Steve Roach Update: "Quiet Music: The Original 3-Hour Collection" Is Here|
August 21, 2011
Quiet Music: The Original 3-Hour Collection is here, on sale and now shipping.
Holding this 3-CD Digipak in-hand confirms our dedication in continuing to present the music in a beautiful physical form, essentially giving you a direct copy from the master for use in all your current playback mediums; a sound investment indeed. Your ongoing support through CD purchases and download retailers like iTunes directly supports the ongoing evolution of the music. Thank you!
Erik Wøllo's Silent Currents, another fine Projekt 2-CD Digipak is also here and now shipping; recorded live on Star's End. This is also available as a budget-priced Combo Pack with various titles including Steve's 2008 release Landmass, also recorded live on Star's End.
Also in our store now, a great new release by A Produce and Loren Nerell, Intangible.
Finally, don't miss this week's episode of "Music From the Hearts of Space", at hos.com or a radio near you. Program 955, "Desert Solitaire", features artists who have all (except Klaus Wiese) passed through the doors of Steve's studio The Timeroom. Very cool!
Quiet Music: The Original 3-Hour Collection
Projekt / triple-Digipak
For the first time ever, the meditative, ambient minimalism of the Quiet Music series is available in its entirety in a 3-CD Digipak release. Originally released in the mid-'80s on cassette and later in a truncated 2-CD edition, Quiet Music: The Original 3-Hour Collection presents this landmark album as Roach envisioned it.
Quiet Music is a collection of pieces created between 1983 and 1986 in respect for silence. The gentle electronics of Roach's synthesizers mix with flute, electric piano and sounds of nature flowing like breath, enveloping the listener in a sustained, delicate, translucent atmosphere.
Jim Brenholts, allmusic.com: "Quiet Music is the essence of pure, meditative ambience. Steve Roach has always been a visionary performer; his work defines 'elegant futurism.' He released these on cassette in 1986, and it remains in the forefront of introspective minimalism. This series set the stage for all minimalists to follow. He was one of the first to demonstrate that ambient minimalism does not have to be dark, that it can be bright and hopeful without becoming maudlin or too new age. This is groundbreaking space music from an epic and legendary performer. He is peerless in his corner of the perpendicular universe."
Much of this music began as a series of early-'80s recordings commissioned by healing-arts programs and later used for everything from personal meditation to birthing music. Today these pieces still stand as a cornerstone in body-work, yoga, and healing therapies.
The enduring nature of this music is even more significent when placed in the context of the '80s climate from which it originated. "In looking at the arc of my music, nearly 30 years after creating Quiet Music," Roach reflects, "I still feel an unbroken connection to this same inner breath and pulse I was discovering within myself and my creative life at that time. Even with everything that was going on in the early '80s — musically, culturally, politically - this music came to exist in its own dimension, outside of that time, separate from the day-to-day climate in which I was surrounded. I was yearning to express a timeless and universal soul-tone, a safe haven within the music. I had tapped into a reliable way to access this quiet repose at several favorite getaways in nature which was the main influence of this music."
Harold Budd, September 29, 1986: "I think Steve Roach's Quiet Music is his best album. It's not that it's simply pretty (which it is), but there's an odd edge lurking in the background that moves it miles away from 'New Age' torpor. This is a lovely album from a composer working at the top of his skills."
Listening to the release anew, one can sense Roach's emerging vision of expressing a rarified, tranquil inner experience through sound and music: a vision both emotional and vivid. The soothing, introspective nature of Quiet Music flows at a time-suspending pace, gently evolving and using space to expand and explore the essence of silence. The space between the notes and the breathing quality bring the listener to a deeper awareness of the present moment.
Darren Bergstein, One Thousand Pulses: "Finally reissued in its entirety, Roach's classic minimalist paean of austere beauty is both profound and timeless with its delicately folding textures seemingly minted from the very skeins of heaven itself."
