Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Paul Ellis - "I Am Here" CD

Taking cues from the analogue electronic space music of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Jean-Michael Jarre, veteran American composer Ellis here crafts a series of three extended soundscapes that honor the ancient Chinook people and a small island Ellis recently discovered that holds a very mystical allure.

Beginning with the 20-minute "She Who Watches", Ellis' constructs complex and shimmery rhythmic electronic spaces -- percolating sequences, deep synth textures, and dabblings in melody that don't point to pop-song structures, but to celestial expanses. "Chinook Wind" follows, and is another 20 minutes of wispy and fleeting synth-strings, bells, and chimings that are simultaneously elegant, mysterious, and amorphous. At about the 12 minute mark, it opens up to lovely strings and flowing water. This, for me, is a crescendo of "I Am Here". Just lovely.

The final track, the 29-minute "I Am On An Island In The Columbia River", evolves from flowing Berlin-style sequencer-driven sounds to space ambience. It's a beautiful journey that Ellis has created with "I Am Here", and I'm glad to have taken a ride.

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