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ARIA ROSTAMI & DANIEL BLOMQUIST " Wandering Eye "

Reviews

 It’s no coincidence that the label releasing this San Francisco-based ambient duo’s album is called Glacial Movements. That name is also a perfect description of the sounds they make together. Some of the material here was recorded in an empty planetarium and some in a basement, but the album’s song titles come from a paper about the Antarctic Plateau being the best site from which to observe the stars, which ought to give you some idea of the perspective at play here.BIG SHOT MAG
 Aria Rostami teams up with fellow SF musician, Daniel Blomquist, for six-piece album entitled, Wandering Eye, on Glacial Movements. Inspired by the exchange of communication through technology and its repetition to decay; the ambient duo craft six ten-minute tracks whose song titles come from a paper published by Saunders et al. titled, "Where is the best site on Earth?" The paper highlights the best places to observe space from the Antarctic Plateau, which is a gateway to observe other worlds. This soundtrack is insanely fitting for those scenic landscapes, that are very telling of time, entropy, and decay - some of the central factors in Rostami and Blomquist's work.While 'Dome A' and 'Dome B' were recorded live in planetarium dome to no audience, 'Dome C' and 'Dome F' were constructed through back and forth editing between the producers until an articulate track was crafted. A lot of the material on this release has Rostami's elegant piano playing which was created by a simple questionnaire that Rostami made using letters, colors, numbers, major verse minor, and picking between flat, natural and sharp to arrange a composition. From rendering sound recordings through the app Viber to processing field recordings through concentrated looping, the duo fabricates a one of kind ambient album that takes the listener on a journey through space and time, digital and analog, and all of it's withering beauty.THATS DECK
Da San Francisco in terra Glacial per un album di splendida e commovente esplosione di elettronica, questa si, decisamente ambient. In questi casi non amo soffermarmi sul percorso dei sound-artists, non vado alla ricerca dei loro lavori trascorsi. Il suono e la sua potenza mi travolgono, le cuffie creano una sorta di barriera ovattata oltre la quale è impossibile andare, pena la fine della magia che si palesa lungo un tragitto d'ascolto di oltre un'ora. Un lungo racconto nel quale si immaginano enormi planetari deserti nei quali distendersi ad ammirare l'infinito, realtà virtuali governate dal noise dei processori che man mano si trasforma in silenziosa melodia, il trasfigurarsi di una semplice canzone pop in lenta, profonda e malinconica meditazione, la lucida visione digitale permeata di splendida sensualità analogica. La ricerca del luogo sublime nel quale tentare di penetrare i misteri dello spazio, avvolto nel calore sorprendentemente romantico del suono elettronico, lì ai confini del mondo, lì dove lo sguardo vaga tra i ghiacci eterni e lo spazio più profondo alla ricerca di una stella, la più lucente.SHERWOOD
Dall’altopiano antartico si può osservare la volta celeste come da nessun altro luogo al mondo; dalla California sono invece emessi segnali radio verso un risuonante spazio in(de)finito. Le frequenze sono quelle elaborate da Aria Rostami e Daniel Blomquist, in una collaborazione realizzata secondo una pluralità di metodi, le cui coordinate, riportare nei titoli di tutti i sei brani di “Wandering Eye”, portano appunto al continente ghiacciato, immaginario per eccellenza dell’etichetta romana Glalcial Movements, che puntualmente pubblica il frutto dell’interazione tra i due artisti californiani. Il lavoro contiene oltre un’ora di frequenze, flussi ambientali e ricercate irregolarità di registrazione, variamente ricavate da ideali dialoghi dal vivo tra i due artisti, da sessioni in studio e soprattutto dallo scambio di materiale impresso su supporti di qualità sonora volutamente povera. Tanto nei passaggi dalla grana sonora più consistente e dinamica (“Dome A 80.37° S 77.53° E 4083m”), quanto in quelli ricamati da modulazioni di risonanze armoniche trasfigurate nelle avvolgenti correnti di un’ambience dai tratti via via sempre più “orchestrali” (“Dome F 77.19° S 39.42° E 3810m”, ” Ridge A 81.5° S 73.5° E 4053m”), il filo conduttore di “Wandering Eye” risiede appunto in un profondo processo di scambio e condivisione. Quella realizzata dalle diverse modalità di interazione sperimentate da Rostami e Blomquist e quella tra onde luminose e sonore, da e verso l’infinito, amplificate e rese dalle sconfinate distese ghiacciate sulle quali insistono, delineando una totalizzante immersione contemplativa.MUSIC WONT SAVE YOU
