Artist: Arc
Album: Rise

Released: 29 December 2009
Label: DiN/DDL

Rise Arc
In November 2009 Ian Boddy and Mark Shreeve came to Philadelphia to perform as Arc at The Gatherings Concert Series. Immediately after their concert at St. Mary's church they were brought to WXPN studios to make more music - live on STAR'S END Ambient radio. The resulting release is called Rise (57'33") and shows this duo exercising their capabilities for symbolism, imagination and creativity. Rise was realized in a simple arresting style. Basic in construction but powerful in content, the music itself is timeless in its striking purity. Covering three sections, this poem for amassed electronic instruments begins quietly - immersing the listener in space. A dreamy blend of immaculately crafted sounds, the opening negative space is more than merely an area between two positive points. Meant to provoke reflection, the swirl of frenzied action and its spiritual transport begin an unfolding experience rather than a journey with a destination. A lone Mellotron flute reverberates across an undulating expanse of rumbling drones and blossoming synthesizer tones. The widening abyss fills with drama as a vast cosmic choir mysteriously ascends. It is here that the music very nearly abandons any tonal relationships as the sound collage stretches out to and back from abstraction. Creeping to its conclusion, the opening assembly of sound gives way to vivid sonic accents atop urgent sequencer patterns. The inventive interlocking rhythm shifts with each new inversion. Synth lead lines and thick string pads soar in turn as the music reaches a maximum of possible dimensions. As the grandiose edifice of sound fades the two performing demons will themselves to the last note. There is more to this concert than spacing out. The men who made this music are in this music - attending to their own inner theater. Shreeve and Boddy make us believe that we have not just listened to their work, but lived it.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   28 January 2010

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