Released: 26 June 2015
Following the death of pioneering electronic musician Edgar Froese in early 2015, there came a great outpouring of moving tributes and fond remembrances. Among the more unique and satisfying of these elegies is one by David T. Dewdney. While so many of us venerate Frose’s early sequencer work with Tangerine Dream, and their later advancement of contemporary instrumental music, few have recognized his beautiful solo explorations of sound – and the resulting new understanding of stillness. Dewdney records under the name Syn and on his Aqueous (35’49”) has memorialized the serene heaviness of Froese’s album Aqua (1974). Particularly informed by the title track “Aqua”, Aqueous sets forth on a softly lulled, vibrating collage full of shimmering sonorous shapes and textures. Constructing a sonic language as abstract as painting and as potent as poetry, Dewdney uses sound to reach a realm beyond that which can be heard. As sound itself becomes a vehicle for meaning, a variable current of hovering ambient shadows gives rise to a kind of electrolytic soundworld. The two parts of Aqueous each feature the surreal arrangement of softly sustaining organ chords amidst gently breathing synthesizer notes, as well as chirping modulated effects, echoing cliffs of electronic tones and field recordings of water lapping. Our thoughts blend with the music, in a slow dream-like flow of clouds, tides and amorphous conditions. More than just a compendium of timbre, Aqueous somehow produces a defined mood. Through the purposeful placing and pacing of its design elements, the listener may feel transported through shades and atmospheres of easy calm and undefined unease. In looking back at this late aspect of Spacemusic, Dewdney finds that the further one goes into the heart of a region the more one transcends its boundaries. He finds that it is indeed a lost world, with a strong pull on those of us who have come in contact with it.