Park Jiha - The Gleam (Album Review)

A stunning release from Korean multi-instrumentalist composer Park Jiha, The Gleam ruminates on the essence of light, that ubiquitous electromagnetic radiation that comes and goes as does the day and night. Performed entirely solo, the recordings feature instruments ranging from the glockenspiel to the saenghwang, a traditional Korean wind instrument. The album opens with sharp tones, like the sharp rays of morning light breaking through the night's horizon. A hammered dulcimer makes Light Way a staggeringly gorgeous representation of the effect light has when it plays, bouncing around buildings, mountains, people. The album turns more serious and intentional as it progresses, as though from infancy to adulthood, the passing of light mirroring the passing of life. 

On A Day In Jiha successfully brings together neoclassical, traditional, and jazz vibes to create a track of cathartic properties, cleansing with its repetitive dulcimer strikes and wailing cry. Restlessly Toward is an enchanting turn to a more introspective mood, Jiha not afraid of spoiling the experimental tone of the album with a generous helping of good old-fashioned beauty; like a respected fine art photographer shamelessly taking a simple picture of a sunset; no pretense. The album closes with Temporary Inertia, and in its sprawling nine minutes brings the album to a comforting and dark end. A magical and deserving listen from start to finish.  


Park Jiha - The Gleam (Album Review)
Reviewed by Jay Honeycomb on February 26th 2022
Rating: 5