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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

STEVE ROACH: Quiet Music: The Original 3-Hour Collection (1986/2011)

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

It's considered as a masterpiece in its genre of music and I recommend it strongly

CD 1 1 The Green Place Part I  31:06   2 The Green Place Part II 30:20   CD 2 1 See Things  5:48   2 Towards the Blue 3:20   3 Something in Tears 5:20   4 A Few More Moments 13:08   5 Air and Light 32:05   CD 3 1 Dreaming and Sleep 21:51   2 Quiet Canon 7:51   3 Sleep and Dreaming 30:13

(CD 180:02) (V.F.)

(Ambient & Meditative Music)

Let's make a long story short. Considered as being the highlight of relaxation, meditation and healing music, QUIET MUSIC was composed between 1983 and 1986. Initially, the Fortuna label distributed it in 3 different shutters on 4 tracks cassette size in 1986. Two years later, a first CD edition saw the light of days. It contained the whole Quiet Music 2 plus a track from QM 3. In 1999 Fortuna launched a 2 CD-set including remasterised versions of QM 2 and QM 3 as well as the 1st part of QM 1. Fortuna's rights expired and the Projekt Records label, which produces the music of Steve Roach since 1995 with The Lost Pieces, takes the torch and answers to the more and more insistent request of Steve Roach's fans by producing the integral of Quiet Music works in a superb digipak box set of 3 CD; QUIET MUSIC: The Original 3-Hour Collection.

If the deep tranquillity exists, it comes from the meditation of souls in the sources of the earth. The Green Place is a stunning musical journey that brings us in the heart of the flowering meadows of Colorado high deserts. It's the very first Quiet Music and a superb CD that had pass beneath my ears and that would be a pity if the same thing would happen to you. Samplings of a nature hypnotized by a majestic calm open The Green Place Part I. A river transports delicately its water which pours in delicate waterfalls under the enchanting singings of sedentary birds, captives of this splendid nature which breathes and expires the tranquillity. Soft limpid arpeggios are penetrating there on the tips of their notes and roam among this idle nature that a fine synth line covers of a delicate angelic mist. Dreamer, a soft flute comes to meditate and blows beautiful celestial harmonies which espouse marvellously the lyrical undulations of a synth which lulls all of its euphonies. This pinnacle of serenity follows its road, as a long and soft river of tranquillity, and fall in the notes of a wonderful piano. Notes which cast a veil of melancholy and which are throwing into the shimmers of a synth to loops and to divine rotary movements. We are in the 15th minute and it is pure magic. One is totally subjected by this piano from which minimalist notes spread out with fine modulations in their emotions. Notes which fall with such a delicacy that we go to daydream in this peace of mind environment where the soft nature is mixing in the breaths of an enchanted flute, in the soft embraces of a bewitching synth and in the delicate notes of a melancholic piano. The Green Place Part II is in the same spirit of calmness but with a little more musical intro, even more melodious. Arpeggios are less hesitating and form an oneiric ballet with suave synth breezes. It's a very good melodious intro which flies over the weak debits of waterfalls beneath the veils of a benevolent synth which enters in a temporal spiral to swirl delicately, a bit like Michael Stearns on his splendid Chronos. And the piano hatches, ending thus a jewel of quiet music!

Quiet Music 2 presents 5 tracks to more electronic tendencies than those of Quiet Music 1. See Things is a slow immersion in a universe of solitude with synth layers which couple and complain with delicate melodious threads. Short but melodious, Towards the Blue moves while following the course of a river flowing of serenity and beneath some fine oscillations of a synth which crosses more melodious and dreamy pads. Something in Tears is very striking with its synth layers which float and intertwine with a stunning sensibility. A Few More Moments is another jewel of stillness on this superb boxset. Long synth strata float and roam in a slow soporific whirlwind. They interweave to form an enchanting cerebral ballet that delicate minimalist chords raise towards a night-melody which is not without reminding the superb Reflections in Suspension of Structures from Silence. It's a delight for the ears and ideal for meditation, quite as the very ambient Air and Light (the longest track of Quiet Music's trilogy), which is a real morphic monument for the peace of mind. It's s a very long track which evolves like an obsession for quietness where synth layers wind and intermingle in a strange and glittering luminosity to plunge us in the depths of our subconscious and get fresh ideas in the strength of silence.

Quiet Music 3 begins with the very beautiful Dreaming and Sleep and its synth layers which juxtapose in a beautiful harmony where the fluidity of night spectres shapes strange interior voices murmuring and humming discreet night-melodies. Splendid and intense, these melodies adopt delicious and long movements of serenity which wind with delicate synth implosions to guide us throughout this overnight filled of spiritual magic. It's a sublimely oneiric track, quite as its twin Sleep and Dreaming which is accompanied by Will Morris' suave fluty breaths. Incredibly bewitching, Quiet Canon raises proudly the ingenuity of its naming. Wonderful synth arches follow each other in a minimalist echo to shape a great musical canon; Steve Roach's canon. Its polyphonic waves awake layers of violins of which the extended bows' caresses are melting in the astral decoration sets by a solitary synth. These wrapping layers carry this night-lullaby in the temple of our dreams and our fantasies. This is another splendid jewel of ambient and meditative music, signed Steve Roach.

I learnt to like the ambient music in the sounds of Steve Roach's synths. The American synthesist composes his music like a poet writes his verses and he put down his inspirations like a painter colors his paintings. Steve Roach created the perfect album of relaxation where the quiet music moves on subtle oscillations and slow implosions of a very melodious and charmingly lyrical synth. After having listened it more than once, QUIET MUSIC: The Original 3-Hour Collection is a monument of ambient and meditative music. There are several jewels on this box-set with 3 hours of ethereal and meditative music that are constantly renewed on very abstract themes. It's considered as a masterpiece in its genre of music and I recommend it strongly.

Sylvain Lupari (October 19th, 2011) *****

Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp

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