L’incessante peregrinazione attraverso paesaggi sonori artici condotta dalla label romana Glacial Movements si arricchisce di un nuovo capitolo che sancisce il debutto ufficiale del sodalizio tra Aria Rostami e Daniel Blomquist. I due artisti di San Francisco elaborano un percorso emozionale scandito in sei tappe, realizzate secondo tecniche di registrazione e modalità di collaborazione differenti incentrate sul concetto di mutuo e continuo scambio di informazioni digitali che gradualmente si disgregano nelle fasi di passaggio. Il flusso finale che si concretizza perde così i suoi margini divenendo labile nella sua origine e nel suo possibile punto di arrivo. Da queste premesse nascono le modulazioni contemplative persistenti e cangianti che strutturano le tracce del disco, ognuna intitolata secondo le coordinate di un punto di osservazione ottimale situato nell’artico da cui osservare il cielo, individuati da Saunders nel suo “Where is the best site on Earth?”. L’eterogeneo sistema di scambio tra Rostami e Blomquist si riflette nell’atmosfera dei brani dando vita a tessiture più dinamiche quando l’interazione nasce dal vivo (“Dome A 80.37° S 77.53° E 4083m” e “Dome B 79.0° S 93.6° E 3809m”) e maggiormente strutturate ed elaborate quando derivante da una manipolazione a distanza più lunga (“Dome C 75.06° S 123.23° E 3233m” e “Dome F 77.19° S 39.42° E 3810m”). Al di là delle sfumature, rimane intatto lungo l’incedere dell’album la sensazione di proiettarsi costantemente, attraverso l’osservazione del cosmo, verso un universo altro dai confini impossibili da tracciare.SOWHAT
From Aria Rostami I reviewed a few things (Vital Weekly 780 and 903) but it seems to be lost in the mist of time, and I can no longer remember, other than a bit ambient and a bit pop like, and from Daniel Blomquist I don't think I ever heard. They worked together for eighteen months on new music, and on one occasion they recorded inside a planetarium without any audience. Two pieces appear on this release; another piece was recorded by them playing together in Blomquist's basement and other pieces were made exchanging sounds over the Internet. That I think is an interesting way of working, as there is a bit of direct interaction and a bit of a long distance relationship, which works (maybe?) better if one also knows each other personally. They both live in San Francisco though, and they usually start with exchanging sound material for a performances, which might already be heavily processed or hardly a lot, which is then taking towards the stage for further sampling and addition with other sounds. At least, that's how I understood the nature of their work together and the six pieces on this release are variations of these principles of working together. Based on what I hear I think this duo uses quite a lot of field recordings, laptop techniques and maybe a bit of analogue/modular synthesizer. It all sounds like good ol' fashioned laptop music of the warmer, ambient variety. Sounds are being stretched out, frequencies are being emphasized or subtracted, and cue in some twittering bird calls and let all of this stew for a while. One may think from this description that I am mocking this, far from actually. I got this on a day when nothing much else was going on and I decided to play this on repeat for a longer time than usual, and it kept working quite well. It is maybe because this is also one of those grey June days with (again!) much rain and it doesn't feel like summer very much and that dark music, such as is played by Rostami and Blomquist, is a more than fitting soundtrack; maybe there is also a bit of nostalgia involved? Laptop music like this; when was the last time I heard that properly? That must have been a while, and this one did the trick most perfectly. Very refined music. (FdW)VITAL WEEKLY
Also dreamy, but nowhere near as hooky, is the debut album from San Francisco-based experimental duo Aria Rostami and Daniel Blomquist. Their general modus operandi is to take source material from field recordings, online communications, and Rostami’s piano and synthesizer playing, and then create a live performance by looping and manipulating the various sounds. The result is ambient music of a sort, in that it develops slowly and is deeply repetitive, but music that departs from the ambient tradition by being, at times, quite intense. This is also music that harks back significantly to the heyday of analog tape-based experimentation during the 1960s. All of it is quite lovely, if sometimes also a bit creepy and unsettling.CD HOT LIST
ROCKERILLA
Die Spur führt hier einerseits nach Rom und an die Seite von Netherworlds "Alchemy of Ice" und Philippe Petits "You Only Live Ice". Aber eigentlich nach Kalifornien und mit Zoom nach San Fancisco in Thomas Dimuzios Gench Studio, der dort das Mastering besorgte. Die sechs Dröhnscapes mit Titeln wie 'Dome A 80.37° S 77.53° E 4083m' oder 'Ridge A 81.5° S 73.5° E 4053m' lassen das innere Auge jedoch in überkalifornische Dimensionen und Regionen schweifen. Zu tatsächlich glazialer Polschmelze oder zu tektonischen Verschiebungen. Was freilich doch wieder nach Kalifornien passen würde. Dai Blomquist ist durch 15 Degrees Below Zero mit Minusgraden vertraut, Rostami mit seiner iranischen Abstammung hat seine zweite Heimat zuletzt bei "Sibbe" (Audiobulb, 2015) konfrontiert durch Sounds aus Teheran, Kerman und Taipei mit einer postkolonialen ebenso wie postisolationistischen Andersheit, die nosferatugleich ins amerikanische Bewusstsein eindringt. Er lässt einen googlen nach 'Clepsydra' (Wasseruhr), 'Soroban' (japanischer Abakus) oder 'Beghilos' (Alphabet aus kopfstehenden Digitalziffern) und gibt hochinteressante Lesetipps wie "Noise Uprising: The Audiopolitics of a World Musical Revolution" von Michael Denning. Die Klangwelt hier jedoch