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Erik Wøllo | Silent Currents (Live at Star's End) 2-CD

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Silent Currents (Live at Star's End) 2-CD

by Erik Wøllo

Showcasing a different side of Erik Wøllo's sound, Silent Currents explores fascinating electronic / ambient landscapes with slow-motion structures, surreal soundscapes and floating currents.
Genre: Electronic: Experimental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Part 1
Erik Wollo
4:23 album only
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2. Part 2
Erik Wollo
6:33 album only
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3. Part 3
Erik Wollo
2:38 album only
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4. Part 4
Erik Wollo
2:10 album only
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5. Part 5
Erik Wollo
4:59 album only
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6. Part 6
Erik Wollo
3:47 album only
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7. Part 7
Erik Wollo
6:01 album only
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8. Part 8
Erik Wollo
4:42 album only
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9. Part 9
Erik Wollo
3:51 album only
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10. Part 10
Erik Wollo
7:24 album only
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11. Part 11
Erik Wollo
1:57 album only
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12. Part 12
Erik Wollo
3:58 album only
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13. Part 1
Erik Wollo
5:22 album only
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14. Part 2
Erik Wollo
3:42 album only
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15. Part 3
Erik Wollo
2:51 album only
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16. Part 4
Erik Wollo
3:50 album only
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17. Part 5
Erik Wollo
2:27 album only
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18. Part 6
Erik Wollo
3:15 album only
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19. Part 7
Erik Wollo
2:05 album only
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20. Part 8
Erik Wollo
4:36 album only
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21. Part 9
Erik Wollo
4:21 album only
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22. Part 10
Erik Wollo
2:23 album only
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23. Part 11
Erik Wollo
2:08 album only
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24. Part 12
Erik Wollo
4:14 album only
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25. Part 13
Erik Wollo
5:12 album only
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26. Part 14
Erik Wollo
5:01 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
A portion of the proceeds from Silent Currents are donated to CIMA of PA, the non-profit corporation responsible for The Gatherings Concert Series.
The 2-CD Silent Currents showcases a different side of Erik Wøllo's sound. Here he explores fascinating electronic / ambient landscapes with slow-motion structures, surreal soundscapes and floating currents. Drawn from two separate live radio broadcasts, 104 minutes of music traverse a more ambient, atmospheric and textural side than experienced on his other albums. Recorded in the studio of the famous Star's End radio show in Philadelphia, these performances from 2002 and 2007 are each a disc-long continuous piece with several chapters. With more focus on the deep drones than on melody and rhythm, zones drift and morph, organically flowing into each other. Layers of electronics and processed sound combine with light touches of electric guitar melody floating on top. Quiet, sparse and gentle electronic music with ambient passages mix with occasions of sequencer pulses.

Silent Currents is the 15th release from the Norwegian guitarist, synthesist and composer following his successful 2010 Projekt release, Gateway. In June, Wøllo released The Road Eternal collaboration with Steve Roach succeeding their 2009 joint effort, Stream of Thought; both essential albums in the electronic genre introduced a new audience to Wøllo's personal signature of introspective atmospherics.

Star’s End is one of the longest-running radio programs of ambient music in the world. Since 1976, this show has provided the Philadelphia broadcast area with weekly midnight musical adventures. Erik says, “I have been kindly invited to perform at Star's End multiple times. To perform 'on the air' late at night in the radio studio contributed to these unique and inspired performances. In this setting, it felt very natural to do some downtempo and quiet, floating ambient music. Thus, this release is more abstract and chilled out than I usually present on my studio albums. Some elements of the music was improvised; I brought various sound excerpts, loops and atmospheres, and performed and composed these into long continuous zones, all done in real time."

Chuck Van Zyl, host of Star's End adds, "Over the years Star's End has hosted many live to air concerts, usually with artists fresh from The Gatherings Concert Series stage. The act of playing a second, more intimate concert after a public event provides a sense of summation to a powerful experience. But the unique radio venue also offers musicians a space for discovery, as they turn from focused music for The Gatherings community to atmospheres for an audience each in their own dream space. Erik Wøllo enthusiastically embraces this idea using his on-air concerts to explore moods and zones only found in the late hour and unconventional situation. There is an interesting energy arcing through Silent Currents: Erik descends into himself, realizing music completely in the moment. The resulting new works are wonderful expressions of ambience, texture and this artist's potent sense of drama as Wøllo creates space, then fills it with ever-evolving sound."

With his focus on the deep drones and interwoven ambient tributaries, Wøllo creates a vivid soundtrack for the senses, taking the listener to the outer reaches of the imagination. Impressionistic electronic / ambient music at its best! Relax and float on the Silent Currents.

