We’ve come to yet another milestone in the Complex Silence Series.
To mark our 40th release, Mystified returns with a superb longform mix of the artists and releases CS-31 through CS-39.
1. Grove Of Whispers- Complex Silence 39
2. Jack Hertz – Starfish – Complex Silence 34
3. Phillip Wilkerson & Mystified – The Darkest Where Of Every When – Complex Silence 32
4. Eric Jackson – Om Of Descent – Complex Silence 31
5. Various Artists – Complex Silence 33
6. Daniel Barbiero – Phase Transformation in Ethers – Complex Silence 37
7. LAJ – Complex Silence 35
8. Scott Lawlor – Complex Silence 36
9. Ran Kirlian – The Shape Of Memories – Complex Silence 38
The mix starts out quietly subdued and then gradually moves into darker and more abstract territory before returning to a reflective calm.
Thank you to Mystified for a gorgeous recap and thanks once again to the contributing artists who’ve helped the Series reach this new plateau. Most of all, thank you all for listening!
Complex Silence 39 may be the most relaxing and peaceful of all. It’s a longform lullaby of moonlight. Or a caress of warm ocean waves. Or a lazy, drifting flight high above the Earth. Or, all of the above.
At first listen, I thought I might venture to call this piece neo-classical, but then I realized that’s instantly too stuffy.
On repeated listening, I would definitely call it pure space music–the kind you hear while watching the Earth gingerly rising over a moonscape or perhaps better yet, a slow-motion drift through fantastic starscapes and wondrous nebulae. You could loop this all night and let it be your audio dream maker.
Whatever images this music conjures up in your mind, it’s the result of John Tocher (aka Grove of Whispers) working his musical magic in your ears and right before your mind’s eye.
But don’t stop with this release. Visit the Grove of Whispers website if you haven’t already. It’s a storehouse of rich ambient gems–not all of it dark and experimental either. If you enjoy ambient music, you need to discover John’s work as well as his podcasts. I’ll admit, I wasn’t familiar with many of his releases; I had the mistaken idea that he was working strictly within the experimental and noise genres. This isn’t the case. Hopefully, Complex Silence 39 will compel you to a new appreciation of this amazing ambient Master.
Thank you John for a lovely contribution to the Series!
I have often suspected, that there may be in the Air some yet more latent Qualities or Powers differing enough from all these, and principally due to the Substantial Parts or Ingredients, whereof it consists.
Robert Boyle, Suspicions about the Hidden Realities of the Air (1674)
“As with air, so with sound. Allusions to Fogs & Liquids collects two pieces for processed double bass and prepared double bass in which the hidden realities of sound—the overtones arising from the fundamental—form the basis for expansive soundscapes.”
“Live improvisations for solo double bass and for prepared double bass were recorded and then manipulated to create slowly moving sonic environments which remain fundamentally rooted in the nature of the instrument.”
“Allusions to Fogs & Liquids represents a type of music concerned with sound as something in itself, a material externality. But it can’t help but carry associations. Here the listener takes over from the composer/performer.”
Another rising star in the netlabel ambient world makes a debut with Complex Silence 36. While it is definitely true that Scott Lawlor is still searching for his musical voice, sometimes hearing a fresh voice serves as creative inspiration for us all.
Here we have Lawlor exploring the longform ambient track, stretching his musical legs so to speak for 50+ minutes.
The result is a wonderful low-volume excursion through beautiful harmonies, washes of rich ambient color, and a tapestry of quiet and contemplative sighs, both varied and complex. Yet Lawlor doesn’t venture too far from classical ambience–it’s obvious his respect and reverence for ambient music precedes his attempts at creating it. He has done his ambient homework as a listener.
As a musician exploring the classical ambient forms, Lawlor seems quite comfortable letting the music take its own path and tell its own story at its own pace. And although it’s still early in Scott’s career, it’s that trait, perhaps, that makes his beginning attempts worth paying closer attention to. In this track, he lets the music wend its way through his hands to our ears, never imposing too much structure or too many rules or too much intention. Indeed, when writing to me about this piece, Scott called it an improvisation, which immediately interested me in hearing it and making it a part of the CS Series.
It’s an honor to present (and be present for) a promising foray into the ambient world.