Artist: The Aeolian String Ensemble
Album: Eclipse

Released: 20 December 2004
Label: Robot

Listening to Eclipse (44'15") by The Aeolian String Ensemble with the knowledge that a windharp is one of its sound sources may make some difference to the listener. This instrument, typically positioned outdoors, frames a series of taut strings that are "played" by whatever wind, breeze or gale which might find its way over them. The resulting sound varies depending on the harp's positioning and location as well as the surroundings and weather conditions. The drones mingle with the ambiance of the environment in most interesting ways, which makes it difficult to point out precisely what makes this work so profound. The three tracks are a combination of recordings made in the field and studio manipulations of these recordings. The first two act as a prelude to the third and final piece, which is the title track. Eclipse (16'48") was realized within the shadow of a total solar eclipse. Although this work is the most minimal, subtle and least active of the three ambient pieces on this album, it is surely the most powerful. Layers of sustaining warm tones slowly gather, build and recede in a lulling and harmonious infinite moment. This work is a fascinating portrayal of stillness, yet it was created during the one celestial event where we as humans can sense the movement of the earth through space.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   15 December 2005

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