Iona Fortune crystallises and convects enchanting thoughts on the legendary I Ching in a keenly awaited 2nd volume of ’Tao of I’, following from her resoundingly acclaimed 2017 debut for Optimo Music, where lustrous synthetic subbass meets traditional Chinese strings with sublimely spirited and timeless effect
Issued by Ecstatic as the 2nd of 8 albums by Iona exploring hexagrams of the I Ching, or ‘The Book of Changes’ - a 2500 year old Chinese divination text referenced extensively in religion, art, philosophy, psychoanalysis, science and mathematics - ‘Tao of I Vol. 2’ sees the Glasgow-raised, Zurich-based artist refer to millennia of human experience thru an electro-acoustic prism of Synthi AKS, Guzheng and Gamelan, newly expanded with Erhu, Kim, Yanqin, Zhong and Bawu. The wider scope of her palette allows a greater detail of airy calligraphic expression to her multi- dimensional microcosmos, channelling a wondrous energy in a fluidly melodic narration of mystic ideas made musically tangible.
In eight parts Iona acts as conduit for extraordinary, invisible and arcane forces. Inspired by the I Ching’s fundamental principles, her music resonates with a visceral and cosmic conception of human essence, infusing minimalist frameworks with finely tempered but lush emotive cues that bring to life the I Ching’s conviction that “music has the power to ease tension within the heart and to loosen the grip of obscure emotions.” Iona’s music most beautifully manifests this idea
in concisely exacting forms and to contemplative ends, creating a slow, serene and harmonious music that coolly commands relaxed states of reception, best for mulling over life, and stuff.
At once as light as a fleeting thought but permanent as an organism passing on its code, the music conjures mindsets comparable to Coil at their uncanniest, the post-erotica 4th world sensations generated by Jon Hassell, or the dark energy expressed in David Lynch films and their soundtracks. Most crucially Iona achieves this through a synthesis of self-exploration and instrumental actualisation, employing an unusual composition strategy of inner cultivation and empathic performance to divine and realise a spellbinding, penetrative otherness.