Posts Tagged ‘Rhian Sheehan’

John Diliberto’s Top 10 CDs 2013

December 30, 2013

This was one of the hardest lists ever to compile.  It’s different from 25 Essential Echoes CDs of 2013, which is our picks of the best music played on Echoes.  And it’s also different from The Best of Echoes 2013 Listener Poll results.   These are my picks from all the music I heard in what turned out to be an epic year for new music.  And in an epic year, these are the albums that rose to the top of the top for me.

Metheny-Tap-Tzadik-cvr1- Pat MethenyTap: John Zorn’s The Book of Angels, Vol. 20
Metheny takes fragmentary themes from composer John Zorn’s “Book of Angels” series and orchestrates them into expansive, electro-symphonic works.  The fact that it features some of Metheny’s most unbridled and psychedelic guitar playing in years is just a bonus.

Stories2- Rhian Sheehan –  Stories from Elsewhere
On his 7th album, Stories from Elsewhere Rhian Sheehan created one of the most sublime shadings of ambient chamber music since Harold Budd’s Pavillion of Dreams.  It’s a magical CD of soaring strings, surging rhythms, childlike music boxes and ambient expanses that sounds both familiar and timeless. It was a CD of the Month in May.

UNQOTSA-5003 – Olivier Libaux Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age
I don’t know if I could’ve gotten behind an album more than I did Olivier Libaux’s sublime covers of music by alt-metal band Queen’s of the Stone Age.  Part of the New Wave/Punk cover band Nouvelle Vague.  Libaux stepped out on his own to record the albums with singers including Emilianna Torinni and Inara George. He accomplished a melancholy re-imagining of this alt-metal band’s music. It was a CD of the Month in July.

TimeLapse4 – Ludovico Einaudi –  In a Time Lapse
In a Time Lapse is a defining album on which pianist/composer Ludovico Einaudi pulled out all the stops, synthesizing a 21st century classicism that is all-embracing in its musical influences, and all-enveloping in its emotional sweep. It was Echoes CD of the Month in March,

Innocents-2505 – Moby   Innocents
Moby completes a trilogy of atmospheric, introspective songs that began with Wait for Me and Destroyed.  A CD of the Month in NovemberInnocents is the most soothing melancholy.

Olafur-Arnalds-For-Now-I-Am-Winter-2506 – Ólafur Arnalds   For Now I Am Winter
Both sophisticated and edgy, Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds inhabits his own sonic universe, balancing emotions and mood on a laser’s edge of strings echoing out of frozen skies and electronics trawling the substrata.  For Now I Am Winter is his most mature work to date and a CD of the Month in April.

Long Way To Fall7 – Ulrich Schnauss A Long Way To Fall
A wonderfully melodic, groove driven album of synthesizer wonder as Ulrich Schnauss explores childhood memories with electronic dreams.  The title track will leave you breathless.  It was an Echoes CD of the Month in February.

WInterwell8 – Mree   Winterwell
Serene dream pop from a 19 year old musician who comes from a singer-songwriter tradition but creates Enya like choirs with her voice on this lush and powerful album.

Bleeding-Raainbow-Yeah-Right CVR9 – Bleeding Rainbow   Yeah, Right
This Philadelphia based band created a garage-rock psychedelic ecstacy that often attained the epic mixing shoegaze guitars with motoric grooves and heroic girl-group choruses from singer Sarah Everton.  I’m still trying to figure out why Savages got so much hipster attention and this album slipped away.  Play it loud and you’ll wonder why as well.

kveikur10- Sigur Ros  Kveikur
Sigur Ros kick out the jams on this album of delirious, roiling textures and Jonsi’s falsetto melodies of prayer.  This is one of the Icelandic groups more aggressive outings which is saying a lot for a band that has no restraints in their electric storm.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found is our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

LRC19-250pxGIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

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12 Echoes CDs of the Month Tonight

December 4, 2013

WE LOOK BACK AT ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH PICKS FROM 2013

November: Moby - Innocents

November: Moby – Innocents

Every month on Echoes we pick out the CD of the Month. It’s the album we think best represents the sound of Echoes and simply, the best album in that sound.  This year has been a great one for CD of the Month  selections, so I thought we’d do an entire show looking back at those albums. We’ll be going from our current December pick, David Helpling & Jon Jenkins’ Found, all the way back to our January pick, The Ambient Zone-Just Music Café Volume 4.

