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CANADA - Ontario

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Electronic: Ambient Electronic: Soundscapes Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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by dreamSTATE

Ambient soundscapes create a haunting journey from the light into darkness and back again.
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Crossing
9:10 $0.99
2. Clearing
9:12 $0.99
3. Watershed
6:19 $0.99
4. Fall
7:24 $0.99
5. Captive
6:23 $0.99
6. Stone and Sky
6:57 $0.99
7. Gyre
6:41 $0.99
8. Watershed Reprise
8:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Excerpts from "PASSAGE" CD Reviews:

This work is a moving and profound listening experience the listener will not forget. It is highly recommended to all lovers of adventurous ambient music and deserves to be a classic!

~ Dodds Wiley / ambient.us

"PASSAGE" at core is inspired by a series of poems telling the story of an 1840s pioneer woman who endures numerous physical and mental travails on her trek from Ireland to Ontario’s District of Huron. dreamSTATE’s music, highly impressionistic, doesn’t attempt to make real the literary metaphors upon which they base this recording, but instead opt for “tone poems” reflecting/refracting distance, longing, tribulation. ... Often in direct contradiction to the accepted wisdom of what “ambient” represents, "PASSAGE" doesn’t proffer the elegaic light at the end of the tunnel, but instead conjures primal fears, the closing in of night and what may well teem in the blackness. Patently well-done, particularly in the origination of sound structures that are intentionally minimal when necessary, the drones indeed becoming imagistic phenomena, Passage’s sound fairly congeals the oxygen around you into shadows and fog.

~ Darren Bergstein / e/i magazine

As brilliant as it is emotional, "PASSAGE" is a beautiful work by one of Toronto's premier electronic acts. Many lesser talents would find themselves lost in such a dark subject matter, but dreamSTATE are able to convey the scene, the situation and the emotions felt in a succinct and powerful way. A testimony to their sophistication and artistry, "PASSAGE" is sure to become a classic of the genre.

~ rik maclean / Ambient Visions

As I've said before of pieces that are attached to other works of art, be they performances, installations, or otherwise, the highest compliment I can give is to say that the music makes me want to see the art that goes with it. "PASSAGE" easily gets that compliment. In fact, after several listens, it has become a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.

~ John Shanahan / Hypnagogue

I was just discussing with someone the other day the difference between average ambient music and great ambient music. It is difficult to describe the difference, but very easy to hear it. I reviewed a couple of so-so CDs before putting "PASSAGE" in the player, and the superior quality was evident from the opening notes. Serene, smooth, and cool, this is first-class ambient through and through. Right now the birds are chirping on "Clearing" as a gentle rhythm chugs slowly by. The balance between simplicity and complexity is perfect. The music evolves seemingly with ease, yet you can hear the thought behind it and the craft that went into it. Detailed liner notes explain the story behind the music, which was created for a multimedia event in Ontario. The dark subject matter is apparent in tracks like "Fall" and "Captive," both of which beautifully capture the mood they seek to emulate, the latter particularly haunting as dark choirs wail in the background. By far the brightest and prettiest track is "Watershed," which is reenacted at the disc's closing in "Watershed Reprise," signifying hope at the end of the dark journey. Highly recommended.

~ Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

Evaluating "PASSAGE" as an ambient recording is easy. This is an excellent CD, provided you enjoy this genre as a textural experience, comprised of ethereal and glowing spacemusic-like washes as well as darker drone-style ambient soundscapes (with the exception of "Clearing"). The technical quality is flawless and the choice (by Moore and Todd) to separate the tracks with a few seconds of silence does not detract from the overall cohesive impact of the entire album. However, that said, the true power of this CD comes from integrating the "story" with the music, where you, the listener, immerse yourself in Aina's tale (she is the lead character) and allow the recording to walk you through her tragedy as well as (hopefully) her triumphant crawl from the abyss. It is within this context that "PASSAGE" elevates itself from being merely a good recording to being an important artistic statement. I highly recommend this album in either regard.

~ Bill Binkelman / Wind and Wire



to write a review

Richard Gurtler

dreamSTATE masterfully bridges the story with the sonics!!!
dreamSTATE, consisting of Scott M2 and Jamie Todd, belongs for the very long time to leading acts on Canadian ambient scene as the curators of The Ambient Ping, a Toronto based creative community. Both these musicians are known as gifted and respected multimedia artists. "Passage" is no exception as it's based on "Bread & Water", the multimedia installation at the Huron Historic Gaol in Goderich, Ontario (ran through October 2004) and inspired by the poetry of Lynn Harrigan from her collection "Moon Sea Crossing" that tells the life story of Aina, an Irish woman who immigrated to Canada with her family during the 1840s and settled in the District of Huron. "Crossing" opens the story with its beautifully floating ambience, later spiced by few tight moments, the music is deeply immersive and nostalgic. "Clearing" progresses into more environmental and fairly rhythmed structure. Dreamy organic airwaves on "Watershed" traverse later into more obscure and uneasy stage documenting change in the tale when Aina's life turns into struggling periods that lead to mental breakdown. To capture these life sequences, tighten abyssal dronescapes enter the fore on the next two compositions, "Fall" and "Captive". Ethereal intro on "Stone And Sky" moves towards more intense sound with slowly evolving and rotating texture, at the end all the tension peacefully fades away. But "Gyre" is again based on some gloomy and frightening atmospherics. Closing "Watershed Reprise" displays with tranquil organic washes the hope for Aina's return to normal life. The music of dreamSTATE is very intimate and emotional, because the duo masterfully bridges the story with the sonics. The sound quality of the recording is superb too and just the same can be said on highly informative artwork. Exploring dreamSTATE's unique soundworlds is a truly multidimensional rewarding experience. And I really hope to hear in the future more new projects from these crafted Canadians.

Richard Gürtler (Bratislava, Slovakia)