Noteworthy highlights from the past week of music discovery, releases, previews, and other news. Daily updates are available on the Stationary Travels Facebook and Twitter feeds and audio/video links to all tracks featured during the month are available on the Songdrop page.
Previews and Singles
Siavash Amini | What Wind Whispered to the Trees | Futuresequence (Oct 6)
I have developed a real fondness for the deeply atmospheric and emotional work of Siavash Amini. His album Till Human Voices Wake Us, inspired by the poems of T.S. Eliot and released earlier this year by Umor Rex, is already on my best of 2014 short list. I am very pleased to see that his next album will be released by Futuresequence in October. What Wind Whispered to the Trees is likewise drawn from literary inspiration, this time on the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky. The preview tracks are simply gorgeous and the dense textures and raw strings render the new songs more effusive in keeping with the epic source material they reference. Expect a gushing review soon. I recommend this one unreservedly.
‘What Wind Whispered to the Trees’ by Siavash Amini
Hammock | The Sleepover Series Vol.2 (Sep 23)
Volume Two of Hammock’s beloved The Sleepover Series is due to be released in the next couple of weeks. Inspired during a retreat in Big Sur, the project was interrupted early in it’s life when Marc Byrd needed to take time off for neck surgery. It is clear from the narrative Marc shares about the album that is both very personal and put together thoughtfully. He says, “As I began to heal, Andrew and I slowly started working again and the aesthetic of Volume 2 began to emerge. We did our best to just “follow the sound” and stay out of the way, attempting to leave space and texture as opposed to specific and linear melodic phrases”. I dare say this needs no more introduction than that. Follow the link below to read the rest of what Marc has to say about the project and to pre-order the album in digital format, on dual CD, or as part of specially packaged bundles with volume one.
‘Original Light’ by Hammock
Poppy Ackroyd + Lumen | Escapement Visualized DVD | Denovali (Sep 22)
Originally released in December 2012, Poppy Ackroyd’s Escapement was a revelation, a delightful experimental excursion into the possibilities of the piano played in both conventional and unconventional ways and which was as surprising as it was beautiful. This month, Denovali will be releasing a new DVD edition which presents each of the 7 pieces accompanied by a unique synchronized black & white short film created by Lumen (Bristol UK based visual artist Tom Newell). Sure to be a treasure for fans of the album as well as those who have not yet discovered it’s pleasures.
Melorman | The Dusk and You
‘The Dusk and You’ was an unexpected treat posted by Melorman, Athens based electronic music project of Antonis Haniotakis. It is a lovely downtempo summer reverie in sparkling tones, a musical confection that both soothes and lifts the spirit.
Michael Price | Colliding
Composer Michael Price, well known for his soundtrack work and recently featured on Stationary Travels for his collaborations with cellist Peter Gregson, posted this gem on his Soundcloud page, which he simply described as “effected piano joy for your ears”. ‘Colliding’ is exactly that. A sublime piece and generously offered as a free download.
Orbit Over Luna | Drone Improvisation
Shannon Penner, who records ambient & post rock music as Orbit Over Luna, recently acquired some new gear and used it to create this mesmerizing drone improvisation which fans of ambient guitar will appreciate. Shannon also wrote about the new setup and how it has altered his approach and sparked his creativity in an interesting post on his WordPress site (link below). Although this might herald some new directions and new recordings, it did put me in the mood to listen to his last full length release, Transit. If you enjoy this improvisation, I feel safe in saying you will love that album as well and look forward to what he comes up with next.
Blog post: http://wp.me/p3osUp-4q
Transit on Bandcamp: http://music.orbitoverluna.com/album/transit
Kakurenbo | Take, Run, Lookback | Unperceived Records (Sep 7)
Unperceived Records is a new independent label just launched by composer & musician Harnes Kretzer based in Bonn, Germany. Take, Run, Lookback by Japanese duo Kakurenbo is the first new release in its catalog and constitutes a promising start. This is a finely textured electroacoustic ambient journey that skillfully blends eastern and western motifs across 5 lovely tracks. The EP is available in digital form on a pay what you want basis or as a mini-CD in attractive handmade paper sleeve packaging.
‘Dokoka’ by Kakurebo
Kerry Muzzey | The Architect | Kirbyko Music (Aug 26)
Although modern classical composition is Kerry Muzzey’s main avocation, I actually discovered him through his ambient post-rock side project called Candlepark Stars. Several weeks ago he released his latest full length album called The Architect which was recorded with the Chamber Orchestra of London. I will admit I have not yet heard the complete album, but I have enjoyed several performance videos Kerry has published along with a nice making-of featurette, all of which are available on his You Tube channel and I look forward to spending more quality time with the music. The Architect is available on iTunes and on CD via Amazon (links below). Fans of modern classical with a cinematic style will definitely want to pay attention to this one.
‘The Heart Needs’ by Kerry Muzzey and Chamber Orchestra of London
Yuki Murata | The Gift | Ricco Label (Aug 6)
This solo album by pianist Yuki Murata of the neoclassical/post rock ensemble Anoice is an album I almost overlooked, but fans of piano and modern classical music should not make that mistake. The Gift is a lovely collection of solo pieces and ones accompanied by violin, viola, and flute. The approach is conventional (no electronics or experimental treatments and effects), but is elegant in both style and execution. A fine album to start or end the day with.
‘in the morning’ by Yuki Murate