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Ariel Kalma, Jeremiah Chiu & Marta Sofia Honer – The Closest Thing to Silence (2024) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Ariel Kalma, Jeremiah Chiu & Marta Sofia Honer – The Closest Thing to Silence (2024)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 46:26 minutes | 556 MB | Genre: New Age, Progressive Electronic, Nu Jazz, Ambient
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © International Anthem

The resonant saxophone tones that open The Closest Thing to Silence ensure that the listener is going to get an “ambient” album from this trio that is not really concerned with getting too close to silence at all. Instead, this unique collaboration finds these three musicians crafting dynamic and immersive electronic music that embraces null space as an equal element to digital and analog instrumentation. Of course, none of the trio are known for their saxophone playing. Ariel Kalma is a now-iconic, once-forgotten New Age composer and musician, while Jeremiah Chiu and Marta Sofia Honer are improvisational collaborators who mainly work with modular synths and stringed instruments, respectively. They met initially as part of a 2022 edition of BBC Radio 3’s “Late Junction” series that connects artists who have never worked together to create new music. Kalma selected Chiu and Honer and though part of what they created was broadcast on the program, the three continued building on that initial collaboration with additional material that combined improvisation, tape manipulation, and even archival materials from Kalma’s ’70s work. The result is a fascinating and expansive album whose approach and effect is best exemplified on “Écoute Au Loin,” where those initial, spectral saxophone sounds re-emerge in a circular, cyclical insistence that evokes Philip Glass minimalism but is far more enveloping and rough-edged. The song abruptly includes some in-studio samples of Kalma talking, which splits the piece into two distinct, suite-like phases. “Une Ombre Légère” is one of the few moments of truly spacey sound here, four-and-a-half minutes of diaphanous soundscape and a meandering half-melody that dissolves—enticingly and frustratingly—into a sea of temple bells. Other tracks are deceptively “ambient” in name only. “Stay Centered” seems designed to help the listener do exactly that, using modular synth patterns, meditation bells, and faint found sounds to generate a warm and diffuse environment, yet also one that, like “Breathing in Three Orbits,” is built not to disappear into the background, but to bring one’s attention forward. – Jason Ferguson

1-1. Ariel Kalma – Ten Hour Wave (03:25)
1-2. Ariel Kalma – Breathing in Three Orbits (Intro) (00:45)
1-3. Ariel Kalma – Breathing in Three Orbits (05:59)
1-4. Ariel Kalma – The Closest Thing to Silence (03:52)
1-5. Ariel Kalma – Dizzy Ditty (04:33)
1-6. Ariel Kalma – Une Ombre Légère (04:23)
1-7. Ariel Kalma – New Air (02:25)
1-8. Ariel Kalma – Écoute Au Loin (06:02)
1-9. Ariel Kalma – A Treasure Chest (06:12)
1-10. Ariel Kalma – Stay Centered (02:15)
1-11. Ariel Kalma – Stack Attack (06:29)


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