Artist: Robert Rich
Album: Calling Down the Sky

Label: Soundscapes

Calling Down the Sky Robert Rich
Calling Down the Sky (74'00") was recorded live during Robert Rich's North American concert tour of Summer 2003. This beautiful performance moves between eight distinct renderings of Rich's smoothly cerebral and biotic music. His intermingling of electronic sound sources, acoustic instruments and environmental field recordings produces an atmosphere that is calm but never peaceful. These elements create an intriguing, expressive whole. Coaxing beautiful tones from his steel guitar - from those plucked sharp and bright to others that slither and slide in a slow serpentine glissando - Rich's strings breathe and resound throughout a reverberant gloaming landscape. Elsewhere, breathy bamboo flute tones float feebly above a torrent of churning synth drones. Accompanied by glimmering wind chimes, warm synth murmerings rise and fall with varying intensity in the short faint light. Each track portrays an aspect of Rich's inner stillness. The album creeps slowly along as the narratives of the extended improvisations seamlessly insinuate themselves one into the next. These quiet moments radiate emotional waves that seem to go on forever, bearing a sound of remarkable and consoling beauty.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   26 February 2004