This was written over one listen.
I mostly wanted to focus on describing the song and I kind of did that, but I don’t think it makes for interesting writing.
King Crimson’s “The Sheltering Sky” is from Discipline.
I hope you enjoy.
Percussion plays gentle and rolls forward, seemingly like stepping outward. Soon guitar fades in, playing lightly. Bass joins in and steps carefully. Another sound, likely guitar plays on top of the gentle rhythm. There is space and the secondary guitar squeals away. It seems intentionally against what is happening, and yet it still seems to fit in perfectly.
The secondary guitar gets more frenzied and panicked as the other instruments remain calm. Soon a bit more space comes forward and the instruments start building toward something. The bass drops away, the percussion seems to become steadier.
Atmospheric sounds come forward and the bass returns, drawing out. More sounds stretch and lengthen. The secondary guitar returns and soars on above, seemingly less panicked. All seem to be looking to reach and ascend toward something and the sounds express a sense of the grandness and beauty. They are rich in texture as they expand without bursting into excess, for the sounds remain dry and calm where they are meant to feel calm.
They continue on with a contrast between the grounded and the floating, and a scene of a desert underneath a massive expanse comes forward, brightly lit, though still calm. Almost serene, or at least idealised as serene.
Slowly the music seems to settle to some extent and return to something closer to its earlier phases. The bass continues to elongate as the guitars return. The percussion, of course, remains steady and gentle. Soon, however, they pull back, as does the bass, leaving the percussion to play out until the song’s end.