. .
The big epic here is Lucia’s Happy Heart, referencing Linda’s’ Italophile alter ego. An older song, it’s actually one of the album’s more somber numbers: it’s sort of an expansive study for what would become Altered Air.
The Hope Card is the album’s most spacious and perhaps ironically most persistently brooding, ominously chromatic track. Evans closes the record with the terse ballad Invisible Words for Linda, in a sense bringing the album full circle.
Even more tragically, Evans’ wife’s suicide is one of thousands since the lockdown – and the pandemic of deaths of despair is getting worse. More people under thirty were driven to suicide in the UK by the lockdown than died of Covid in the entire world. The World Economic Forum and their puppets at the WHO and in government have blood on their hands.
At this point in history, whistleblowers and great revelations are springing out everywhere: it is only a matter of time before every population in the world gets wise to the lockdowners’ schemes and puts an end to them. We owe their victims no less.