By Jodi Brak
CALGARY – Prepare to be swept away on a journey narrated by anthemic prog-rock instrumentals, punctuated by a unique visual experience. A fusion of Brian Daniloski’s 30-plus years of psych-rock guitar playing and the reality-bending video art of Ann Everton, the pair known as Darsombra strike at the senses of sight and sound in unison.
Their 2017 release, Polyvision, features two epically long tracks, clocking in at 20 minutes plus apiece. They progress from little more than idle droning to a crescendo of sights and sounds. Subtle synth rhythms and droning chords provide the backdrop for Daniloski’s lead guitar, which cuts through the ambience to push the music along. The tone is often anthemic with triumphant, inspired melodies.
“I just want people to come and share in this weird journey,” begins Daniloski, whose Discogs artist page lists his involvement on no fewer than 43 recordings as a vocalist and instrumentalist.
“I don’t have a specific place I’m trying to take people, they bring their own things to the experience,”
Darsombra’s first release came in 2006, initially a solo project created and performed by Daniloski, who has spent his lifetime amassing an impressive discography in obscure aggressive music. In 2012, the pair ended up sharing a stage for the first time, courtesy of a chance encounter.
“At first we never even thought about combining forces,” says Daniloski.
“I did my art and she did her art, and a friend of ours was curating an event and suggested we collaborate, that I do the music while she put together some visuals. We immediately saw the potential and thought… wow, why don’t we just do it this way?”
Everton explains, “That performance was kind of the beginning of my musical career, my background was just in visual art and specifically in video art. I had never really had a call to learn an instrument, until the ripe young age of 32, but I’ve spent the last four years learning both the language of the synthesizer and the language of music.”
The visuals that accompany Darsombra’s performance are often abstractions, colors and patterns that are meant to invoke a feeling or sensation more than telling a story. Despite the captivating visual accompaniment, Everton notes that Darsombra is, first and foremost, a musical project. Accordingly, Everton is continuously striving to achieve an appropriate middle ground between her visual and sonic responsibilities, while simultaneously working with a musical partner.
She concludes, “The challenge of creative collaboration in general is that you have to learn to appreciate that less is more.”
Darsombra perform on July 20 at Handsome Daughter (Winnipeg), July 21 at Cloud 9 (Regina), July 22 at Amigos (Saskatoon), July 23 at Bohemia (Edmonton), and July 27 at Nite Owl (Calgary).Amigos, Ann Everton, Bohemia, Brian Daniloski, Cloud 9, Darsombra, Handsome Daughter, Nite Owl