- Disk One 72.46
- Birth of Still Places 40:28 | MP3 excerpt
- Long Tide 19:41 | MP3 excerpt
- A Darker Light 7:34 | MP3 excerpt
- Opening Sky 5:06 | MP3 excerpt
Architects of Stillness
by John Diliberto, Echoes Radio, May 2009
I’ve been listening to some beautifully serene music lately. Not beautiful in the pretty sense, but in the sweep of the music, and not serene in the New Age relaxing sense, but in the almost aggressive focus and attention to detail. It started recently with Steve Roach’s Dynamic Stillness. The title itself speaks to that aspect of intense quietude I’m trying to articulate. The album harkens back to his classic Structures from Silence, a long-form composition of long-form tones, undulating out across a desert plain, but with tension that only comes from music that flies, but still retains the knowledge that you can fall. It’s scary up there.
About the album:
Dynamic Stillness is a vast work that developed over a three year period, evolving in its own time alongside the many other releases Steve created at that time. These eight tracks reach into a realm of amorphous soundworlds filled with a sense of unresolved expansion and mystery, blooming into cloud-like form. The opening for these pieces was accessed through long periods of solitude at Steve’s high desert studio and beyond. This environment was essential for informing the inner breath of this work, revealing a mastery within the art of original sound creation, bold harmonic structures, silence and sonic space.
“A moving meditation on the quiet power inherent in vast spaces. Roach has come back around to the slow-motion terraforming of soundworlds that seem to go on forever, pulling skeins of light through layers of cloud to describe gorgeous imaginary landscapes. Reminiscent of the sighing, beatless drifts of Dream Circle and Magnificent Void in its blend of soul-surrounding calm edged with dramatic tension, Dynamic Stillness is Roach at his contemplative best, a sure and silent guide coaxing us to follow him into the endless realms inside ourselves.” – John Shanahan, Hypnagogue
“Mysteriously beautiful, ambient electronic waveforms bridging panorama and parsec. The singularities guiding Roach’s hand are now unquestionable — this is breathtaking stuff.” – Darren Bergstein
“Dynamic Stillness presents ambient-electronic pioneer Steve Roach in the deep end of the pure atmospheric, rhythmless soundscape genre. Across the 2-CD release, amorphous shifting sonics glide in a phenomenal flow, highly cohesive and yet ever-changing. Dynamic Stillness indeed! These eight long-form tracks (140 minutes in all) undulate softly and slowly, radiating light even as darkness hovers along the edges. It’s an album of subtle pieces, more often than not with emphasis on the stillness as opposed to the dynamics. Disc two’s closing ‘Canyon Stillness’ plays like a dark inversion of ‘Structures From Silence.’ A cold breeze blows through it all like a black mist. After so much softness it makes for a surprisingly chilling, engaging finish.” – Phil Derby, Electroambient Space