Spirit Dome
by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity
2004


This collaborative release from 2003 features 73 minutes of ambient electronic soundscapes. This music was performed live in a hotel room prior to the Projekt Festival in Philadelphia in May of 2002.

Ephemeral textures emerge from a watery foundation to hang in stately form in the listener's mind, turning and unfurling with eloquent disposition. Sighing tonalities gradually part to reveal haunting atmospherics peppered with shakers and sedately pattering percussives of a remote nature. Flutish strains embellish this nether realm with their feathery presence, hinting at shamanistic rituals from antediluvian epochs. Synthetic surfs wash over these delicate structures, drenching the air with a spectral shimmering. A sense of impending consequence tingles in the tenuous flux as the textures grow denser and more dramatic. The spirits are gathering.

Amid these cloud-like formations of sound, subtle sounds rise that are different from the artists' signature styles: whistles and bloops of a decidedly mechanistic quality, enhancing the eerie drift with their harsh mien, fusing modern sensibilities with this otherwise ancient mood. The result is spooky but unthreatening, inspiring faith in the ethereal forces that surround our daily lives.

The introduction to the flow of grinding insectoid noises achieves a holistic unification of man and nature. The air becomes aflutter with ascendant activity, carrying the mood to lofty heights where an impression of limitless perspective is easily accessible. An elegant grandeur overwhelms the ambient demeanor, thrilling the soul with the promise of colossal revelations. Rhythms of infinite scope, deftly executed with placid restraint, enter the dome to announce the expedience of this timeless wisdom. Dark and light forces combine, fulfilling an epic unity that is the spirits' ultimate message. Having revealed their intuitions of totality, the specters recede from detection.


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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