AMN Reviews: Wóma – Three Drones (2021; Hiru Recordings)

This descriptively titled release is just that – three drones, each about nine minutes in length. What makes this effort different is how the drones were created. Rather than employing synthesizers or keyboards, Wóma (A. Poole) used a bow chime. The instrument is “a suspended sheet steel resonator, affixed to which are a number of tuned steel rods that are bowed.” From playing it, Poole created patterns of deep, sonorific drones with an echoing character. The bowing can be heard if one listens closely enough, and it adds a textural crackling as an underlying layer. By intent, these improvisations do not follow any form of thematic development and are instead exploratory in nature, with no set beginning, middle, or end. The result is an ominous EP-length recording, having much in common with the dark ambient genre but also enough distinction to stand out.

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