Sound Impression: Fieldem by Silent Vigils [Home Normal]


One of the steadiest sources of light among labels that feature & promote ambient music from around the globe is Home Normal under the guidance of Ian Hawgood, a fine artist and mastering engineer in his own right. The newest entry to their catalog brings together two outstanding artists who likewise both curate independent labels while creating their own music, Stijn Hüwels (Slaapwel Records) and James Murray (Slowcraft Records).  The new collaborative project is called Silent Vigils, a suitable moniker for the liminal quiescence of sound these two kindred spirits have reached across water to create with one another.

“Molenbrook, Mossigwell, Zwartewall, Fieldem… places neither here nor there; half in the world, half in the mind. We began this project as an exchange of gestures across the water, a dialogue motivated by mutual respect and revolving around our shared love of the minimal, the graceful and the understated. We completed it on 22nd March 2017 – the day of the Westminster attack, one year to the day after the Brussels bombings. These four pieces have become our personal dedications to the quiet strength of blended culture, free thinking and open borders.” – Silent Vigils

Fieldem presents a tetrad of sheer gossamer drones filigreed with translucent textures. This is music that refuses to be hurried or to be swept up in the rancor of the times. It does not meet the listener halfway.  To get the full benefit and enjoyment from these compositions, you must succumb to the solitude and embrace the profound stillness, but once you relent, the tranquility is sublime.

Links: Bandcamp (CD/DL)  |  Home Normal  | Stijn Hüwels  |  James Murray

Fieldem is now available from Home Normal in limited CD edition (500 copies) as well as digital download & streaming and features cover art by Małgorzata (Gosia) Łapsa-Malawska