Whenever Jeff Pearce visits STAR'S END Ambient Radio he does not just take to the airwaves, he transforms them. His fifth such juncture on 8 October 2017 overcame all modern obstacles to deep focus to realize a substantial hour-long atmospheric soundworld. Rooted deeply in the key of space his Path to Returning (61'37") presents this live-to-air STAR'S END session. Improvised in a form of music in need of decoding, Pearce's free-spirited weightless work quietly flows from the joy of playing. Sounds floating with perceived gravity, mass and scale attempt to portray all that is intangible and transient. The two lengthy tracks reach the dreaming mind, known for its inherent opposition to the constraints of rationality and sensibility, where it harmonizes with the infinite. His superstar, super-sized soundscape soloing provides us with an impressive range of subdued notes and shaded moods. Surrendering to the stillness we unmoor ourselves from conventional ways of listening. Path to Returning builds slowly, because its author is realizing a different kind of world. Issuing a round silvery beam of cool tones, Pearce's processed electric guitar breathes warmly in easily engaging curving contours. Further on, in a restless mood, Pearce transmits from somewhere out ahead. Once you tune into his restrained aesthetic the subtle shifts become more forceful - and fuels our journey to the future. Composed in an expanded minimalistic style, this continuously lulling long-form piece gently drifts through Ambient realms. A quieter, sustaining experiment, it takes its time developing its idea. Moving gently through our sleep, over an audience tending toward the beautiful, mysterious and meaningful Path to Returning shares its secrets - on soft wings of sound, across vast distances of thought.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END - 11 May 2023