hebt an als ein orgeliges Flöten zu berstendem Eis, als eine wehmütige Naturmusik, die glimmernd und brausend anschwillt zu erhabener Pracht. Melancholisches Piano ist dem Dröhnen untergemischt, das um Entropie und Alterungsprozesse kreist, mit Suggestionen von Gischt und fauchendem Wind, mit Scott- und Shackleton-Feeling, aber auch der Sehnsucht nach einem freien Blick auf die Sterne. Dem Röhren von Cornua folgt als gewittriger Trauermarsch eine verschleierte Version des persischen Song 'Do Panjereh' und das donnernde Kalben von Eisbergen. Das Piano schlägt Glockentöne für einen gefrorenen Glauben, eingebettet in das Sausen und Brodeln der Zeit. Zuletzt Schritte und noch einmal die verrauschte Musik der Einsamkeit In des Äthers sterndurchglänztem Eis (wie es Hermann Hesse in den "Steppenwolf" geschrieben hat). Mit einem Orgelhalteton, einer Brandung, die keine Tage, keine Stunden kennt, und einem Versuch, mit dem Jenseits zu telefonieren. [BA 91 rbd].BAD ALCHEMY #91
This new release from Glacial Movement is the result of the collaboration between Aria Rostami and Daniel Blomquist whose working process lasted over a year and a half. The various sound materials which were created using sources as samples, filed recordings, piano and synthesizer were sometimes played live and sometimes constructed sending files back and forth. The result is something between ambient and certain modern classical, as sometimes they try to develop proper melodies rather than rely on the impact of a predictable structure for crafted sounds, and takes song titles by a paper which highlights the best places to observe space with sharpness and clarity. The first track, "Dome A 80.37° S 77.53° E 4083m", juxtaposes a gentle melodic synth line and crackles from, perhaps, field recordings so the result balances the quietness of the sound with the movement of the noises. The first part of "Dome C 75.06° S 123.23° E 3233m" relies on old recordings of piano to generate a sense of displacement on the first part while in the second part relies on rarefied drones. "Dome F 77.19° S 39.42° E 3810m" tries some distorted sounds, probably guitar sounds, prior to return to quiet and clear soundscapes. "Ridge B ~76° S ~94.75° E ~3750m" starts with subtle windy sounds upon sparse note and seems to develop in a noisy track until they decide to act with subtractions instead of additions. "Dome B 79.0° S 93.6° E 3809m" is a gentle ambient watercolor until a background noise emerges to end the track in a dissolving silence. The first part of "Ridge A 81.5° S 73.5° E 4053m" is based on detuned samples whose small noises generate a sense of distance interrupted by the emergence of field recordings. Quite impressive in the aspect of sound craft, it's able to give the impression to recreate the place where it was composed. Pure cinema for the ears.CHAIN DLK
Pour le chroniqueur intermittent du spectacle, pondre une introduction est toujours le passage obligé chiant où l’inspiration peine à arriver. Le moment où on hésite à servir le même plat froid à base d’infos sur le passif des artistes et des labels, ou à réfléchir trop longtemps à un paragraphe indispensable qui pourtant n’intéresse paradoxalement personne. Heureusement, Aria Rostami et Daniel Blomquist, deux illustres inconnus en ce qui me concerne, publient récemment une collaboration inspirée chez mes chouchous Glacial Movements, ce qui me permet d’improviser l’intro en quelques secondes : quoi de mieux qu’une sortie chez Glacial Movements pour se rafraîchir durant cette sortie de semaine placée sous le joug de la chaleur intolérable ? Maintenant que la douloureuse étape du départ est derrière nous, oublions-la très vite pour la suite de cette chronique qui essayera d’être de meilleur goût et de meilleure foi. Suivant un processus créatif qui semble assez à la mode depuis quelques temps, Wandering Eye est essentiellement le fruit des échanges consécutifs de matériel musical entre les deux messieurs. Difficile de dire si deux artistes isolés, laissant en toute indépendance le temps à la réflexion et la décantation d’influer sur les compositions, émergent du chaos de la même manière qu’un duo conversant directement dans la même pièce, réagissant sans délai à leurs pulsions inspiratrices dans le feu de l’action. Le genre nous intéressant aujourd’hui pourrait pourtant être le meilleur choix dans cette vision très virtuelle de la collaboration, où dilatation temporelle et expansion spatiale en sont des préceptes historiques. Plutôt que de vous refaire le dossier de presse avec plus de mots, où Rostami et Blomquist nous emmènent en Antarctique, terre de pureté s’il en est, et le dépeignent comme l’antichambre rêvée de la croisée des mondes, je resterai peut-être plus terre-à-terre sur mes impressions, m’imaginant posé sur un des sommets les plus hauts et les plus froids que la planète nous offre, ouvert à l’observation simple et béate. Un endroit où les paradoxes font partie d’une routine pluri-millénaire dirigeant les éclats de vie qui oseront s’y aventurer. Un peu plus d’une heure de musique éthérée accompagne parfaitement ces envies spontanées d’un ailleurs forgé par les contrastes, et on se prend au jeu sans sourciller. Dehors, les murs transpirent et le soleil fait fondre notre volonté, mais ces sons effacent les notions