January: The Ambient Zone - Just Music Cafe Volume 4

January: The Ambient Zone – Just Music Cafe Volume 4

They aren’t necessarily the best albums of the year, but they were all the best album of their respective months and I would be surprised if they all weren’t in our year end top 25.  It can be hard picking the albums. The selections are either slim or abundant.  This year fell on the abundant side as we had our best stretch of Echoes CD of the Month picks in a while.  As we head toward the end of the year and best of lists, I thought I’d look back at our twelve picks.  Maybe these are albums you voted for in the Best of Echoes 2013 poll going on right now at echoes.org.

Prepare for the show with reviews and tracks from all the CDs

March: Ludovico Einaudi - In A Time Lapse

March: Ludovico Einaudi – In A Time Lapse

January: The Ambient Zone – Just Music Café Volume 4
February: Ulrich Schnauss – A Long Way to Fall
March: Ludovico Einaudi – In A Time Lapse
April: Òlafur Arnalds – For Now I Am Winter
May: Rhian Sheehan – Stories from Elsewhere
June: Rachel Zeffira – The Deserters
July: Olivier Libaux – Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age
August: Melorman – Waves
September: Darshan Ambient – Little Things
October: Akara – The World Beyond
November: Moby – Innocents
December: David Helpling & Jon Jenkins – Found

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

LRC19-250pxGIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Echoes Top 25 for May

May 30, 2013

StoriesMusic boxes lead the Echoes Top 25 for May in the form of Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere, his brilliant CD of ambient chamber music that uses music boxes as one of it’s sonic motifs.  It was the Echoes CD of the Month for May.  You can read a review and hear tracks from it here.  That album leads a fantastic month of music that includes more ambient chamber music albums with Jami Sieber’sTimeless, Morgan Doctor’sMajor Over Minor and Ólafur Arnalds For Now I Am WinterAnd just when you thought any album called Yoga Moods had to suck, David & Steve Gordon put together a nice chilled collection with that very name.  Check out the rest of the Echoes Top 25 for May.

ECHOES TOP 25 for MAY

  1. Rhian SheehanStories from Elsewhere (Darla Records) iTunes
  2. v/aYoga Moods (Sequoia Records)
  3. SyrianaThe Road to Damascus (Real World)
  4. v/a Way To Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake (StorySound Records)
  5. Jami SieberTimeless (Jami Sieber)
  6. Glenn JonesMy Garden State (Thrill Jockey)
  7. William TylerImpossible Truth (Merge Records) iTunes
  8. Morgan DoctorMajor Over Minor (Aporia Records)
  9. Mike DawesWhat Just Happened (Candy Rat)
  10. Three Fields Wherever You’re Standing Now (Installed Worlds) iTunes
  11. Karl HydeEdgeland (UMe)
  12. Kaki KingGlow (Velour Recordings – Frontline)
  13. Stripmall ArchitectureSuburban Reverb (Kilk)
  14. Ólafur ArnaldsFor Now I Am Winter (Mercury Classics) iTunes
  15. Dead Can DanceIn Concert (Pias America) iTunes
  16. Robin GuthrieFortune (soleil après minuit)
  17. North Atlantic DriftMonuments (Sound in Silence)
  18. Robert JurjendalSource of Joy (Unsung Records)
  19. Still CornersStrange Pleasures (Sub Pop)
  20. Starr Parodi & Jeff Eden Fair Bert Stern: Original Mad Man (MagicMotor Records)
  21. HemDeparture and Farewell (Redeye)
  22. Rena JonesEchoes (Cartesian Binary Recordings)
  23. Don PerisThe Old Century (Badman Records) iTunes
  24. Gaudi In Between Times (Six Degrees)
  25. Portico QuartetLive Remix (Real World)

~John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Echoes On LineStoriesSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

Rhian Sheehan’s Ambient Music Box Symphony.

