Artist: Robert Rich
Album: Sunyata

Label: Hypnos

HypnosSunyata   Robert Rich
Sunyata was originally released as an audio cassette in 1982 and was the first solo recording by Robert Rich. Much to his credit, the then 19 year old Rich had realized an album that pre-dated by several years the now well-explored realm of the ambient soundworld.

More theory than technique, Sunyata was Rich's demonstration of "music's role as a psychoactive stimulus". It was hoped that the extended pieces "could encourage an altered state of consciousness". These ideas were brought into the world at the legendary "Sleep Concerts" that were at the beginning of Rich's journey into the sound current.

On Sunyata, Rich provides the listener with "an intense, slow encompassing sound". Layers of drones mixed with environmental sources evolve by degrees not along a linear path, but further into the space occupied by the listener. The music is absorbed rather than heard. With no defined movements, sections or phases, the soundscapes provide a true ambient experience. Whether present while asleep, distracted, focused or on the periphery of consciousness, Sunyata serves its state varying purpose.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   15 November 2000

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