de sensation et de présent qui nous retiennent dans l’instant inconfortable, afin de nous emmener vers l’inaccessible nirvana qu’on désire. Les six pistes m’évoquent une nuit solitaire et ressourçante sur un des toits du monde, du coucher du soleil à l’aube salvatrice. Six actes investis par des mélodies plus préhensibles que la moyenne pour de l’ambient, elles-mêmes habitées par une certaine nostalgie de la lumière et de l’agitation diurnes. Dome A 80.37° S 77.53° E 4083m, ou la piste lumineuse qui accueille la nuit à bras ouverts, ouvre parfaitement Wandering Eye avec ses textures cristallines et pétillantes doublées par une mélodie ternaire aussi simple que réconfortante. C’est avec un pincement au cœur qu’on lui dit au revoir, encore incertains des bienfaits nocturnes à venir ; puis la suite s’enveloppe de basses fréquences profondes et de mélodies plus distantes suggérant la nuit calme et silencieuse sur un morceau de terre gelée flottant par-dessus un océan agité de nuages immaculés, mais le froid ne nous atteint jamais plus que nécessaire, car nous restons bien lotis au fond d’un épais duvet moelleux, lorgnant vers les cieux sans limites et si désirables, jamais aussi proches et lointains de notre portée qu’en ce moment. Un hommage à l’absence de tout et à l’abandon de soi, scintillant avec les astres sur la voûte céleste et se reflétant en fragments de rêves dans le miroir de nos yeux. Une invitation à débrancher les connexions cérébrales superflues dans ces brefs coups d’œil vers des strates que seul l’esprit peut parcourir. Quand le soleil est aux antipodes de notre situation physique dans le sombre et brumeux Ridge B ~76° S ~94.75° E ~3750m, seules des communications brouillées provenant de l’orbite géostationnaire nous parviennent, rémanences inintelligibles de la civilisation dont on a quasiment oublié l’existence, tant un sentiment de plénitude nous envahit dans ce royaume du néant. C’est aussi le tournant de l’album, amorçant doucement son retour vers la lumière qui nous ôtera sans brusquerie de l’onirisme ambiant. Les mélodies murmurent plus distinctement à nos oreilles, la chaleur relative investit à nouveau les paysages sonores vierges des hautes altitudes jusqu’à la fin du voyage et l’explosion de photons colorés au fond de nos rétines dans Ridge A 81.5° S 73.5° E 4053m, dont la mélodie ne manquera pas de nous rappeler le premier morceau : tout n’est qu’une affaire de cycles imparfaits, où la répétition se mêle à l’inévitable entropie des systèmes pour donner naissance à la singularité éphémère. Le ton mélodique de cette dernière piste ne donne d’ailleurs qu’un seule envie : celle de relancer l’album pour échapper un peu plus longtemps à la fournaise de la réalité, et substituer le stimuli négatif des nocicepteurs pour quelques minutes supplémentaires de paradis artificiel. Wandering Eye est une autre bien belle sortie à ajouter au catalogue déjà très recommandable de Glacial Movements, tombant on ne peut plus à pic à cette période de l’année. La justification de la qualité de cet album semble facile, et elle l’est très certainement, mais qui a dit qu’on avait besoin d’une bonne raison pour écouter de la bonne musique ?… On est d’accord. Vous pouvez trouver cette édition ici, et surtout explorer une partie du reste du catalogue pas loin, parce que ça vaut vraiment le coup, ne serait-ce que pour Over the Summit par Netherworld ou Northern Gulfs par Yair Elazar Glotman.tartinedecontrebasse
‘Wandering Eye’ is in part inspired by the Antarctic Plateau, and the astronomical sights that can be seen from it. It is Aria Rostami and Daniel Blomquist’s first collaboration, achieved by working together but also by manipulating their sound files as they sent back and forth. At all times the wide open textures, typical of a Glacial Movements release, give an indication of the space on offer at the location, but there are some clever forces at work behind the scenes. ‘Dome C’ and ‘Dome F’, the second and third tracks, make clever use of a dampened piano sound that comes to the fore especially in the latter, while ‘Ridge B’ takes its lead from a Persian folk song, reworking it beyond all recognition. With the use of field recordings the pair really take their listeners outside and into the elements, and headphone listeners will be rewarded with the equivalent of a rush of cold air against the night sky. It is an uplifting though calming experience, wholly recommended.DMC WORLD MAG
“Where is the best site on earth?” It’s an incomplete question, obviously, open to any number of interpretations. Where is the best site on earth to see a concert? Where is the best site on earth to buy a car? Where is the best site on earth to sleep? Where is the best site on earth for spanakopita? Where is the best site on earth to write a review of the best site on earth? For San Francisco’s Aria Rostami and Daniel Blomquist, “Where is the best site on earth?” is an opening to much more fanciful visions — those locations most conducive to an observatory for astronomy as determined by a group of NASA scientists in 2009. The simple answers are in Wandering Eye’s song titles: Domes A, B, C, and F, and Ridges A and B of the Antarctic plateau. But as with the implicit ambitions of the 16-page paper from which this record draws its inspiration, the