May 1, 2013

Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere
Echoes May CD of the Month

Hear Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere featured on Monday May 6

StoriesIn a music style built on translucent hues, there are many shades of ambient chamber music.  There’s Harold Budd’s minimal austerity and Ludovico Einaudi’s classical melodicism.  Ólafur Arnalds trades in glitchy, haunted moods while Kevin Keller charts a more romantic course.  But Rhian Sheehan may have created one of the most sublime shadings on his 7th album, Stories from Elsewhere.  It’s a magical CD of soaring strings, surging rhythms, childlike music boxes and ambient expanses that sounds both familiar and timeless.

New Zealand artist Rhian Sheehan started out as an acoustic guitarist and he was good enough to jam with finger-style guitar icon, Tommy Emmanuel.  But he began releasing albums of electronic music in 2001, and more recently, he has emerged with a sound that brings guitars, synthesizers, music boxes and orchestras together into tightly honed, but melodically  sweeping compositions.  That sound was first evident on his album, Standing in Silence four years ago.  In the interim, he released a purely ambient EP, Seven Tales of the North Wind, that revealed the influence of the Nashville duo, Hammock, who remixed a Sheehan tune.

Rhian Sheehan Live

Rhian Sheehan Live

He brings all those elements together on Stories from Elsewhere, an album whose signature sound may be the music box.  Sheehan has custom music boxes for which he creates his own music rolls and then manipulates the resulting sounds electronically.  Nowhere is that heard to better effect than on “La Boite à Musique” (Music Box).  It opens with a charming music box melody that morphs into a marching rhythm, which then stutter-stops, and finally is enveloped in strings that rise like a Jupiter rocket breaking the atmosphere: slow, graceful, inevitable.

There is innocence and foreboding in equal measure on Stories from Elsewhere.  It begins with the cover art, a painting of a young boy alone in the forest with a toy piano or music box. But the inside cover depicts that same boy, standing alone in an abandoned, desolate village.  It’s the kind of package that makes one lament the ascension of digital releases because it creates the surrounding aura of the album of an innocent world with a darker side lurking underneath.

Rhian Sheehan's Stories from Elsewhere

Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere

Sheehan rocks-out on the deceptively titled “Nocturne 1985,” a heroic slab of fuzz guitar and sequencer overdrive while “Imber” more closely adheres to the nocturne theme with a plaintive music box sequence and Arvo Pärt-like piano, courtesy of Sheehan’s wife, Raashi Malik.  There’s more than a little bit of Sigur Rós in the falsetto vocals of “Litle Sines” and the heroic dawn-of-the-world surge on “A Thimble Full of Sorrow.”

There aren’t a lot of albums that grab you like a page-turner  novel and change you by the end, but Stories from Elsewhere is one.  The track “Somnus” provides a heroic, ambient denouement that leaves you breathless, with the final “Lullaby Machine” tagged on to say: It’s alright.  Go to sleep.  It’s only a dream, isn’t it?

Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere is a masterpiece of quietly epic dimensions.

~John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Hear Rhian Sheehan’s recent Echoes Interview in the Echoes Podcast.

Echoes On LineStoriesSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.  With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Rhian Sheehan’s  Stories from Elsewhere Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club  and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

Iceland to New Zealand in Echoes Top 25 for April

April 30, 2013

Ambient Chamber Music Master pieces Echoes Top 25 for April

Olafur-Arnalds-For-Now-I-Am-Winter-250Ólafur Arnald‘s For Now I Am Winter, the Echoes CD of the Month for April, and Rhian Sheehan‘s Stories from Elsewhere top our list for April and that’s little surprise since both are masterpieces of Ambient Chamber Music.  One musician comes from Iceland, the other from Norway, exemplifying just how broad the Ambient Chamber Music zeitgeist is.  There’s little doubt these albums will be near the top of our year end lists.  It’s been a fantastic month for music with newer artists to Echoes like Sleeping Forest, Apricot Rail, Rajendra Teredesa and Spiro.

