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Tag: Dronarivm

Christopher Bissonnette: The Wine Dark Sea

The WIne Dark Sea

The WIne Dark Sea

Christopher Bissonnette: The Wine Dark Sea
Released: 13 March 2020
www.dronarivm.com
www.christopherbissonnette.ca

With his fifth solo release Christopher Bissonnette delivers eight tracks worth of earnest, inward-looking reflections. The Wine Dark Sea (48’15”) gives off a strong sense of interiority as it radiates the calm and color of quintessential Ambient Music. In this eerily beautiful world the mythic and contemporary coalesce into a higher realm of creative fulfillment – where we may feel the power of contemplative companionship, of listening and thinking together. Some tracks are chilly in their blankness, as if of some disembodied experience – yet others cling warmly to the ears on their way to seducing the heart. This work’s looming ambiance is derived from an expressive array of sonic shades. The Wine Dark Sea gleams with the glow of stringed instruments – processed, looped and subdued. As a restless energy is pulled through the sound space whispering washes of electric guitar sounds drift into silence. The hint of a piano note beneath reverberation foretells dabs of echoing electronic tones. Emerging from sustaining calm chords unforced notes rise to exert their own freedom. With this album Bissonnette is working equally as a musician and a philosopher. His otherworldly amalgams of approachable miniatures manage to escape the limitations of the human sized scale. The Wine Dark Sea touches our instinctive, inborn universals. It aptly conjures a pleasant zone within which one may easily drift through the cloudy levels beneath consciousness, eventually sending listeners back to themselves anew. Even when it is no longer playing, this music continues in the mind.

Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END16 April 2020

Sven Laux & Daniela Orvin: The Writings

The Writings

The Writings

Sven Laux and Daniela Orvin: The Writings
Released: 12 April 2019
www.dronarivm.com
www.svenlaux.com
www.danielaorvin.com

The gentle presence of Sven Laux and Daniela Orvin may be felt every time we spin The Writings (49’16”). Either in collaboration, or on their own, their nine somber compositions will be the perfect companion for those occasions where we would rather be alone. Organized with understated design principles this work is meant to still our brainwave activity – as it creates a slow space for us to drift through. It is in the clouds just below consciousness that The Writings will be truly known. Harmonies play and progress, but sometimes become lost – floating to the forefront over and over again. Long unhurried chords emerge out of a soft aura of reverberation, as the music is performed in measured motion – a limitation that does not prevent Laux and Orvin from capturing many moods. In their brief spell, compositions reveal a withdrawn melancholy. While some pieces drag themselves down to a near standstill, others float along surrounded by thick silence – their sonorities given time to reverberate within the listener. Inside its nearly stationary atmosphere this album unfolds. The texture of chamber instruments usually comes through, as does a piano emanating soothing notes – in a room down the hall, or a synthesizer drone – somewhere in the house electric wiring. Brooding and luminous, as well as accomplished and satisfying The Writings contemplates an encounter for the mind – as it conveys a balm for the spirit. In their beautifully bleak arrangements, Laux and Orvin easily inhabit the gentle gravity of Ambient Chamber Music. Here these dependable quietists have realized a gorgeous journey into the elegiac – leaving us composed, cool and collected after the event. From what idyllic age must this study have come?

Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END20 June 2019

offthesky: Light Loss

Light Loss

Light Loss

offthesky: Light Loss
Released: 2 February 2015
www.offthesky.com
www.dronarivm.com

Jason Corder makes music under the name offthesky. His Light Loss (55’31”) is an album of strange moments, injected with unexpected motives and meaning. Somnolent and forbidding, its five inescapable soundscapes do not easily fade into the background. We wander through this album like a visitor to someone else’s deep dream. Detached, disjointed, yet artful in his depths Corder embraces simplicity, sleekness and a sense of space. Using ambience as much as it uses sound Light Loss manages to connect with the listener in a remarkable cohesion. At certain points this work draws blood in a way that seems healing. Beautiful voices emanate from an ethereal realm, while cloudy electronic drones drift and breathe in reflective transcendence. In places sprawling to the point of formlessness, Light Loss here becomes exquisitely captivating. Piano as well as reed and stringed instruments occasionally make themselves known – but it is the unidentifiable sounds that provide a smoldering cindery quality. Lightly scraped cymbals and washes add an extra layer of meditative richness. Bending tones wail above bass guitar plucks, as sustaining and static laden tones go all-out spooky and electrifying. Beginning quietly, each track slowly veers into an unusual atmosphere. We may feel a chilling shadow creep across the listening space – but with changes so gradual it is a wonder to hear where we finally end up. What sinks in while Light Loss spins is the spell of a liminal realm. With no apparent pattern or system behind this music, one is left to reflect on its ways and power.

(Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END6 May 2015)