On May 19, 2020, pianist Falkner Evans' wife Linda took her own life. A crushing blow. He has responded to this tragedy by making the album he never meant to make, Invisible Words
; the title was taken from a quote Evans found upon searching through his wife's writings: "Music Is the Invisible Word, made visible through sound," taken, perhaps, (and slightly misquoted) from Kate Mosse's 2007 novel Sepulchre
: "Music is the invisible world, made visible through sound."
The tribute was recorded in January and February of 2021, after a passage of time that hasby the sound of the music hereinallowed for a good deal of healing. It is a highly personal statement, a solo piano outing celebrating Evans' life partner of nearly three decades. Invisible Words
plays out as a snapshot of the person Linda wasa soul full of childlike wonder suffused with a deep intelligence, manifested in a simplicity of expression and an uncluttered directness. The music shows this.
Evans began his recording career in the piano trio format, then ramped things up with quartet and quintet outings, including 2020's terrific Marbles
(Consolidated Artists Productions). Invisible Words
is his first go-it-alone outing. Listening to the disc straight through, multiple times, it seems it could have been called The Linda Suite
, for Evans' beloved Linda, and after the meaning, in Spanish, of the word linda
, that could be applied to the woman and the soundspretty. The mood is tranquil and restrained, introspective, full of love. There is a sense of placidity and a fluid, studied and malleable improvisational style, not unlike that of Paul Bley
From the most horrific of experiences, Falkner Evans has made something beautiful.