Silent Currents: Live at Star's End
The 2-CD Silent Currents showcases a different side of Erik Wøllo's sound. Here he explores fascinating electronic / ambient landscapes with slow-motion structures, surreal soundscapes and floating currents. Drawn from two separate live radio broadcasts, 104 minutes of music traverse a more ambient, atmospheric and textural side than experienced on his other albums. Recorded in the studio of the famous Star's End radio show in Philadelphia, these performances from 2002 and 2007 are each a disc-long continuous piece with several chapters. With more focus on the deep drones than on melody and rhythm, zones drift and morph, organically flowing into each other. Layers of electronics and processed sound combine with light touches of electric guitar melody floating on top. Quiet, sparse and gentle electronic music with ambient passages mix with occasions of sequencer pulses.
Silent Currents is the 15th release from the Norwegian guitarist, synthesist and composer following his successful 2010 Projekt release, Gateway. In June, Wøllo released The Road Eternal collaboration with Steve Roach succeeding their 2009 joint effort, Stream of Thought; both essential albums in the electronic genre introduced a new audience to Wøllo's personal signature of introspective atmospherics.
Star's End is one of the longest-running radio programs of ambient music in the world. Since 1976, this show has provided the Philadelphia broadcast area with weekly midnight musical adventures. Erik says, "I have been kindly invited to perform at Star's End multiple times. To perform 'on the air' late at night in the radio studio contributed to these unique and inspired performances. In this setting, it felt very natural to do some downtempo and quiet, floating ambient music. Thus, this release is more abstract and chilled out than I usually present on my studio albums. Some elements of the music was improvised; I brought various sound excerpts, loops and atmospheres, and performed and composed these into long continuous zones, all done in real time."
Chuck Van Zyl, host of Star's End adds, "Over the years Star's End has hosted many live to air concerts, usually with artists fresh from The Gatherings Concert Series stage. The act of playing a second, more intimate concert after a public event provides a sense of summation to a powerful experience. But the unique radio venue also offers musicians a space for discovery, as they turn from focused music for The Gatherings community to atmospheres for an audience each in their own dream space. Erik Wøllo enthusiastically embraces this idea using his on-air concerts to explore moods and zones only found in the late hour and unconventional situation. There is an interesting energy arcing through Silent Currents: Erik descends into himself, realizing music completely in the moment. The resulting new works are wonderful expressions of ambience, texture and this artist's potent sense of drama as Wøllo creates space, then fills it with ever-evolving sound."
With his focus on the deep drones and interwoven ambient tributaries, Wøllo creates a vivid soundtrack for the senses, taking the listener to the outer reaches of the imagination. Impressionistic electronic / ambient music at its best! Relax and float on the Silent Currents.
A portion of the proceeds from Silent Currents are donated to CIMA of Pennsylvania, the non-profit corporation responsible for The Gatherings Concert Series.
In honor of Star's End, the longest-running radio program of its kind in the world, we are offering Silent Currents along with Steve's release Landmass as a specially-priced Combo Pack. If you missed this release from a few years ago, you need to hear it now.
Landmass is a surreal shape shifting grand adventure in sound, morphing through a constantly altering perspective giving witness to the creation of iconic landscape formations, stone monuments and massive alluvial desert plains, and the occasional pyroclastic flow. Recorded live on the Star's End radio show in the WXPN studios in Philadelphia with a small audience in attendance. This adventure in sound reaches into the primal forces of nature and channels them into a work of nearly uncontained energy, momentum and deeply nunanced texture. Even the most massive non-rhythmic soundforms seem to be shifting and moving from the inside out, eventually giving birth to undulating rhythmic ecstasy. A stand-out release in a style defined by Roach.
This is the 20th release on Steve Roach's Timeroom Editions, which marks its 10th anniversary this year. Landmass was selected especially for this occasion, and is presented in a beautiful six-panel Digipak.
"Landmass is a quintessential compendium of [Steve's] recent activities, spanning a bridge from his 'infinite and minimal' zones to his grand-scale projects in between rhythmic trance and immersive Ambient drift. In many ways, it appears to be a continuation of a confident new style, making use of a diverse palette of timbres, tools and techniques. Percussive particles keep turning up even in the outstretched beatless passages, lending a constant additional tension and propulsion to the already viral visions. Tracks could explode at any minute. Roach is no longer building landscapes from sound, he is recording 'sounding' landscapes built on the most essential building blocks: rhythm and harmony. In this sense, Landmass continues the only tradition an honest artist can and should really be true to: his own." — Tobias Fischer, Tokafi