Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Rigel Orionis - Variations on Sonic Integrity
For those who didn't know Jim, allow us to share a little of his story. He never would have let anyone get away with calling him one, but Jim clearly was nothing less than a luminary of the ambient world. Well known and regarded for his incisive reviews and commentary, Jim also developed quite a talent at ambient composition, releasing a variety of albums over the years, both solo and in collaboration. Unfortunately, Jim passed away in 2009, leaving us only with memories and his indelible imprint upon this art form we call electronic music. Fortunately for us, however, he also had completed quite a number of unreleased works, including the mysterious and inspiring album that we proudly present to you today.
And what a release it is. This two-disc bonanza of textural abstract ambient goodness contains twelve variations on a theme, all reinterpretations of a base motif that Jim composed, recomposed, deconstructed, and reconstructed into a variety of drones and sonic journeys. As always with Jim's work, the music demands as much of the listener as it did of its composer, challenging people to not just passively enjoy the music but to actively participate in the experience, to sit up and pay attention lest something important sneak by unobserved. This is not ear candy, folks; this is mind music.
Maybe the best word to use when describing this release is "intense". All of Jim's music seethes with an enigmatic energy, containing an invisible reservoir of power around which the air seems to crackle and shimmer. And "Variations on Sonic Integrity" certainly has an almost fundamental magnetism to it, as if somehow Jim bottled up the forces of nature into twelve recordings and captured them in stasis for the rest of us to hear. A remarkable piece of sound sculpture, by a remarkable man.
So it is with great pleasure that we unveil "Variations on Sonic Integrity". Dark ambient music that we feel is certain to send a chill down your spine and put a smile on your face. We at Earth Mantra miss Jim, and feel very honored to be able to bring his music to our audience.
As always, all Earth Mantra releases are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license. For commercial use, please contact us.
Recorded 2004-2005 at Spud Boy Studios in N. Versailles, PA, USA. All music composed, performed, and recorded by Jim Brenholts.
Mastered by Stephen Philips at Deep Space Studios in Gaithersburg, MD, USA.
Original artwork based on public domain drawings from Popular Science magazine from the 1870's, graciously made available by Wikimedia Commons.
Released in January 2011.