Structures From Silence
Mixed Media / Sounds of Silence
"In most yoga classes silence is golden, but these teachers think music can help you hear what you're missing."
In the same breath that they mentiond succumbing to a growing backlash against synthesizer music in favor of acoustic sounds, several teachers cited this purely electronic recording from 1984 as a classic soundtrack for yoga practice. "What I like about Steve Roach's music, particularly this CD," says Todd Norian (of Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Lenox, MA), "is the spaciousness, the gradual quality of transition from sound to sound. It's really seamless, and doesn't draw attention to itself. Roach has a mysterious way of being invisible yet richly present."
Over the past 16 years, Roach has expermiented with complicated electro-acoustic mixes, ambitious sampling, and thorny rhythms (as on his recent LIGHT FANTASTIC). But here he sticks to purely synthesized computer sounds that slowly pulse in and out of the speakers like the most relaxed breathing you have ever heard. A close relative of ambient music, STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE makes good on its name, achieving more dynamic momentum that such ambient archetypes as Brian Eno's MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS.
Although amorphous to the max, it nonetheless creates the illusion of architectural shapes assembling themselves from basic cosmic elements. Elongated melodies stretch out like silver threads; lushly harmonized chrods overlap one another like a series of gentle waves spilling onto the shore. Trying to discern any intrinsic emotional content in the great swells of sound or calculate the mathematical relationships between notes would be like trying to psychoanalyze the sea or count its individual drops of water. Roach's three meditative compositions – "Quiet Friend," "Structures from Silence," and "Reflections in Suspension" – transcend typical musical standards and set their own requirements for deep listening.