Rafael Anton Irisarri "The North Bend" CD
I don't know why, but Rafael Anton Irisarri, in Seattle, Washington, based composer, remained undeservingly unknown to me for a very long time, what a mistake on my side! Now, after having discovered his two full length albums, "Daydreaming" and "The North Bend", I would like to focus on his latest album on Australian label Room40, run by Lawrence English.
I must say "The North Bend" is a quite big surprise to me when comparing to blissful "Daydreaming", on which mainly majestic piano and few electronics played their main roles. After stunning debut Rafael enters with his second album into more droning and immersing experimental soundworlds with hidden modern classical ingredients. Yes, the overall mood is this time much closer to deep atmospheric ambient and it works more than efficiently with the main influence on this album, with the regional and cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Deeper ambient drones step in the forefront since the very beginning of the album, the opener "Passage" shows clearly this direction and it continues with more orchestral masterpiece "Blue Tomorrows", both wonderfully complex and evocative compositions. The next "A Great Northern Sigh" is centered more around the processed field recordings (maybe some kind of bird calls?), but it still keeps its emotional warmness. "Traces" with nicely disturbing hiss is another deeply absorbing orchestral piece, what a journey! But the most highlighting moment comes probably with the closing "Deception Falls", that slowly evolves through never-ending crackle and hiss into the most beautiful, melancholic and textured piece on "The North Bend" and grandiosely closes this magical sonic postcard from the Northwest.
What else to say? Bravó Rafa!!!
Richard Gürtler (Mar 25, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)
Explore "The North Bend" here...
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