Surface Tension

by Gestalt

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Still 04:46
Flow 05:08


***Bonus Track: full album in a single track (without the pauses), included with album purchase at the time of release.***
Rhodes Electric Piano, Upright Bass, and Drums.
A Meditative, cyclical trance of rhythm and feel.

Recorded in a single take on March 15, 2020, four days before the California “Stay at Home” order.

I am in a difficult place. It feels like a close to a chapter.
A voice inside of me fights and criticizes the transition –– criticizes myself –– but eventually it accepts and quiets.

It’s is an isolated place.

I wander. I sit down at the fire but want to go to the barn: the gate is locked. I’m glad for it. It puts an end to the constant chase of trying to make myself more comfortable. I focus on being present.

Inability to accept circumstance has always been core to my unhappiness. It’s different now. At the campfire, it becomes a search for warmth –– and dealing with the responsibility of keeping the dog comfortable.

I love this dog. I worry for this dog. She’s nearly ten now. I love my family too. There’s been a lot of pain and division and fighting this year. It seems like it’s always been that way. I feel tired.

“Are you OK?”
“Yeah, I’m just going through some stuff.”

My friends are here now. I have water. The fire-smoke burns in the air, but it’s beautiful to look at. The night sky is beautiful as well.

The dog seems tired, or anxious. She’s whining. I hold her and warm her and calm her. I wish I spent more time with her. I could do better. I think of Kevin. I take the dog to bed and hold her until she drifts to sleep.

There’s no music here. It’s quiet, and only warmed by a space heater. I think of how uncleanly it all is. I think of Kevin. He always seemed so happy. He was happy most of the time, just like anyone else. The last time we talked, we mostly talked about my problems.

The dog is calm and awake now. We return outside. There’s water and warmth. I think of Kevin again. I think of death and sickness and cleanliness. There’s beauty in repetition.

My family is falling apart. There’s too much tension. It’s difficult to talk without having a screen in-between. It’s a sickness, really.

We all take a walk. The cold air wakes me up. The dog wanders. I worry about her. I don’t want her to die. I worry too much. I get it from my mom.

I miss the warmth of the fire, but we are nearly there. I embrace the feeling of the cold. It cuts through my clothes like ice-water.

We return, ending in an arboretum full of little green lives. I’m comfortable now. I want to share this comfort –– this roller-coaster of placid emotions, this dream-state –– in my music. I should practice more.

“You are enough in every way.”

We add wood to the fire. It surges and flares with life. I share Kevin’s story. I feel at peace with my family, and invite them to dinner for next week. The dog is as happy as ever, gnawing on a bone.

My girlfriend and I shower now. The water is warm. Now it’s cold. We listen to the room. We cherish the sound of the silent drips in-between the loud ones. The dog sleeps on the bed,
and we climb in.

We chat the rest of the night away.


released September 12, 2021

Rhodes/Composition: Timothy Johnson (@Tim.k.johnson)
Upright Bass: Jonathan Richards (@jonathanrichardsmusic)
Drums: Benjamin Scanlan (@benjamin.scanlan)

Engineer: Ian Stahl (@Ian.stahl92)
Mastering: Matt Hyde (@northvineinc)
Album Artwork: Suzanna Nalbandian (@suzizzlefoshizzle)


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Gestalt Los Angeles, California

Avant-garde jazz piano trio, with a bit of classical and indie rock here and there.

Based in Los Angeles.

We’ve scored a few short films, and will be releasing our third album in September, 2021: “Surface Tension.”
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