This week we’ve got several, newly-added ROBERT RICH items for you, plus a handful of restocks we’ve marked down to brand new, lower prices:
We here at Hypnos have a special interest in Robert Rich’s long-form “sleep concert” recordings, having released Somnium in 2001. That recording, the first 7-hour piece of recorded ambient music in DVD format, has gone on to be our all-time bestseller. Robert Rich has created Perpetual, an updated piece of long-form music released on the newer bluray disc format (note: this will not play back on audio CD or video DVD players – use a bluray disc player). As a bonus, the Perpetual bluray includes the original version of Somnium.
EPIC 15 hour long BluRay disc, based on Robert’s all-night Sleep Concerts. New 8-hour “Perpetual” accompanied by the original 7-hour “Somnium.”
Robert Rich says of this release:
“The Sleep Concert has been one of the dominant threads in my musical journey through life. It marked my first solo concert ever, in January 1982, in the lounge of a Stanford University dormitory. It became a sort of trademark for me, even as I explored a range of dynamic music throughout my career. Occasionally I feel an urge to return to this slow-motion core of my creative heart, and occasionally the world comes back to remind me that I will always be connected to sonic explorations at the edges of perception, trance consciousness, dreams, altered states, communal ritual. I returned to making all-night music when the Unsound Festival invited me to perform a sleep concert in Krakow Poland, October 2013. This would be my first sleep concert in ten years. I decided to create new textural soundscapes to use in this performance, to reinvigorate the concept for a new generation, a new millennium. After spending at least six months developing long evolving textures for the performance in Krakow, I proceeded to hone the material into a new long-form work, a sequel to the 7-hour long Somnium from 2001.”
LISTEN to a bit from this album HERE.
Robert Rich – Filaments –$11.99
“Shimmering, pulsating, woven patterns of electrical filagree echo hidden structures that permeate space and time, inspired by our latest forays in cosmology and the constant search to understand our place in the vastness.
Filaments of silent matter surround us. Rivers of particles pass through, unscathed. Fields of energy engulf us, curving through vacuum. Invisible glue coagulates light. Briefly alive, we try to decode time’s transit, to unwrap hidden forces that fuel the ever accelerating distance.” -robertrich.com
Robert Rich says of this album:
“I am deeply inspired by the scientific forays helping us to discover habitable planets besides earth, showing us that we are almost certainly not alone in the Universe. I feel wonder at our efforts to place our precarious existence into the context of this 13.8 billon year old reality, and at our model-building nature, trying to understand the shape of space and time. As I sought inspiration for this music in the realms of physics and cosmology, I found that the concept of the Anthropic Principle helps to connect my sense of wonder with the scientific curiosity that keeps us doubting what we think we know. The Anthropic Principle observes that our particular universe is well suited to evolve consciousness within it, as evidenced by the fact that we exist. As we look within our own consciousness, we find our place in this immensity, as an eye of the universe observing itself. This doesn’t place humanity in a special central position, but does make note of the surprising complexity of our existence. As we proceed to undermine the dynamic balance that helped us evolve on this Eden Earth, putting our own future in doubt, we should pause to understand the miracle that allowed us to exist at all.”
LISTEN to the track “Telomere” from this album HERE.
Robert Rich – Nest –$9.99
“Nest (65’50”) begins with the kind of resolve many other CDs end on. With consonant chords and spare piano notes Robert Rich begins a wonderful journey through eight distinctive music tracks and contemplative moods. Although some of Rich’s work seems to dispense with the idea of beginning, middle and end, Nest does possess a vague compositional arc. Using steel guitar, bells, flutes, synthesizers, piano and environmental recordings, alone or in various combinations, Rich realizes beautifully detailed soundscapes from just a small number of sources.” – Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END
…From the liner notes: Nest A revery of landscape and internal spaces. Maleny, Queensland Australia. February is summertime in this subtropical paradise. I heard dripping sounds late at night, on the wooden deck and leaves nearby, sparse percussion among cicadas and chirping tree frogs. I assumed it was condensation from morning’s light rain. Next day, I looked up to see these drops coming from foamy packets suspended in forked twigs among the foliage. Tiny dots of frog eggs filled each frothy airborne puddle. These tree frogs had circumvented an amphibian’s need for standing water for their young to mature. They created their own diaphanous ponds in the leaf canopy, strong enough to stay intact as eggs hatched and tadpoles developed lungs and legs, yet porous enough to absorb and retain moisture from the light summer rains. To me it seemed miraculous. Nest represents unfinished business for me. It’s an album that might have come from my childhood, from a hidden quiet place. I rarely make such calm music. Nest folds inward like a nurturing cushion; yet it never sits motionless, it evolves towards a kernel of revelation with slow searching energy. Nest began with recordings from the eastern Australian bush,Â when I was on tour in February 2012. I often incorporate natural sounds into my music, but this music wanted to live entirely in outdoor soundscapes, surrounded by a subdued yet palpable sense of life. This texture resembles my earliest releases like Sunyata, Trances and Drones, where the natural world integrates completely with the music. I approach these juxtapositions of music and nature recordings with caution, as they risk sounding trite. For me, the combination works best when the music retains an attentive, submissive quality. For an album like this, I remove so much material during creation that I struggle to leave any music at all. Each note serves primarily to outline its own absence, to create an illusion of silence. Like much of my music, Nest also explores tuning systems, including just intonation. Over time I have become more relaxed about tuning, shifting where the instruments sound most natural. Nest navigates towards harmonic intervals when piano is absent, toward equal temperament when piano dominates, searching for a certain fragile balance. -Robert Rich, August 2012
LISTEN to the track “Seeking Eden” from this album HERE.