A review from allmusic.com:
Drawn from two live-on-air performances from 2002 and 2007 for a Philadelphia area radio show, Star's End, Silent Currents serves as a combination souvenir of Erik Wøllo's live work and a contrast in his approach five years later -- there's not a radical difference, but it's interesting to hear how his general approach can take two distinctly unique paths. The 2002 session -- termed Silent Currents 1, in distinction to 2007's Silent Currents 2" -- can be broadly described as the warmer, gentler effort, while the 2007 session is much more ominous in overall feel. This said, both are clearly the work of the same composer using the same compositional tools. Hearing Wøllo shape the two performances, created live via pre-recorded efforts and improvised additions, can be almost as instructive as it is enjoyable; there's a sense of demonstration at work in how he brings a potential new part to the fore and then explores it, sometimes using simple repetition and sometimes a freer, almost randomized approach. The strong moments are often sudden, like the guitar gently appearing over the serene organ flow of "Silent Currents 1, Pt. 6" or, similarly but more direct, on "Silent Currents 2, Pt. 8," a spotlight moment of sorts. At the same time, these moments can be stealthy -- the slow sink into crumbling echo and rumble on "Silent Currents 1, Pt. 10" or the sparkling flow that seems to start even before "Silent Currents 2, Pt. 5," yet which only achieves its fullness there. Meanwhile, the dark chill that begins the second session could be something out of a sci-fi nightmare or a late black metal album (or both), while the Morse code-ish crackle on "Silent Currents 2, Pt. 11," looped and set against further chill, could be the aliens trying to broadcast as much as Wøllo himself is. Sometimes things seem to become more a tribute to the source, thus the bubbling space synths on "Silent Currents 2, Pt. 13" that could almost be out of a late-'70s documentary, but it's an enjoyable tribute nonetheless.

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Reviews


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Richard Gurtler

Musically superior masterpiece!!! An ambient/electronic ace at his finest!!!
This gorgeously looking 6-panel 2CD digipak (photos by Erik Wøllo and Chuck van Zyl, design by Sam Rosenthal), released in September 2011, features on each CD a live radio performance at Star's End, legendary radio show delivering ambient music in the Philadelphia area since 1976. Utilizing processed electric guitars and guitar synthesizers, analog and digital synthesizers, Erik unfolds for all his listeners beautifully floating and emerging atmospheres and zones with hints of more active textures. Definitely colored with more deeper and droning environments than we are used to hear on previous works of this highly renowned Norwegian composer. Disc One documents Erik Wøllo's live-to-air performance at April 27th, 2002, with 12 untitled compositions. It graciously floates from deeply evocative and longing pieces with expressive guitars ("Part 2", "Part 3", "Part 10") through spiraling aerials ("Part 4", "Part 6") to more quiet and serene spacewashes ("Part 5"), from more monumental ("Part 1"), nearly orchestral pieces ("Part 8") through rather tranquilizing ethereals ("Part 7", "Part 12") to hauntingly tribal-infused ("Part 11") or heart beat groove perfumed piece ("Part 9"). Quite colorful batch of compositions showcasing Erik's highly sensitive touch and craft to fuse wonderful atmospheres with radiant guitar arrangements. Disc Two, recorded at October 28th, 2007 and consisting of 14 sections, enters the stage with abyssal intro, that later shifts into more mechanizing and progressing level, yet still deeply evocative and hypnotic. "Part 2" remains on the darker route, while "Part 3" features minimal, but highly effective and absorbing high-tech grooves, magnificent! "Part 4" dives into more organic realms with bubling heart beats and expressive guitars, a truly subterranean sonic adventure! Slowed-down grooves on "Part 5" attractively color the deeper drifts. Ethereal and slightly dramatic "Part 6" evokes highly imaginative sky high odyssey while "Part 7" is painted by some spooky cosmic soundscapes. This sonic tension is easily relieved through "Part 8" with its more breathing and colossal texture and yearning guitar riffs. Strongly aerial and mesmerizing "Part 9" is gently enriched by some quiet pulses on the background. High-tech grooves, organics and guitars are the main flavors of the following three pieces, with "Part 12" being the most expressive and melancholic. Watery sounds on "Part 13" soon traverse into sequenced high-tech bubling trancey tune, a truly submersible journey! "Part 14" with stratospheric ambience graciously closes this exciting sonic adventure loaded with skillful arrangements and superb performance merging electronics with guitars. Erik Wøllo crosses on "Silent Currents" wider spectrum of moods, distinctively blending darker and lighter elements into musically superior masterpiece!!! An ambient/electronic ace at his finest!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 01, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)
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