For the last four years, my electronic music has been to a large extent founded upon noise. Whether sculpting large, primordial shapes from it (Triptych, May/July 2009), pitting it against pitched material (the Ceiling stared at me but i beheld only the Stars) or allowing it to do its own thing (Simulated Music), noise has been the principal vehicle for my electronic music. Even in my most gentle work (The Stuff of Memories), noise has been present, colouring & caking the music in sonic detritus.
Night Liminal is different. Lasting a little under forty minutes, the work is a stark contrast to these intense noisescapes, signalling both a return to & a reclamation of my æsthetic roots, embracing the quietude of ambient music. For the first time, the material is gentle, soft-edged & peaceful—even relaxing. That, at least, is its first impression; but the work’s inspiration is more subtle & ambivalent than that. Night Liminal is partly inspired by the ancient monastic service of Compline, which takes place as day is ending. Both the service & its setting confront head-on the perils heralded by twilight.
Being in a sacred space at dusk is a profound & paradoxical experience, comforting yet unsettling. One is caught between light & darkness, between the vast expanse of tradition & the contemporary mystery of the moment. The night can be a dangerous & uncharted place; my hope is that this music can become an integral part of the gloaming, teasing out & resonating with both its delights & its uncertainties in a gentle act of provocation & peace.
Provocation may seem incongruous in the context of ambient music, but Night Liminal’s soft, slow-moving textures echo this; warm & melodic, sometimes dark & disquieting, they afford the listener a dual experience of rest & reflection.
Night Liminal is dedicated to the memory of Jehan Alain.
As usual, the CD is a limited edition of 50 numbered copies. Below are three excerpts taken from throughout the piece; to order a copy, go here.