Parjam Parsi – Invisible Individuals

Originally releasing in 2009, Invisible Individuals is Parjam Parsi’s sophomore effort, and carries with it the fully instrumental style and classical flavours Parsi is known for. Whilst being over a decade old now, Invisible Individuals has been re-released along with Parjam Parsi’s other work, in full on spotify.

Dreamless Days begins the six track album with the longest track at nearly 12-minutes, taking on Parsi’s familiar way of taking the classical music formula and turning it into a prog length goliath. Composed entirely by piano, Dreamless Days is a piece worthy of its name. Several breaks are scattered throughout the song as it moves from here to there in a pleasant way. It’s almost pushing multiple various songs together with each of these breaks, making it more comparable to Prog-rock than a classic symphony.

Not For This Life starts out a trio of songs, following a similar naming convention. The intensity on display is quite relevant as piano notes cascade powerfully throughout. At some stages they reach a torrent of varying notes, that could leave some surprised at how someone was able to play at the frequency for such an extended period. It’s a technical and intense display of pianism that would know doubt get quite the reaction if it were to be played live. 

Not For This Time continues on with the trio and is a steady slide away from the intensity of its predecessor, and moves more towards a relaxed form. It’s much gentler, and still contains the continual notes cascading, but at the slower pace. If the previous song was a raging river, this is more a gentle stream. 

Not For This Earth is a little different in its own way as well. It near enough bucks the trend of using the continual notes to act as a backbone. Instead there is much more emphasis on the lower notes and the contrast between the previous two songs use of higher notes. It’s clearly meant to be the third and final piece to round out the three, and thematically in their style they’re all the same. But it’s the fine details such as what notes are used vs the similarity and how the songs are played that make for the interest. 

In Every Momentary Circumstance is undoubtedly the most frantic of any track on Invisible Individuals. There is this focus on utilising the entire width and every note possible on the piano here. Ebbing and flowing between high and low notes. Whilst technically sound and well executed, it does come off as a little cluttered in some ways, in there are so many notes being played at any one time, it’s hard to focus in at some points. It’s an issue that could be more widely expressed for all the tracks on Invisible Individuals. It can become exhausting after a time when you’ve been continually listening from start to finish. 

Us, Invisible Individuals is a much more dialled in song than, In Every Momentary Circumstance. There are times where the tempo is slowed and it gives much more space to breathe and take in what is being listened to. Once again there is a strong emphasis on utilising every key a piano has to offer, but there’s a distinct focus and idea here and it shows much more maturity than some of the other songs. 

Overall, Invisible Individuals is going to be a very marmite kind of record. It’s one that you love or hate. In the context of their other work, Parjam Parsi shows little restraint on this album, as noted at numerous points there is a very drastic emphasis on utilising every note. This is a double edged sword for Invisible Individuals, as it keeps things very interesting and is pleasant for something classic yet up tempo. But it can also become quite exhausting and intense, especially on playback of the full album. It’s a record that showed that Parsi was filled with both the talent for songwriting and composition, but lacks the restraint of their later work.