Sound Impression: Quiet Ecology by Panoptique Electrical [Sound in Silence]

Jason Sweeney is known for a wide variety of projects and many musical aliases over the past two decades. Perhaps the most personal and intimate is the classically oriented Panoptique Electrical which saw a new release this month, the first since last year’s Disappearing Music for Face. A great deal of what you need to know about the know record is encapsulated in its title – Quiet Ecology.

In 2016 Sweeney undertook a quiet odyssey across four Australian cities (Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne), searching out and mapping quiet spaces in and amongst these built environments. He wanted to discover as many zones of quiet or retreat in these cities and make compositions in response to these locations. He created maps and listening walks that took him from space to space. His desire was to ask a simple question: Can you find a way to release yourself, if only temporarily, from the noise of the world? ‘Quiet Ecology’ is a sonic memorial to these spaces and a musical act of quiet preservation. – Sound in Silence 

Sweeney uses deep, resonant piano notes to map out lines and boundaries while droning cellos and swelling strings fill in their contours. In keeping with the album’s conceptual motif, the pace is deliberate and room between notes is ample. The aesthetic will ring true to anyone with a fondness for the spacious minimalist expressions of Harold Budd or Stars of the Lid with an added dose of warmth and color offered by the pastoral tone of the impeccably recorded analog instruments. Quiet Ecology is like that highly respected friend or co-worker of few words who instantly commands attention whenever they choose to speak. Take a moment. Slow down. Give it a thoughtful hearing. You won’t regret it.

Quiet Ecology is available in a limited run of hand-made, hand-stamped CD editions (200 copies) from Sound In Silence, a DIY label based in Athens Greece.