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Lubomyr Melnyk: Illirion

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A few years ago I was living in Coventry, England. Although I had a room in a share house, I barely used it. I preferred to live and sleep in the freezing cold shed out the back. I’d sit out there chain smoking, trying and failing to decide what I was going to do with my life.
 
Then one day a fox appeared in the garden. He spent a few days testing me out, evaluating me. Eventually, following whatever strange whim it is that guides the business of foxes, he came into the shed.
 
During the day he’d sleep in there and I would sit and watch him. He didn’t like me smoking. He’d leave as soon as I sparked up a cigarette, so I stopped. He’d rise around dusk, give me a quiet, gentle stare and then saunter out into the yard. And every morning when I awoke he’d be back, curled up in the corner. Then one morning he wasn’t, and I never saw him again.
 
That’s what Illirion is. It’s a strange, tender beautiful thing – unexplainable, the servant of no master. It is Ukranian composer Lubomyr Melnyk’s finest album, but it doesn’t even feel like an album. It’s just this thing that enters your life, shares a little room with you, and then moves on, leaving the tiniest scraps of beauty behind.
 
BY JOSEPH EARP