music contained within is of a much grander scope than its modest packaging and premise would suggest. Though this is their first collaboration, neither Rostami nor Blomquist are short on experimental experience. Rostami has been releasing music under her own name since at least 2011, while Blomquist has been active in various Bay Area interests (with 15 Degrees Below Zero, Jennifer Locke and on his own) for a decade. The description of Wandering Eye suggests that we’re in the company of two artists who think very much in terms of process, the act of creation and manipulation and distortion perhaps more crucial than the end result. And to be sure, there is much to pick apart in the processes at work on Wandering Eye. Though each of the album’s six tracks fades in and builds with a measured, cacophonic intensity, they do it in different ways. Both “Dome A” and “Dome B” were recorded inside a planetarium and speak not just to the theme, but to the chemistry between the two as well — it was only their second time playing together. “Dome C” and “Dome F” were Postal Service-like exchanges where the original sounds were rearranged to form the final pieces. “Ridge B” was originally a homespun Rostami cover of “Do Panjereh” by Iranian pop singer Googoosh before it morphed into a nine-minute ambient canticle. Piano recordings were created by way of a questionnaire Rostami devised that utilized colors, letters and numbers (among other elements). The Viber app played a major role in some instrument recordings. You get the idea. Even still, what results is, by any measure, one of the best records of the year of its kind. You’d never guess Googoosh had anything to do with this, though I hear strong echoes of some of my favorite ambient records — particularly Belong’s October Language, Fennesz, Stars of the Lid, The Caretaker, Library Tapes and early Tim Hecker. There are loads of sound designers out there angling for a similar feel, mind you, but what separates Rostami and Blomquist for me is their willingness to embrace melody beyond the studied intricacies of those sounds that work around the central theme. Just listen to “Dome B,” which sounds closer to the heavens than just about anything I can recall recently. There’s an internal logic to each song and they come together wonderfully without overt pandering. They’re reaching, in other words. Whether that’s reaching for the limits of available technology or reaching for a new artistic method or reaching for a greater artistic purpose, what they wind up reaching instead is as powerful as any telescope in any observatory on any plateau: They reach the listener. In a time saturated with noise of every variety, there is no better compliment I can conjure for an album of its ilk. And there is no better site on earth than that which allows you to hear Wandering Eye undisturbed. DUSTED MAG
Aria Rostami has already established herself in the contemporary ambient kingdom thanks to several excellent EP's for labels like Crash Symbols and Spring Memory, so this new chapter in her catalogue alongside newcomer Daniel Blomquist was received with both open ears and an open mind by our in-house leftfield team. Across six magnificent segments, Wandering Eye gives the impression of space and rhythmic freedom, with the four version of "Dome" and the two of "Ridge" all offering their fair share of pensiveness and reflection. Rather than going for a solely dark or bleak outlook, however, many moments over these carefully arranged sound experiments are full of peace and tranquillity. Wonderful.JUNO RECORDS
Background/Info: “Wandering Eye” resulted from the common efforts and creativity of 2 artists. Daniel Blomquist got involved in projects like 15 Degrees Below Zero and Imperial Floral Assault Unit while Aria Rostami is maybe less known, but has already been active for a couple of years in a kind of abstract underground scene. It took them more or less one year to accomplish this work. Content: This album is not exactly what I would call a sonic enigma, but the experimental approach is one of the most noticeable elements. There clearly is a fascination for different kind of noise sources and the manipulation of sounds. These artists are a kind of sonic repairmen or maybe just adepts of a lost anti-music genre. One thing is for sure, the album is pretty abstract-like, but still musicical. You might call it ambient and/or soundscape-minded, but there are different evasive passages, which have been mixed with a wide canvas of noises and field recordings. The work has been refined with some rare but artistic neo-classic elements. + + + : Abstract- and experimental music both aren’t exactly the most accessible music formats, but Aria Rostami & Daniel Blomquist made it quite accessible. The ambient touch hanging over the song creates some exciting abyssal sound waves filled with mystery, but still a relaxing and more evasive feeling. – – – : I’ve heard a few neo-classic elements and I seriously regret there are no more similar treatments running through this work. It would have created a great balance with the experimental side of the work. Conclusion: “Wandering Eye” feels like visiting a cabaret of rarities where the objects have been replaced by sounds and noises. Best songs: “Dome C 75.06° S 123.23° E 3233m”, “Dome B 79.0° S 93.6° E 3809m”.SIDE LINE
