For the better part of five years under the name of r beny, Austin Cairns has been carving out an ambient music space all his own with synthesizers, samplers, and other electronic instruments. There are few artists working today who can elicit such soulful, emotive sounds from their gadgets and machines. Surely it was only a matter of time before Andrew Khedoori & Mark Gowing tapped the Northern California-based musician to contribute to their Longform Editions project and it has indeed come to pass with we grow in a gleam which features in the 19th edition of the series along with works by Judith Hamann, Theodore Cale Schafer, and Angel Bat Dawid. The deep listening aesthetic of the label is well matched to r beny at his most imaginative and expressive.
The twenty plus minute piece is offered in the form of a map comprising “tones, textures, and echoes representative of a geography and a time”. It is sonic cartography of the highest order – patiently and beautifully drawn and laid out with mile markers in the album notes to guide the listener through the verdant but lonely spaces the music traverses.
(0:00) A river of reflection begins to emit a sparkling glow. I think of you in passing sometimes, sometimes often. A singer hums in duet with the light of the river. (5:16) The singer hums alone. (5:50) Alone in the pavilion. The corridors of memory are filled with static, its resolution degrading softly in time. (9:02) The buildings are long gone. A forest knoll, roots and soil woven. I’m sorry things didn’t end up the way we thought it would. (13:36) Every wave erodes the land (16:40) until there is nothing left, but sea foam and dust. (17:00) The singer hums along with the organ, somewhere in a meadow jutting out over the sea.r beny
we grow in a gleam is now available for download and streaming. For those who wish to become more familiar r beny and his work, I strongly recommend checking out the stunning Seafoam & Dust box set on the Dauw label which spans four albums released from 2016-2019 as well as our own interview with Austin in the spring of 2018.