Tuesday, 30 July 2013

“Architexture of Silence” – Alpha Wave Movement

(2013) Label: Harmonic Resonance Recordings

STYLE: Ambient/Desert Music/American School

Track listing:

01.    Movement I                12:04
02.   Movement II               12:56
03.   Movement III              12:21
04.   Movement IV              10:18
05.   Movement V               14:11

“Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. (1749-1832)

The 18th Alpha Wave Movement release is out already.  On the official webpage you can read that “Architexture of Silence (AOS) is “an excursion into the realms of ambient music where interlacing branches of timbral topography expand across the subtle macrocosm of silent reflective inner landscapes.”
It indeed seems as if Kyryluk’s other ambient projects have rubbed off on his AWM project lately, for AOS is about open spaces, slowly-changing skies and light. Each long note is given plenty of space to expand till it melts into the next one, like clouds that come and go while slowly morphing as they cross a blue, blue sky.

This time, Gregory T. Kyryluk has chosen to put the computers and soft synths aside for a while and go back to his roots, recording only with the digital equipment that he used to include in his earlier works. For this reason, there is no need to mention the names of other American musicians that immediately spring to your mind when you’re listening to “Architexture of Silence”.
AWM has been redefining the borders of the different styles within the electronic music field for the last fifteen years or so, bringing together the European and American schools, trance, ambient, traditional approaches, more modern approaches... you name it. As I’ve just mentioned, AWM is a musical creature that has always felt at home cross-pollinating the European and the American schools of electronic music, mixing the infinite skies of America with the industrial valves of the Berlin School. However, this time, AWM seems to have turned its back on the European continent, to contemplate the distant horizons of the American deserts. There’s a lot of going on here. This is not about static drones that never die down.
AOS is about fragile music that looks transparent when a beam of light runs through it. Beautiful like the wings of a butterfly, which you can’t touch lest they melt in your fingertips.
The first six minutes of “Movement I” work the magic and take you at once to where AWM wants you to be and stay. It’s impossible not to take pleasure in the gorgeous cascading notes on Movements III and IV.
The last piece, “Movement V”, contains echoes of “Soil Festivities”, with its mid-tempo sequence, but it soon changes gear getting closer to Europe for a few minutes and it’s a bit of a break from the previous calmness. It never goes too wild and it finally returns to the pastoral mood of the rest of the album.
By the time AOS finishes, you hardly believe 62 minutes have passed by. Definitely one of the best releases in its field in 2013.

Due to the release of “Architexture of Silence”, Synth Caresses conducted an interview with Gregory T. Kyryluk about his latest Alpha Wave Movement album.


SC: I find “Architexture of Silence” (AOS) to be a true masterpiece in the field of expansive music in the best tradition of the American School of electronic music. Were the vast landscapes and open horizons of the American continent a source of inspiration during the recording?

AWM: I appreciate your kind words with regards to my new release, but honestly I record music for my own need to appease the creative muse. I take great humbleness in the fact the music has made a positive connection so soon in the release time span.
With regards to the music having drawn inspiration from the wild open landscapes of America, that is a definitive yes. I have lived and travelled throughout the south-western parts of America and having done so connected on some strange and unconscious level to the overwhelming solitude and beauty the lands hold onto themselves. In a land bereft of lush vegetation and water there is still much living in it, as long as you take the time to watch it slowly reveal itself. 

SC: I think this AWM album perfectly fits in the “desert music” tag. Do you agree?

AWM: Once the ideas for the compositions started to weave themselves together and coalesce I purposely remained of the mindset not to make this a concept/theme based album unlike my previous releases. It’s nice to vary one's work. If the compositions evoke a certain nostalgia for a place or feeling, that is purely subconscious and that, to me, is the brilliance of the internal workings of the human mind!

(Alpha Wave Movement in the studio. Courtesy of Gregory T. Kyryluk)
SC: This time you have deliberately not used any VST synths or computers. What made you take that decision? Which synths did you use? Was it like a sort of reunion with some “old friends”?
AWM: Again this happened by pure osmosis of me tinkering with the very limited facilities of the internal sequencer of my Ensoniq ESQ-1. I had always relied on software based composition tools in past recordings, so this approach was like going back in time to the early days when all I had was a cheap Yamaha QX-5 sequencer and my synths. NO computer in the early 1990’s.
The beauty of the ESQ-1 is that it has an 8-track sequencer and limited to 8 voices of polyphony, so you must be creative with fewer options. Because of the intrinsic limitation of the ESQ1, this release is a bit more sparse in its timbral layers, which I personally find aesthetically pleasing. As a note, I have been using the ESQ-1 since I recorded “The Edge of Infinity”, back in 1997, so it is indeed a friend.

(Ensoniq ESQ-1. From flickriver.com)
SC: Greg, you have confessed AOS has become one of your favourite albums because all the process was rather easy. Did it really take you a short while to be done?

AWM: AOS was recorded in a very brief period of time because of that lack of having a mountain of synthesizer/modules as a diversion of choices. Working with limited resources played a big role. Personally, I believe too much gear becomes a creative hindrance and a focus on composition; sometimes a daunting task. If you can use the basic tools to get the idea/message across, that’s really all that matters.

SC: It’s amazing how you include sequencer lines in almost all tracks of the album and yet these don’t add any rhythmic elements per se, but rather contribute to a more hypnotic, trance-like feeling in the listener.

AWM: Good observation! I only used the sequencer as tonal brush strokes that added subtle movements to keep the layers of sound from becoming too uniform and sonically anaemic. I indeed wanted to seduce the listener into a trance-like mind state and, in fact, some of the few cds I have enjoyed in the last 10 years have that subtle hypnotic trance-like quality without the bombastic in your ear pretentiousness of an hour sequencer voyage. Probably what I admire most about early Terry Riley and Peter Michael Hamel's music is its trance without the dance!

SC: All tracks clock in at 10-14 minutes. You seem to feel comfortable as a middle-distance runner, don’t you?

AWM: I do not feel this style of music is ever competitive and pacing oneself is very important. In regards to the track lengths, it all depends on the creative flow. Sometimes an idea can start and stop in just a few minutes and a track is complete; yet other times, the music will evolve and quietly resolve itself at a longer stretch. It’s not a conscious thing for me to compose in a time restricted arena, only that the music must feel satisfied at the end of a recording session. 

SC: No track titles this time because you say that “labelling and forcing any title upon the listener would distract from the subtlety”. You once said that sometimes coming up with a title for a track could be, in fact, harder for you than actually record it. Was this also a reason why there are no titles here, but simply movements, or did you want AOS to seem more homogeneous?

AWM: I decided not to spend the time trying to work up proper titles for AOS for the mere fact that I feel this music is more impressionistic and allows for listener interpretation on the subject of each movement.
You commented that this release sounds like desert music although no track titles hint of this particular imagery; you mentally were drawn to this impression/visual. I always felt that music should be a very transportive medium and I guess on the creative level that’s what I strive to accomplish.

SC: Will AWM take a rest for the time being, or will it be out and about shortly?
AWM: At the present, I think I am going to work on other projects at least for the next year. AWM is always in forward motion. Sometimes the wave of creativity is a bit overwhelming; at other times, the calm quiet peacefulness at the eye of the storm!

SC: Thanks very much, Gregory.

“Architexture of Silence” is available at bandcamp here:

No comments:

Post a Comment