Aria Rostami and Daniel Blomquist are both San Francisco based sound artists. Rostami — whose excellent Sibbe was a standout on David Newman’s Audiobulb imprint — leans toward shuddering, techno-influenced soundscapes, while Blomquist goes the way of shadowy tape collage. Where their works tend to converge is in the re-synthesis of materials first gathered without deliberation, manipulating strains of audio into more elaborate atmosphere. Their debut collaboration, Wandering Eye, exemplifies the possibilities of this process. The album title is taken from a paper published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, describing Antarctica’s uniquely good vantage point for observing outer space. Tracks are named for the five best astronomical viewing sites across the Antarctic plateau. These soundscapes easily evoke the intended environment, forming windows that look out at the cold-bound continent into a glimpse of infinity, occasionally obscured as they may be by the unique conditions present at each site (airglow, auroral emissions…). Appropriately enough, their first work together arrives via Rome’s Glacial Movements imprint.The artists emphasize that part of their idea here was to surrender control. Through the gathering of source materials as diverse as possible before composition, and from an intuitive process of exchanging ideas or material for re-sampling and treatment. While a few tracks — “Dome A,” “Dome B,” and “Ridge B” — were recorded live, while “Dome C,” “Dome F,” and “Ridge A” are studio recordings that arose intuitively. For “Dome C” and “Dome F,” Rostami recorded piano sketches based on Blomquist’s responses to a series of questionaires he designed, then sent the recordings back to Blomquist for processing. Internet-derived sound sources, field recordings of varying fidelity (sometimes made via an app on Rostami’s phone), Rostami’s synthesizer, and even a Persian pop song all contributed to what can be heard. A whole landscape takes form, like a windswept sea of ice frozen over sinking memories. You hear poignant echoes of Antarctica in the vague swells and stabs that set “Dome A” and “Ridge B” in motion, yet never quite excavate them from their frozen state. The meditative loops that anchor these soundscapes, often evoking dub techno just as much as modern composition, act as liberating catalysts to sonic experimentation fettered only by the emotional direction chosen. Where Rostami and Blomquist converge is in finding beauty in stillness — their practice follows a thread of intuition, exploration partly guided by the interaction of uncontrolled elements like field recordings and computer-generated sounds. There was a hushed intimacy to Blomquist’s Nascent/Egress and a real sense of tragedy and grandeur to Sibbe, and you can see the beauty of the place where these two sensibilities mesh, in “Dome B” for instance, where a couched murmur unfolds into an insistent progression on keys, eventually engulfed by ricocheting, fuzzy textures. The whole outcome is a worthy invocation of the South Frigid Zone, that stacks up well alongside other familiar instances, like Vangelis or SleepResearch_Facility.DECODER MAG
Glacial Movements se zcela uminute drží své devízy: mapovat kraje ledu a snehu a jim podobné úseky naší planety. Tentokrát se tohoto úkolu chopili dva hudebníci ze San Franciska, CA, pianista Aria Rostami (jehož CD Sibbe nedávno vyšlo na Audiobulbu) a Daniel Blomquist s klávesami, elektronikou, laptopem a samplery, ale jejich vzájemne výmenné skrumážování témat vycházelo jak z hudebních nástroju, tak z reálných a internetových nahrávek, mixování, procesorování, prefabrikování i postfabrikování a cert ví, jak bych mel ten celý proces jejich spolupráce nazvat. Výsledkem je šest ambientních scenérií a snad vám jejich zamerení priblíží název hned první z nich: Dome A 80.37° S 77.53°E 4083m. Tato zlokálnení se mezi sebou sice až príliš neliší (predstavme si opacný pól, že bychom neustále opevovali poušte), prece však je v jednotlivých kartografických záznamech urcité rozprostrení pozornosti. Jestliže úvodní nahloucnené bournení, plné borcení a praskotání v jedné vzdýmave se sunoucí rovine obhlédá vznosnost iluzorního dómu, další peripetie nabídnou tu podmracne valivé chrutí, výhružnostne znepokojivé rozpínajícím se posunováním od vanutí pres fujavici až k vídrholci, tu zase vichrnou druzovost lámavostní breskutosti i pajánové vlácivosti vcetne jakýchsi „trub z Jericha“; pres vysekávavé hlomoznení, zavalivé i zahalivé, bobtave probleskující dalším pruzorem se dostáváme až k nášlapné treskutosti, vyvolávající permanentní vzrušivost. I záverecná pasáž je plná permanentního výbušnení, vzdouvave vyvrelinového a soumracne rozkotávaného, plného šumu a svistu, rozkolesnovaného rozkotávání až do konecného odlivu. Jako celek je Wandering Eye propojeno neustálým kolísáním mezi opojením a vratkostí, vznešeností a desuplností, široširostí a roztrhaností, velebením a pokáním. Jednokolejnost nebo lépe jednosmernost, nikoli menlivost, ale spíše menivost prostredku nás nakonec zasáhne: jsme totiž celkovou monotóností debutu Rostamiho a Blomquista vycerpáni, ale to byl zrejme cíl obou hudebníku. Nebot obhlédání i tech nejzapadlejších koutu našeho sveta vyžaduje velké nasazení, posbírávání nejruznejších dojmu, jejich trídení (v tomto prípade nepríliš zlidštované) a nazírání. Je to tak: tenhle svet není žádné perícko; a muzikanti, zhudebnující jeho vzdálené konciny v barvách Glacial Movements, si to uvedomují s veškerou durazností.UNI MAG
