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Hypnos Recordings
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Austere - Eco
Austere - Eco Quantity in Basket: None
Code: austere08
Price: $4.99
2005. Latest release from intriguing new artists (well, they're not that new really, but they're relatively new to Hypnos listeners), Austere.

Eco, a new release for 2005 e.v., is two things above and beyond an ambient-styled minimalistic composition.

Firstly, it is a "process piece", similar in concept to our first release Convergence from 1998 (reissued in 2005.) The concept of process music was originated by minimalist composer Steve Reich in a manifesto entitled "Music as a Gradual Process" in 1968.

This recording was made using a balalaika (a three stringed chordophone instrument from the Mediterranean), a number of analog and digital delays wired in series and Space Echo. The composition was arranged using a technique Reich called "phasing", where each discrete piece of music, or "phrase", is allowed to overlap the same or similar pieces but are slightly out of time sync with the original, creating a slowly evolving recording that changes subtly but perseptively over its entire course. As Reich wrote:

To facilitate closely detailed listening a musical process should happen extremely gradually. Both releases are designed to be played at normal or quiet levels, and are meant to be looped or played on repeat, with each piece slowly building up from near silence, growing to a quiet crescendo, and subsiding back to a whisper. Secondly, Eco, same as Convergence, was encoded with brainwave frequencies accentuated by bi-aural panning to create constructive and destructive interfernce in such a way as to create spatial sound characteristics so that the brainwaves should be somewhat effective even without the use of headphones, although it is most effective with them. Convergence was encoded with theta waves from 4-7 Hz to induce a feeling of calm, peace, and relaxation, to enchange meditation or contemplation.

Eco plays an entirely different purpose. It is meant to be played quietly when going to sleep, and should help lull the listener into a relaxed state, and then into various deep sleep-related phases of brain patterns. More information about sleep and its patterns will soon be available here.

Since a CD is limited to 80 minutes, it cannot create a normal sleep pattern where the listener enters deep REM (delta) sleep for part of 1 hour, then 2 and 4 hour periods, but it should help bring them back down out of the alpha state which is not restful but active and taxing, and back into theta states and deep delta.

Given the limitations of how a natural sleep cycle evolves in an exponential fashion, there are two ways to use the recording. Playing it once should help with insomnia, and should allow the listener to sink into deep delta sleep for at least 50 minutes, and hopefully their natural biorhythms would then come into play and allow them to enjoy a normal, deeply restful sleep cycle of about 8 hours.

It should also be useful for people who suffer from an inability to reach or stay at levels of deep delta brain waves which are the most restful for appropriate periods of time, and who quickly "bounce" back into theta or alpha states, and hence get little true "deep sleep" during the night, even when sleeping more than 8 hours.

This is also our first time working with a designer who was enirely responsible for the CD packaging aside from the liner notes. She also provided much insight and aided in our research into the human sleep cycle. It is certainly one of our most beautiful packages, esp. considering it is not hand-made, and was photographed, printed, conceived, manipulated and executed by expert graphic designer Cat Rayburn to whom we send our deep felt thanks and gratitude.

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