Quiet Music: 2-CD Edition
by Stephanie Sollow, Progressive World
My first exposure to the music of Steve Roach was buying WESTERN SPACES, based on an article in I/E magazine. Since then, I have been enamoured of his particular brand (so to speak) of electronic/ambient/fourth world music.
Besides its obvious relaxing qualities - much of this type of music is relaxing - there is also something ethereal and earthy about most of his work, especially that of late where he is experimenting with Native American/southwestern rhythms. QUIET MUSIC is really no exception. The blurb on the back cover reads "Like a shimmering mirage on the desert, this subtle music reflects your own images, evoking shades of mood and meaning." I really couldn't put it better myself. There are tracks here are so subtle that on the one hand they almost stand still - like one moment is captured, and yet convey a sense of movement. Of, well, drifting sands and floating clouds. It is at once relaxing and intriguing, wondering where the next note leads - the next dune leads, perhaps.
I would imagine that for anyone who spends a great deal of their time in the city, this music may not mean much to them. Except for the wee hours of the morning, and maybe not even then, there isn't much complete silence to explore. For those who spend time in the "great wide open," this will resonate with them. This album evokes the sound, mood, and feel of silence. One person alone with elements, at one with the universe, so to speak. And while that sounds like "New Age mumbo-jumbo," it really isn't intended to be. We should, however, spend more time reflecting upon ourselves, discovering who we are, what makes us the unique individual we are. When you do that, you can appreciate more the things around you.
However, if you were in total silence, you wouldn't be able to listen to this album, now would you?