Rostami i Blomkvist su elektroakusticki muzicari bazirani u San Francisku, koji neguju komplementarne, ali razlicite zvucne estetike. Rostami neguje više tehno i bit orjentisane saundsekjpove, dok se Blomkvist primarno bavi zvucnim kolažima uz pomoc magnetofonske trake.Naslov albuma je preuzet iz clanka koji je objavilo Pacificko astronomsko društvo opisujuci Antarktik kao jedinstvnu poziciju za posmatranje svemira. Same numere nazvane su po geografskim koordinatama pozicija za astronomske opservacije koje su raštrkane na Antarktickom platou. Ipak, sami umetnici nisu bili na Južnom polu - zvucni pejzaži koji cete cuti predstavljaju samo evokaciju ideje o ledom okovanom kontinentu sa koga se pruža najbolji pogled spram svih fenomena kosmosa ciji smo deo. Numere su nastale kroz kompleksni kolaborativni proces - skupljanje terenskih snimaka, nalaženje zvucnih izvora raznolikog kvaliteta na internetu, dodavanje Rostamijevog sintisajzera, klavirskih motiva, semplova iranskih pop pesama, da bi Blomkvist sav ovaj materijal ponovo semplovao i podvrgao daljoj modifikaciji. Tako dobijeni lupovi su potom prebaceni na magnetofonsku traku, a potom su potpune numere snimali ili na živim izvodenjima ili na privatnim sesijama u studijima dvojice muzicara. Sam postupak je bio vezan za ideju ucinka entropije i slucaja izvan kontrole samih umetnika. Tako su nastali široki, meditativni, a opet, u mikro dogadajima izuzetno bogati sandskejpovi, koji govore o horizontu vecnosti i susretu izmedu zaledene beline i pogleda na beskrajni prostor sazvežda. Urednica emisije Ksenija StevanovicRadio Beograd 1
Aria Rostami & Daniel Blomquist explore an icy kind of elegance with “Wandering Eye”. Featuring large epic sweeps of sound with a classical air, these are nearly teutonic in temperament. The movements occur at a glacial pace as the many layers interact gracefully, revealing a wide variety of stylistic choice. Such majesty to these melodies they are quite stately in their execution. Deliberately pacing them the duo ensure that each piece flows from the last as the sound colors in vast spaces of sound leaving every frequency completely filled. “Dome A” opens the album off on an optimistic note. Tender tones intermingle to create a warm inviting sound. With each additional cycle the album grows ever larger in nature until it becomes all-consuming. Far more mysterious in nature is the eerie drone of “Dome C” whose unease grows ever larger, with the bass rumblings doing particularly fine work in setting the mood. A shoegaze-like texture comes out of the rather spacious terrain of “Dome F”. Melodies glisten within the blurred sounds, with even a little bit of piano peering out of the din. By far the highlight of the album is the hypnotic journey of “Ridge B” whose movement from subdued warm drone to ambient static and back again is quite compelling. Akin to Stephan Mathieu’s work is the brilliant display of color on “Dome B”. Bringing the album to a close is the blissful “Ridge A”. Easily the highlight of the collection the piece is deeply moving and emotionally rich. “Wandering Eye” displays the immense talent of Aria Rostami & Daniel Blomquist, revealing them to be masters of lovely luxurious drone work.BEACHSLOTH
Plutôt que répéter comment deux amis californiens, Aria Rostami et Daniel Blomquist, élaborent et échangent leur musique par des procédés qui sembleront complexes et originaux et que l’on pourra découvrir en détail sur le site du label, je préfère m’attarder sur cette possibilité de créer une telle musique à deux, et sur ses qualités vibratoires, harmoniques et profondément pictogènes. Le piano nous dit-on est à la base de tout, et les traitements qui s’ensuivent participent abondamment à la morphogénèse du paysage musical. Ils dominent l’ensemble de même que la terre couvre la roche, accueille les arbres qui bientôt la hérissent. Mais quand on ne verrait que cet humus, il s’écroulerait, on le sait, si le socle rocheux venait à s’évanouir. Voilà l’effort qu’il faudra fournir si l’on veut deviner la part de chacun : en géologue sonore carotter jusqu’au piano, en promeneur écoutant arpenter les accidents du terrain. Errance musicale de l’œil. À considérer les noms des morceaux, qui sont tous formés de Dome et Ridge, on comprend le goût des deux artistes pour les escarpements, en l’occurrence ceux de l’Antarctique. C’est bien une musique du froid, mais d’un froid qui pétille sous le soleil, qui lui répond par toutes les décompositions de son spectre que la texture lui permet. Quand une telle chimie est à l’œuvre, que les contraires s’apparient si naturellement, c’est la naissance des mirages, des fatae morganae : on jurerait surprendre des mélodies fantômes dans ces lents déploiements d’harmoniques, dans l’écoulement d’une eau encore encombrée de scories glacées, dans le crépitement des cristaux rayonnants. Alors, à la façon d’un corps en formation, les longueurs, les densités, les échos, les arias, les profondeurs bourdonnantes, les boucles, les fausses fragilités d‘un souffle könerien et les fontaines d’harmoniques fenneszienne, se déroulent en un manteau qui bientôt devient la seconde peau d’une banquise fécondée. La musique est un dialogue entre l’absolu du silence et la mélancolique satisfaction de le faire chanter. Des deux musiciens, aucun n’est, à l’évidence, l’ange du silence, aucun ne peut l’être. Leur musique devient pourtant conversation, même dans cet isolationnisme de la musique polaire : façonnement du piano par les effets mesurés, érosion de la corde par son allongement dans le temps, réverbération dans les lointains infinis de l’étendue glacée, corruption de la vie dans les cantons polaires de l’invivable.FEAR DROP
