Spirit Dome
by Gary Andrews, Ambient Visions
March 2004


The latest release from Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana sees these veterans of the ambient music scene release an album of startling spontaneous creation.

In a rare live meeting, the two sound craftsmen were together in Philadelphia to perform a concert for the Gathering/Projekt Festival in 2002. During their preparations for the show, the two musicians got together before the event to lay some musical ideas down "off the bat" so to speak.

In typical fashion, the musicians started to create their soundworlds in the small hours using instruments like the Hungarian Fujara used by Vidna and extensive sound processing of the electric guitar by Steve. Various electro-acoustic instrumentation was also used to create an atmosphere of deep introspective and dark ambience. Also, the music in turn reaches out to a hidden foreboding beauty that one can hear in the undercurrent of the music.

The spontaneous aspects of the album are laid down in an almost breathtaking way, as there are no overdubs and no postproduction edits. This is exactly how it was like on the night as if you were hearing it performed live, as if the listener were there on the spot.

SPIRIT DOME encompasses through its music a channeling and at the same time a challenging listen that is sure to add another interesting chapter for Roach and Obmana as they help define the genre that is ambient music.


Spirit Dome

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Spirit Dome
Steve Roach, Vidna Obmana
2004 Projekt PRO152 (CD)
Reviewed by All Music Guide, Ambient Musings, Ambient Visions, CD Services (UK), Hypnagogue, MusicTAP, Sonic Curiosity, Synth Music Direct, Wind and Wire, www.Metal-Only.com

Steve Roach / Vidna Obmana's 2002 CD INNERZONE served as the doorway to the surreal environment explored on SPIRIT DOME. Recorded in one continuous 74-minute session, this is a dark sanctuary of pure texture and beautiful, if not at times foreboding, dissonance pulled along with pulsing beats, subtle loops and dense soundworlds. The single piece, "Spirit Dome," captures a chilling gothic ambience that offers the exploration of remote psychological states of awareness. This is achieved by way of extensive live processing of instruments including fujara (overtone flute), guitar, and the seemingly bottomless wellspring of electro-acoustic sounds found only in the duo's soundscapes.

SPIRIT DOME was created live on the spot in room 314, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 24th 2002, around 1 AM. Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana were in town preparing for their performance at the 2002 Gathering / Projekt Festival. With only a brief window of time in which to work together before returning to their homes on opposite sides of the Atlantic, their reaction to the claustrophobic urban environment reveals a new dimension to their sound.

When listening to the recording unfold, one has to keep remembering that this unscripted spontaneous creation was a live session recorded directly to the stereo master, just as you will hear. No post-production edits or overdubs were performed. Past discs from the duo include 1995's WELL OF SOULS, 1997's CAVERN OF SIRENS and 2002's INNERZONE; add their live concerts together in Europe and the U.S. and we are brought to the enveloping world of SPIRIT DOME.
 
1. Part 1 10:23 
2. Part 2 21:30 
3. Part 3MP311:58 
4. Part 4 4:01 
5. Part 5 3:59 
6. Part 6MP36:09 
7. Part 7 8:47 
8. Part 8 6:39 

Tracks flow together as a continuous performance, but are indexed for convenience.



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