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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Deborah Martin & Jill Haley The Silence of Grace (2021)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Dream the eyes tied to our ears which translate the 8 tales of this brilliant album

1 The Silence of Grace 6:54

2 Indian Heaven 6:52

3 Verdant Sanctuary 5:01

4 The Stillness of Forest Bathing 6:20

5 Fountains 6:06

6 Earth Stone Water Sky 4:06

7 From Fire into Water 6:36

8 Water Flows of Clouds and Thunder 7:32

(CD/DDL 49:39) (V.F.)

(Orchestral Tribal Ambient)

A wave of sounds raises the presence of wind instruments sticking closely to the musical breaths of a synth whose instrumental identity belongs to the feats of our imagination. Together, they dance with the percussive tone of the oboe or that of an English horn whose musicality melts into the serene layers of a synthesizer very attentive to these vibrating airs of double reeds. The images that form in our ears are those of the grandiose landscapes of the plains of Nevada, in the time when the Amerindians and the Americans were fighting for the feast of the gods. Either be our Earth! There are moving passages where our ears dictate to our eyes the purity of the landscapes gently sculpted by the tangible emotions of Deborah Martin and Jill Haley. This title-track sets the tone for THE SILENCE OF GRACE, the latest release from Spotted Peccary Music. This album, sculpted in the beauty of the gigantic panoramas of the western USA, highlights the first-ever collaboration between the lyrically gifted Native American bard and an oboist/pianist who composes her music about National Parks. The musical texture is dense and rich with this fusion of acoustic and electronic and one of the most striking effects of the album is the fascinating sensation of hearing a chamber orchestra playing harmonies in a forest that is surrounded by the majesty and capacity of Deborah Martin's synths and her bank of field recordings. On this level, Fountains is simply uplifting!

Indian Heaven follows with a sound texture that sounds like a murmuration effect. Other effects come in, as if to fill a tonal setting that has become a procession. A procession animated by shamanic percussions and haloed by a prismatic musical fauna. The flow remains slow, bewitching. The synth swings its memories like the song of a pendulum while Haley's breaths remind us of the sharp possibilities of her wind instruments. Bells set the tone for Verdant Sanctuary's moving moods. They tinkle and swirl in the hybrid wind sounds of oboe and English horn. The synth influences these ambiences with bewitching layers that are more in symbiosis with the movements of the bells. They are 2 very beautiful titles with poignant ambiences. But what about The Stillness of Forest Bathing and its indelible images of the Ingalls girls running down the plains in Little House on the Prairie! A cinematographic beauty to saw the legs! Earth Stone Water Sky has nothing to envy the moving intensity of Fountains. The orchestrations awaken those hairs that tickle our spine with superb impulses of the oboe and the English horn draped tightly by the soft sibylline incantations of the synth's breezes. A rather discreet synth that takes control of From Fire into Water's intro in a fiery electronic tribal dance uniting the two musicians to Byron Metcalf and Mannheim Steamroller's Fresh Aire experiments. The bridge excludes this fiery rhythm for a more shamanic approach that surrounds Jill's magical breaths. Water Flows of Clouds and Thunder takes us to the top of those dizzying mountains whose breaths seem so real. An acoustic guitar accompanies the serenade of the winds with a delicacy that raises those tribal bells, cementing the perception that this album is dedicated to the majestic beauty of these decor and of these secret stories.

Available in both digipack CD and 24-bit downloadable formats, THE SILENCE OF GRACE is a hologram of majestic vistas where wildlife communicates with the big rocks that guard it. Deborah Martin and Jill Haley knew how to impose their visions with a music a little intense to be meditative, but which allows us to dream the eyes tied to our ears which translate with accuracy the 8 tales of this brilliant album.

Sylvain Lupari (May 5th, 2021) *****

Available at Spotted Peccary Bandcamp

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