Appendix in C (Independent)
In the press materials for Appendix in C, principal Holy Hum member Andrew Lee begins by writing, “I have always had problems with editing down my songs.” This is one hell of an understatement, since Appendix in C is not for those with short attention spans—it clocks in at exactly one hour in length, its entire run time consisting of an extended, ethereal drone.
The long-form ambient piece was inspired in part by the death of Lee’s father, who succumbed to thyroid cancer in the winter of 2011. Lee has been working on Appendix in C for much of the time since then, with the on-and-off sessions lasting three years.
Despite its harrowing origins, however, the composition isn’t exactly melancholy. Yes, there are moments of sadness and tension—in the wobbling, seasick tones around the 38-minute mark, for example—but the overall mood here is one of peaceful stillness.
The track is so slow-moving that even the most subtle changes seem epic. The beautifully melodic cello that enters during the 15th minute comes as a sweet surprise, while the gentle arpeggiator that comes in close to halfway through briefly gives Appendix in C an unexpected sense of momentum before it is once again submerged in an ocean of amorphous tones.
Mostly, it’s perfect for background noise, and Lee writes that Appendix in C is “a good song to listen to while exercising, doing drugs, yoga, or having sex”. These are all good suggestions, but perhaps the best way to enjoy it is with a pair of headphones while simply lying back and blissing out.