Ian Vine * Orphax * Ellis Cage

Be sure you are in the right relaxed and undisturbed mood before you start listening to these albums, because they present some of the dronest of drone music. Especially recommended for ‘Deep Listening’.

Interval

IAN VINE – INTERVAL

In March 2019, I recommended Ian Vine‘s Still Pieces. If you check back this post you’ll notice the similarity in the cover images. Indeed, this album Interval is an equally impressive study in sound.

In his short liner note, Vine mentions that Interval “examines a dyad played by a mixed quartet.”
A dyad is “a set of two notes or pitches that, in particular contexts, may imply a chord” (follow the Wiki link for more information about dyads).
The mixed quartet here is a quartet of flute, accordion, guitars, piano – played by Jennifer George (flutes) and Ian Vine. And yes: this is an entirely acoustic quartet, which may come as a surprise as sustained drone music like this is often created with electronic means.

Vine also notes that “there is no repetition in the piece, except gesturally”. This puzzled me a bit, I must confess. Does this mean that there are no ‘looped parts’, that each part is played continuously throughout the full 45:24 work? (I guess so… but only Vine can tell…)
It máy feel as if the same chord is sustained for the full composition, but if you listen attentively you’ll notice that the emphasis slightly changes.

Surrender yourself to this and you’ll find yourself hypnotized by sound. I wouldn’t be surprised if listening to dyads turned out to have some unexpected healing effects.


Orphax

ORPHAX – EN DE STILSTAANDE TIJD

Sietse ‘Orphax‘ van Erve gained quite some critical acknowledgment with his Circles release. With his new release En De Stilstaande Tijd (‘And The Frozen Time’) ‘further explores the themes of time and perception of the listener’.
It is no secret that Van Erve is an admirer of the work of Eliane Radigue, and his admiration is clearly audible in his work. The drone (‘slightly dissonant’) seems frozen in time but evolves with subtle changes that can be easily overheard unless you listen attentively.

En De Stilstaande Tijd is presented in two parts. The opening of the second part almost feels aggressive compared to the mood of the first, which ends in some white noise. But after a while, this abrasive chord morphs into warmer sounds, “giving way to this cherished and familiar feeling of nostalgia once again.”

This feeling of nostalgia is pictured on the cover: a postcard of a Spanish village from the early 60s. A village view that may still look the same 60 years later, a convincing example of how time can stand still.


Cycles

ELLIS CAGE – CYCLES (FOR ORGAN)

Inspired by the more static organ works of contemporary composers like Monty Adkins, Klaus Lang, Ligeti, Cage, Celsi and others, Ellis Cage (from Sydney, Australia) created a 32-minute piece for (church) organ.

Cycles is “composed entirely from symmetrical tone clusters built around interval cycles. Interval cycles are scales often used by Schoenberg, Berg, Ades”

Musical jargon like that may be understood by musicians or those of you who studied music theory. Unfortunately, I don’t have this analytical musical knowledge. So I’ll have to do with the way the music affects me.

After playing this album quite a few times I can confirm: this slowly evolving drone of immersive organ chords has the same captivating, hypnotizing effect as works by Ligeti, Cage, Celsi, Monti Adkins, and others!

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