Though you might not necessarily know it from listening to their debut album Wandering Eye, San Francisco, CA-based sound artists Aria Rostami and Daniel Blomquist work a number of different chance operations into their productions, the idea being that the surrendering of creative control will allow for unforeseen developments to fortuitously emerge. By way of illustration, Rostami might first generate a compositional framework for a piano piece by using answers from a questionnaire as a basis for decisions about key and note selections and then pass the result on to Blomquist for further manipulation; depending on the nature of the material, it then will be either sent back and forth or perhaps left as is. Processing treatments might be applied, and layers of drones, static, field recordings, and synthesizers also might be added as the material advances towards its final form. A typical track unfolds slowly, with multiple layers of ambient textures accumulating into a dense, opaque mass. Much like an object gradually assuming form as it emerges from a thick blanket of fog, a theme, voiced by either synthesizer or piano, gradually appears, though both generally surface during the track's presentation. “Dome C 75.06° S 123.23° E 3233m” was produced using Rostami's processed piano recordings as a starting point, even if the blustery masses and cavernous rumbles dominating the melancholy set-piece in its presented form evidence little trace of acoustic piano as conventionally heard. “Dome F 77.19° S 39.42° E 3810m” alternates between becalmed and disruptive episodes, with placid synthesizer figures punctuated by a piercing horn-like noise, while “Ridge A 81.5° S 73.5° E 4053m,” recorded live in Blomquist's basement, threads samples, field recordings, and synthesizers into a fourteen-minute collage whose woozy quality lends it a somewhat Philip Jeck-like character. Indicative of how much a production can evolve from beginning to end, “Ridge B ~76° S ~94.75° E ~3750m” started out as a cover by Rostami of a Persian pop song (Googoosh's “Do Panjereh”) before turning into the brooding array of gaseous currents and radio static presented on the recording. Taken from the published paper “Where is the Best Site on Earth?,” the six track titles reference the best geographical locations at the Antarctic Plateau from which to view space. Yet as cold as Antarctica is, Rostami and Blomquist's material exudes a significant degree of warmth, in large part due to the pronounced melodic dimension that humanizes the album tracks. Obviously there is a strong emphasis on sonic texture in the duo's ambient-electronic meditations, most in the ten-minute range, but balancing the music's abstract character is an equal concentration on melody, and it's this in particular that helps make Wandering Eye not only more accessible but a genuine pleasure to listen to.TEXTURA
De zes composities op ‘Wandering Eye’ gaan vergezeld van coördinaten, die alle verwijzen naar plekken op Antarctica. Het zijn locaties die in een wetenschappelijk publicatie zijn genoemd als de beste plekken om het heelal te observeren. Verder is het een aardigheidje, die vooral de noodzakelijke link met ijs legt: het Italiaanse Glacial Movements wil immers dat al zijn uitgaven ‘arctische ambient’ vertegenwoordigen. IJzig, donker, isolationistisch: welk naamkaartje je er ook aan wilt hangen, met ‘Wandering Eye’ leveren Aria Rostami en Daniel Blomquist een reeks bijzonder sfeervolle stukken. Traag trekt de muziek voorbij: loops van melodiefragmenten in combinatie met krakende, ruisende en ritselende geluiden. De ruisende en brommende lagen worden soms dreigend nadrukkelijk. Er zijn donkere, licht galmende geluiden alsof alles uit een verte komt, zoals de ingetogen pianoklanken. Radiofrequenties lijken naarstig te worden afgespeurd. Een gruizig geluid suggereert slechte registratiekwaliteit. Inderdaad zijn tijd, verval en vervorming belangrijke elementen in het compositiewerk van het duo uit San Francisco. Rostami heeft bijvoorbeeld pianopartijen, die volgens een spel met toeval zijn gecreëerd, opgenomen met de lage geluidskwaliteit van de Viber-app; andere opnamen zijn voor hergebruik overgezet naar analoge tapes. Niet alleen heeft het tweetal daarmee het soms gedempte, soms onzuivere geluid verkregen, ook hebben dergelijke bewerkingen gezorgd voor de suggestie dat opnamen ergens anders vandaan komen, zijn ‘gevonden’. Rostami en Blomquist hebben de verschillende elementen zeer vakkundig tot donkere sfeerstukken ineengeschoven. Arctisch of niet, ‘Wandering Eye’ is een mooie uitbreiding van de Glacial Movements-catalogus.GONZO CIRCUS
ELECTRONIC SOUND MAGAZINE