Wellington Sanipe
“water issue”
Ottawa, ON
RIYL: Emily A. Sprague; sitting beside a stream

The sound of water in its various forms – rain, the ocean, a waterfall – is probably the most used sound in ambient music. It fills sleep playlists and is piped into therapists’ waiting rooms, diluting our anxieties and, also, maybe, making you have to pee. While “water issue” expectedly features the sound of water (a stream, perhaps) running throughout, Ottawa’s Wellington Sanipe takes unexpected turns across his twenty minute ambient composition. Starting around the six minute mark, Sanipe transitions from playing sporadic synth notes to a steady melody and then slowly a dissonant hum creeps in and at one point Sanipe’s synth notes become so loud that you can barely hear the trickling water. This gradual evolution is jarring and haunting, like being pulled from a beautiful dream into a nightmare. By the end of “water issue,” the flowing water sound is the primary focus again and a calmness returns. It’s almost as if that nightmare never happened.

Laura Stanley