Robert Rich – Medicine Box –$9.99
“Ecstatic, shamanic, surreal, spiritual: Medicine Box may be Rich’s most dynamic album yet, an adept blending of technology with the ancient. Cheri Chuang’s wordless crystalline voice graces three songs, with traces of Persian inflection. Deep basslines hint at dub, while analog synth skitters and chuffs the outlines of a rhythmic grid, propelled forward by pulsing north African drums. Sustaining guitars bring a psychedelic edge. Cello and reeds echo plaintively in the distance. Rich’s sparse piano adds droplets of modal jazz to this dark tea.” -robertrich.com
A beautiful poetic album… soaked by a fascinating shamanic aura. –Sylvain Lupari, GoD
Fragility, free-floating, psychedelic, shadowy and surreal. –Ulf Backstrom – Merlin Prog
Pure listening pleasure… –Archie Patterson, Eurock
Thirty years, still going strong. Medicine Box might be Robert Rich’s finest release — no small accomplishment considering it’s his 26th solo work along with 14 collaborations. The ambient maestro started out performing nine-hour “sleep concerts” for audiences dozing in sleeping bags. Over the years he has shifted from atmospheric drones to more organically lush compositions fusing electric and acoustic instruments while dabbling in world-beat rhythmic patterns. Using alternate tunings, microtones and an array of homemade instruments, Rich’s music is a far cry from new age. Medicine Box opens with warmly textured percussion, heavenly keys and acoustic guitar supporting a gorgeously crying electric guitar. The beauty of following cut “Kaaruwana” is indescribable, with Chari Chuang’s haunting wordless vocals gliding over a somber Middle Eastern-flavored soundscape. Her angelic voice graces two other selections. Rich’s imaginative use of lap steel guitar on “Callyx” is another of many high points as well as his keyboard mastery throughout. Some cuts are anchored by exotic percussion, others gently float with minimal rhythmic support. This album pleases body and soul as well as the ears. –Warren Barker, Progression Magazine
LISTEN to the track “Salamander Quay” from this album HERE.
On his newest CD, Electric Ladder (2006), Robert Rich finds a new voice for the vibrant interlocking melodies that characterized his works such as Numena, Geometry and Gaudí. With its seamless blend of analog modular synthesizers and acoustic tonalities, Electric Ladder weaves a hypnotic spell – lush, ecstatic and seductive. Its shimmering geometric lines grow more sharply etched with the clarity of justly tuned instruments and the intelligence that pervades Rich’s compositional vocabulary.
LISTEN to the track “Concentric” from this album HERE.
Lithosphere” is the second collaborative release between DiN label boss Ian Boddy & American ambient pioneer Robert Rich. Following on from their debut album “Outpost” (DiN 11 – 2002) the duo once again decided to eschew the false economy of a purely virtual collaboration and convened at Rich’s Californian Soundscape studio to physically work together over an intense period of 10 days. Following Boddy’s departure Rich then honed and fine-tuned the arrangements before finalising the mastering of the project.
Whereas “Outpost” was sonically ‘out there’ and was perceived by many to have it’s heart in the realms of space music, “Lithosphere” has a more earthy, organic quality. Once again the album is centered around Rich’s signature lap steel guitar voicings and deep bass machinations of his analogue MOTM modular system. However Boddy’s input is once again unexpected in it’s direction with astonishing sound design elements intermingling with delicate keyboard textures using high quality sampled glass & stone percussion instruments together with haunting string & woodwind loops.
One of the binding forces for this album was the duos decision to utilise an alternate just intonation tuning. This at times gives the harmonies a piquant flavour whereas at others a glistening quality that just adds to the sonic exotica that Boddy & Rich have concocted on “Lithosphere”.
Boddy has always pushed the aspect of collaborations within his DiN catalogue and “Lithosphere” shows the true advantage such a philosophy brings to bear musically on the labels output. The album is a true reflection of the two artists combined efforts and could only have been produced with their joint work ethic. “Outpost” is one of the most popular DiN albums. There’s every chance that “Lithosphere” could surpass the high standard that it’s illustrious predecessor has set.
LISTEN to the title track from this album HERE.
“React is the third collaboration between American ambient pioneer Robert Rich and DiN label boss Ian Boddy. This is a record of their first ever live performance at the Star’s End Radio Show 30th Anniversary Celebration Concert in Philadelphia in June 2007.
The duo forge a fascinating sonic collaboration that allows for glimpses of each other’s musical personalities to be seen within the evolving musical landscape. Boddy is mainly responsible for the rhythmic content which he mutates and morphs from the sonic input of Rich’s MOTM modular system. There are references to a couple of tracks from Outpost (Ice Fields and The Edge of Nowhere) and the title track of Lithosphere but they’re presented in a more energised and dynamic version. Meanwhile Rich paints a tapestry of sound with muted keyboards, flutes and his trademark gliss lap steel guitar voicing.
The music ebbs and flows from abstract soundscapes through gentle reveries to up tempo sections that combine thunderous analogue bass and glitchy percussion overlain with a mesmerising mix of keyboards, flutes and gliss guitar. A truly unique concert performance by two of the most accomplished musicians in modern ambient electronica.” -din.org.uk
LISTEN to the track “Ice Fields” from this album HERE.