ECHOES TOP 25 FOR APRIL 2013

  1. Ólafur ArnaldsFor Now I Am Winter (Mercury Classics)
  2. Rhian SheehanStories from Elsewhere (Darla Records)
  3. v/a Fresh Handmade Sound – The Sound Bath (Lush Limited)
  4. Shaman’s DreamPrana Pulse (Sounds True) iTunes
  5. Sleeping ForestRise of Nature (Hadra)
  6. William TylerImpossible Truth (Merge Records)
  7. Cliff Martinez/SkrillexSpring Breakers (OST) (Big Beat Records)
  8. Three Fields Wherever You’re Standing Now (Installed Worlds)
  9. Sumner McKaneSelect Visual History (Sumner McKane)
  10. Dead Can DanceIn Concert (Pias America)
  11. Solar FieldsOrigin #02 (Ultimae)
  12. Lloyd Cole and Hans-Joachim RoedeliusSelected Studies Vol.1 (Bureau B) iTunes
  13. DidoGirl Who Got Away (RCA)
  14. Robert JurjendalSource of Joy (Unsung Records)
  15. Rick SmithTrance (OST) (UME)
  16. Rajendra TeredesaiPath of the Divine (Real Music)
  17. Apricot RailQuarrels (Hidden Schoal Recordings)
  18. Scott AugustHidden Journey (Cedar Mesa Music)
  19. Ludovico Einaudi – In a Time Lapse (Ponderosa Music & Art) iTunes
  20. SpiroKaleidophonica (Real World) Anastasis - Dead Can Dance
  21. Mark Holland and N. Scott RobinsonLost in the Beauty of it All (Mark Holland)
  22. DeleriumMusic Box Opera (Nettwerk Records) iTunes
  23. AOMUSICHokulea (AOMUSIC)
  24. Painted RavenThe Great Gallery (Painted Raven)
  25. Don PerisThe Old Century (Badman Records)

~John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Echoes On LineStoriesSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.  With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Rhian Sheehan’s  Stories from Elsewhere Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club  and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

Rhian Sheehan’s Music Box Podcast

April 26, 2013

Hear Rhian Sheehan’s interview in the Echoes Podcast.

StoriesNew Zealand artist Rhian Sheehan has been releasing electronic albums since 2001, but he started out playing acoustic guitar. He was good enough to jam with finger-style guitar icon, Tommy Emmanuel. But after forays into pure electronic music he has emerged with a sound that brings guitars, synthesizers, music boxes and orchestras into epic, sweeping compositions.  He’s just released his seventh album, Stories from Elsewhere.  That album will be the Echoes CD of the Month for May.  Watch for the review next Wednesday. But for now, hear this interview with Sheehan from his studio in Wellington, New Zealand.  Rhian Sheehan Echoes Podcast

Among his thoughts are:

“I’ve got this guy staring right back at me with evil eyes.”

“I was trying to instill a sense of magic within the music, really, this kind of naivety, childlike quality to the whole work.”

“The children toys, musical toy obsession has not disappeared at all.”

“I collect ukuleles as well. Shock! Horror!”

“The children toys, musical toy obsession has not disappeared at all.”

“I was in Avatar. I’m dressed in red, being lead off by the Na’vi into a spaceship.”

Hear more in the Echoes Podcast.

~John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Rhian Sheehan's Stories from Elsewhere

Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere

Echoes On LineOlafur-Arnalds-For-Now-I-Am-Winter-250Sign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.  With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs likeFor Now I Am Winter.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club  and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

Rhian Sheehan vs Hammock

February 23, 2012

Rhian Sheehan is a wonderful ambient composer from New Zealand.  His album, Standing in Silence was one of our favorites on Echoes a couple of years ago with his mixing of found sound and synthesizer cycles.   He’s just collaborated with one of our favorite ambient guitar bands, Hammock, from Nashville.

The original song is from his album, Seven Tales of the North Wind.

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Become a member of the Echoes CD of the Month Club.

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Echo Location: Rhian Sheehan’s New Zealand Soundscapes

July 8, 2009

New Zealand composer Rhian Sheehan uses synthesizers and music boxes.

You can hear an audio version of this blog, with Rhian Sheehan’s music, here.

LP050_coverIn the attic studio of his New Zealand home, just around the corner from where Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson makes his films,  Rhian Sheehan spins out electronic fantasies.  He’s got a room full of electronic gear, but on his new album, Standing in Silence, he raided his daughter’s toy chest and came out with a music box. It originally played “What a Wonderful World,” but after Rhian finished sampling it, it sounded quite different.

