If we can choose to look for a silver lining of the worldwide pandemic chaos we have been dealing with, it may be the beauty of online collaboration. As we were stuck apart physically many of us were able to turn to the virtual world to communicate. Thank you Internet. It seems even musicians that have not fully collaborated in many years have found eachother again in the the form of Soul Pilgrimage by Tim Reynolds and Michael Sokolowski.
Both tremendously talented musicians in their own right, this reconnection is a welcome addition to the post pandemic music library. Tim Reynolds is a celebrated guitar virtuoso best known for his work with Dave Matthews Band. Michael Sokołowski is a keyboardist, composer, and writer who has been playing for a long time on many different projects. The old friends are no strangers to working together but it has been a while. They released their last album Common Margins together back in 1992.
Finally together again, Tim Reynolds and Michael Sokolowski just released Soul Pilgrimage on August 25th, 2021. By sharing files back and forth during the COVID-19 lockdowns they were able to put together an epic album of guitar and synthesizer duets.
As the 8-track album opens with “Efflorescence” we are introduced to an alternate reality that we are all about to enter. Seemingly random rhythms bounce around letting us know not to expect the ordinary.
The title track “Soul Pilgrimage” is broken down into three parts. The first movement “The Itinerant Mind” layers multiple synth programmed sounds and arpeggiation on top of each other to craft a platform rife for guitar improvisation. The second and shortest part “Under Big Sky” creates a darker vibe with a slower pace and otherworldly sounds reminiscent of Close Encounters. The final piece “Freighter Hop” turns up the energy with a mass of rhythms and melodies all competing for their time in the spotlight. Your ears take some time with each piece exploring the landscape the duo has laid out for us. It is truly a Soul Pilgrimage.
The question “Is That You?” is asked on the soothing and slightly trance inducing track. Sounds dance along as your mind is allowed to relax slightly as it expands.
Some unexpected beats come in on “Homunculus.” This one adds in some EDM elements to get bodies moving in addition to minds. Perfect spot for this track to grab attention in a different way. As Soul Pilgrimage closes with “But For Chance Operations” we dive back into mind warping ambient sounds. Random patterns pop in and out as Tim Reynolds plucks his guitar to create altered reality inducing sonics that leave us stunned.
Overall Soul Pilgrimage is an album that deserves a complete listen. No searching for singles here. Set aside an hour and take it all in from start to finish.