Released in March 2016 as a digital-only title, there was enough demand that we’ve printed a 300-piece limited edition CD.
This electronic/ambient release is Erik Wøllo’s 2015 live performance at the late-night Star’s End radio show on WXPN in Philadelphia. This is a long-form, introspective 60-minute piece with thirteen sections of enigmatic textural components organically flowing into each other. Eschewing the melody and harmony found in Wøllo’s studio work, Star’s End 2015 is an intricate expression of ambience and this artist’s potent skills at creating space and ever-expanding sound-universes.
The concept of the “Silent Currents” project showcases a different side of Erik Wøllo’s sound. More abstract, quiet and minimal, it explores slow-motion structures, surreal soundscapes and floating currents. It’s all live, all new material every time. This show was Erik’s fourth Star’s End performance; the previous three released on the double CD Silent Currents/Live at Star’s End (Projekt PRO262, 2011), and Silent Currents 3 (Projekt ARC00100, 2013).
The artist says, “I bring various sonic excerpts, loops and atmospheres and perform and compose these into long continuous sections all in real time. I think the interesting things happen below the surface where everything has a slow, suspended character. Like a deep river flowing unnoticed, motion happening in the undercurrents, or tidal water flowing in the opposite direction of the top flow. These ideas have been substantial in the composing of this music.”
Mesmerizing parts stream seamlessly and morph into dreamlike episodes, evoking endless space with downtempo grooves, soaring guitars, spatial explorations and bubbly sequences all moving very slowly and imperceptibly, drifting from one zone to the other. The aspect of time grows more and more apparent. The compositions evolve and curl, criss-crossing among elongated morphic pulsations and occasional sparse percussion; Wøllo’s trademark ebow soars above sequential movements with abstract chords alternating in succession.
On Star’s End 2015 Wøllo descends into himself, realizing music completely in the moment. A truly subterranean sonic adventure!
Release date: August 19 2016
Join our Erik Wøllo eList
No spam. Just an email when there’s a new album from Erik.
Reviews Editor –
From Synth & Sequences
Between the borders of a land of ice and the most white petit point in the horizons of the cosmos, a big humming roams while being flogged by the bites of sound stars. Heavy, this ambiospherical introduction opens Erik Wollo’s the last performance at the famous Star’s End radio show of 2015. This time, the Scandinavian electronic bard makes counterweight to Silent Currents 3 by spreading an immense mosaic of soundscapes where the breezes of the North and their haloes of hoarfrost infiltrate the whispers of the caves of ice. Star’s End 2015 (Silent Currents 4) is doubtless the most quiet show of the series with linear and minimalist synth lines which intertwine their slow ambient arcs with some fine astral modulations in their caresses. We can hear the cosmos buzzing peacefully here as well as a thick cloud of seraphic voices, sometimes even a choir, which get lost in the hollow winds whistled by the high ice-cold tops. The whole thing forges immense sound waves which always leave cosmic residues before returning in cosmos.
Layers of more seraphic voices swallow their rollings at around the 20th minute, freeing a more bright corridor where cavort crystal clear keys which wait only for a shadow of rhythm in order to take life. These small sequenced pearls gambol around and seem to shiver in the cold underground rivers of the Scandinavian caves, except that their brightness is too weak to make take out the rhythm of its den of serenity. It’s as peaceable than soothing. The movement remains black and crumbles its minutes to the meter while that quite slowly is spreading the night over the shadows of Wollo in the studios of Star’s End on WXPN-FM in Philadelphia. We arrive at the point of 30 minutes and the hollow breezes put on their wings another tone. That of a guitar that Erik Wollo caresses slowly with an Ebow, forging tears which get lost in our sense of hearing as were the ones of a synth. A suspended river makes its bed of sequences glittering which is singing with the sighs of the Ebow and this fusion of voice and of breezes which decorate the ambiences of “Silent Currents 4”. A structure of minimalist rhythm makes skip the waterfall of sequences, structuring so an ambient rhythm which rings and resounds in layers of distant voices and in the shadows of the six-strings. This brief phase of aerial rhythm is swallowed by the anger of the winds which scold such as a distant machine of the cosmos, preparing the rather tribal rhythm which brings us to 50th minute. It’s another short phase which fades out in rustles and in these immense layers of winds which accompany this quiet travel of our subconscious fed on serenity in the valley of Erik Wollo’s silent currents. -Sylvain Lupari
Reviews Editor –
From Ambient Blog
This hour-long live-set, originally recorded for the Star’s End radio show on Philadelphia’s WXPN, shows a somewhat different side of Erik Wøllo. On his Silent Currents series (which are all live-sets for Star’s End, by the way), Wøllo explores the more abstract, minimal side of ambient soundscapes.
This is ‘classic’ ambient, firmly rooted in the ambient music of the seventies’ (but without the sequenced arpeggio’s.)
“I think the interesting things happen below the surface where everything has a slow, suspended character. Like a deep river flowing unnoticed, motion happening in the undercurrents, or tidal water flowing in the opposite direction of the top flow.”
Reviews Editor –
From Star’s End
On the 10.11.15 broadcast of STAR’S END, Erik Wøllo renewed his membership among the exclusive aural explorers of infinity. As the deep of night moved across Philadelphia, Wøllo performed his fourth live to air radio set. Silent Currents 4 (60’13”) is the album of his quiet concert for those listening in repose. During these late-night sonic excursions, time, for the musician, seems longer and wider. Each vignette builds slowly, performed with perfect assurance, flowing beautifully across this hour-long realization. While themes emerge out of an alien soundscape, a soft breeze of synth strings gives shape to the listener’s mental imagery. Wøllo’s keyboard and guitar fantasy rises and falls in gentle arcs – which establishes an interesting compositional contour.
Although quite atmospheric its lushly appointed details, nebulous melodies and shifting harmonies provide Silent Currents 4 with enough emotionally resonant content so as to engage a sleeping listener, or benefit one who is asleep. Metal strings bend, breath and bloom in cavernous reverberation. Rushing currents give way to careful manipulation of textures. Vibrant electronic chords move from the deep-toned to the light and radiant – accompanied all the while by a vague stratum of modulated effects or metamorphosing samples. As we near the end of our drift, the energy level increases. A soft, cycling pulse enters our listening space – which adds a point of punctuation to the wireless dream of Silent Currents 4. Erik Wøllo makes these onward contributions to the airwaves because he understands the value of these performances – for the audience and for himself. This liminal zone can reveal to us the workings and relations of the conscious and the unconscious mind. How unique, for such a broad range of humanity to simultaneously meet in such a realm. A musician in constant progress, an artist always being perfected, Erik Wøllo maintains a warm heartbeat, beneath all the digital flash. -Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END