Rhian Sheehan: I took it out of context and tuned it to my own melody, Popped it through a sampler. I had this idea of What would it be like if you were inside of the music box and you could hear the cranks and the sounds, what would it sound like? That was the idea of that track which is track 3 on that album.

In a post-modern twist, Rhian took the digital melody he made from the music box and had that made back into a physical music box which he gave away with his CD. As he plays it in his studio, you can hear the melody of “Standing In Silence 3.”

Rhian Sheehan: We actually put that melody into a real music box so it was like deconstructing and reconstructing.

Although these instrument give Rhian Sheehan’s Standing in Silence a sense of innocence, there is also an undertow of foreboding.  Upon returning to the bucolic calm of New Zealand after an extended trips to places like Tokyo and India, he felt a certain disconnect.  You can see that in the photographs that accompany the CD: desolate urban locations in Tokyo and other places, but the music contains field recordings he made that are full of life and people.

Rhian Sheehan: I was fascinated with that idea. There are photos of shopping malls for example but there are no people, there’s nobody there. I guess that was the idea, in the music you can hear crowds and hear people but you never see people.

Rhian Sheehan’s new album is called Standing in Silence on Loop Records. I’ll have a more extended interview with Rhian on next Tuesdays Echoes.  This has been an Echo Location.

Here’s a video from Standing in Silence.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Architects of Stillness: Steve Roach, John Luther Adams & Rhian Sheehan

May 30, 2009

I’ve been listening to some beautifully serene music lately.  Not beautiful in the pretty sense, but in the sweep of the music, and not serene in the New Age relaxing sense, but in the almost aggressive focus and attention to detail.

Dynamic Stillness It started recently with Steve Roach‘s Dynamic Stillness.  The title itself speaks to that aspect of intense quietude I’m trying to articulate.  The album harkens back to his classic Structures from Silence, a long-form composition of long-form tones, undulating out across a desert plain, but with tension that only comes from music that flies, but still retains the knowledge that you can fall. It’s scary up there.

The Place Where You Go to Listen: In Search of an Ecology of MusicWhile Listening to the Roach, I was preparing for an interview with John Luther Adams and thinking how much of his music calls up the same spirit.  The southwestern desert landscapes that have suffused Roach’s music for the last 20 years aren’t that different from the expansive Alaskan landscapes that inspire Adams.  Both are austere, extreme, muted in color shadings and awe-inspiring in their mix of fragility and toughness.  The only difference is about 100 degrees of temperature.    But both artists are tapping a landscape of solitude and small but detailed wonders.   Adams’ compositions like “Veils” and “In the White Silence” call up more than pristine fields of snow, walls of ice and stark shadows, but the solitude and inner calm they embody, an inner calm that, like Roach, is just on the edge of shattering.  Adams’  24/7 light and sound installation, The Place Where You Go To Listen, may be the true epic of ambient music.  And if it wasn’t in Fairbanks, Alaska, more people would know about it.  Adams writes about this work, based on realtime seismic, magnetic, weather and cosmological changes, in a wonderful book, also called The Place Where You Go To Listen.  It’s not just a description of the process, but a meditation on our relationship to the environment and its manifestation in music.

Sheehan-Silence_coverRhian Sheehan is a composer from New Zealand who gets to the same place on his CD, Standing in Silence.   It’s an album born from isolation and innocence. He rummages through his daughters toy box, emerging with xylophones and music boxes that he electronically deconstructs and weaves into arrangements for electronics and ambient guitar that make the music itself sound like a lost artifact plucked from the dust and silence of another culture.   Standing in Silence is a retreat from the more pop and beat oriented materiel of his earlier work into a place of solitude and repose.  Although the landscapes of New Zealand are lush and dramatic, there’s a darker, brooding side to Sheehan’s innocence that looms around each corner of this major work.

Steve Roach, John Luther Adams and Rhian Sheehan are architects of stillness.

I had great interviews with John Luther Adams and Rhian Sheehan this week. Look for them in June on Echoes.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))


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