Dark ambient music can go in so many directions, but Creation VI has a new twist on the genre, at least to these ears. First, the recording medium is analog tape, which gives the album a subjective richness and warmth often not apparent on pure digital works. Second, the instrumentation is unusual. Blockflute, Chinese flute, shruti-box, harmonica, ocarina, kazoo, bells, chimes, seeds, and seedpods are present in a drone- and wall-filled excursion. The result is a percussion-based, aboriginal feel spanning five long tracks.
But unlike others (notably Steve Roach) who explored the tribal ambient space, Deus Sive Natura is primarily foreboding, with dense chords and distant bells subtly combining with the wind instruments to create a slowly-shifting, ominous soundscape. In several tracks, the percussion plays a significant role, contributing to a haunting atmosphere rather than supplying a rhythm for the drones. Voices combine with these drones in hypnogogic chants, as do boiling electroacoustic elements.
Deus Sive Natura (translated as “god or nature”) is an exploration of ancient places and peoples therein, the latter seeking to understand their place in the universe through ritual and music. Aside from any such imagery, it represents a strong contribution to the dark ambient genre. Recommended.
From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:
WAYWARD MUSIC SERIES
Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center
4th Floor, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103 (corner N 50th St. in Wallingford)
Every month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded presenters and artists offer ten concerts of adventurous music in an informal yet respectful all-ages setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences.
Dave Rempis & Friends: Lattice
Thu. June 15, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
Chicago-based saxophonist, improviser, and composer Dave Rempis makes a sprawling solo tour around the US, developing material for an upcoming solo album and exploring the informal networks that connect the improvised music scene. A solo set followed by mixed groupings with James Falzone (clarinet), Arrington de Dionyso (reeds), Kate Olson (reeds), Lori Goldston (cello), John Niekrasz (drums).
Driftwood Orch. + Uneasy Chairs
Fri. June 16, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
Driftwood Orchestra is interested in creating a way to communicate with the forest, to give a voice to the trees – all that they have survived to grow and exist and all that has happened to a piece of wood before it became an object in the orchestra. Uneasy Chairs is improvising guitarist Patrick Neill Gundran, who is joined tonight by trumpeter Greg Kelley and found-object percussionist Eveline Müller
Goldenrod + God & Vanilla +
Sat. June 17, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
God and Vanilla, the ethereal dark ambient project of solo guitarist Richard O’Leary, creates lush tapestries and hauntingly inviting dreamscapes. Goldenrod is Noisegasm guitarist Greg Weber’s solo project, heavily influenced by Eno’s ambient work with nods to Henry Cow, Pere Ubu and Charles Wuorinen. Sacred Signs is a revolving cast of angels, demons, gods, ghosts, apparitions, and psychedelic piano duelers revolving around Winter Parkin.
FRI. 6/23 – Composer/guitarist Ronan Delisle introduces his most recent trio project, Cosmic Punishment, followed by guitarist Ryan Ferreira performing immersive solo guitar works
Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.
Khost – Governance (2017)
Reid Karris – Arbor Philosophica (2017)
Gaudi – Magnetic (2017)
Quinsin Nachoff – Ethereal Trio (2017)
Peregrine Falls – Peregrine Falls (2017)
nordBeck – Blenterop 1491 (2017)