Misunderstanding with Total Certainty

By Jordan Mandel

Listen On


Released: Sept 2020 

Mastered by Christopher Willits


Misunderstanding with Total Certainty grew out of a near-death experience.
Misunderstanding with Total Certainty album cover
In 2020 – even more precisely during The Year of The Rat – everyone on the planet has waltzed with grief. My dance began a month before many, when a beloved family member died. Marshall was beautiful, he taught me about majesty and love. He formed my family’s foundation, he was a friend to my friends, an ever-present protector of my children. He took his last breath 7.5 years after his first.

It was the first time death rocked me. It silenced nearly everything around me, I became acquainted with the new version of the ever-changing world. Wave after wave flattened me, and everything (nearly everything) became as small as sidewalk cracks from a skyscraper. Sand grains from the surface of the sea.

(And then came COVID.)

During this time I had no desire to listen to music. It seemed so contrived, a distraction, such a silly game and I wasn’t seeking escape, not looking for the road to Solla Sollew (where they never have troubles, at least very few).

Interestingly, while the rest of the world – job, friends, politics, chores – were muted, normally-quiet ambient music maintained its volume. It didn’t need me to enter its world; it softly tinged mine with its mood, and vanished as gently as it arrived.

The move from listening to making came suddenly. Or maybe not. Yet this album still came together over the month following Marshall’s death, as COVID rearranged human existence.

It was painful but through that pain came something beautiful. Through mud and filthy pond water blooms the lotus. If you find yourself in troubled times, may this music show you that you needn’t escape.

If you find yourself in tepid or even happy times, may this music make your experience more special, may it filter what’s most important through to your precious attention. 


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