2 Mystical Meanderings
3 Portal 48
4 Sounds of Awareness
5 Mythic Momentum
6 A Dynamic Presence
7 Symbiotic Reflections
8 Ancestral Resonance
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Limited edition of 500
Genres: ethnological ambient, meditation, inner space music
resonance (noun): reverberation of sound; a feeling, thought, or memory that a piece of music or writing invokes in a listener or reader.
In their first-ever collaboration, master ethno-percussionists and veteran ambient composers Byron Metcalf and Shane Morris align their cultivated powers to conjure an evocative soundworld for rhythmic ancient-future “travel.” A time-bending weave of layers of pulsing percussion (bells, drums, gongs, shakers, and ceremonial rattles), flowing flutes, didgeridoo, and shimmering synthesizer vignettes form the multicultural tapestry of soul-stirring sound. Ancestral Resonance moves off the beaten path into a mysterious and shadowy sonic world of slow-pulse night sky dreams and hypnotic invocations designed to activate the echo of primal memory at the cellular level.
With a mutual sensitivity to past, present, and future dimensions of the Seen and Unseen Worlds, and a shared resonance as seasoned ‘psychonauts,’ Metcalf and Morris guide us deep into the domain of the ancestors.
We are the dreams of the ancestors.
– Darion Kuma Gracen (1949-2007)
Ancestral Resonance is an electrifying collaboration which took hold within the generational span of the composers and converges in a powerful rhythmic echo of something deep — something ancient and abiding within. This echo is a resonance of the messages, lessons, knowledge of sacred alignments, and the presence of memory and inspiration that beckons the soul. With a cultivated and refined sensitivity to the inner mystery, Metcalf and Morris uncover the ancestral realm of mythic awareness and mystical wonderment.
Byron Metcalf is an award-winning musician and recording artist, shamanic practitioner and ceremonial leader. Metcalf’s career spans over 5 decades and covers a wide variety of musical styles and genres. His extensive music catalog is designed to support the transformational arts and is used throughout the world for meditation practices, shamanic journeying, breathwork, various therapy approaches, dance and inspired movement and psychedelic exploration.
Shane Morris is a multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, and film composer creating dark tribal ambient and experimental electronica using acoustic, electro-acoustic, and digital instruments. Morris has been producing solo music since 2008, released on numerous labels notably Spotted Peccary.
Reviews Editor –
From Darkroom Magazine
We have spoken several times about the Arizona percussionist Byron Metcalf, a veteran of the scene, on the occasion of some of his many collaborations with Projekt, such as those with Steve Roach, Erik Wøllo and Mark Seelig, and this time alongside him we find the expert composer ambient and multi-instrumentalist Shane Morris, hailing from Arkansas. In this first collaboration of theirs, cemented by obvious sound affinities, the two field, in addition to synths, a large set of percussions (drums, bells, gongs, congas and many others, particular and from the most disparate cultures) and winds ( including the characteristic didgeridoo and the unmistakable Navajo flute), already paying homage to a vast cultural, spiritual and ancestral panorama from the instrumentation used. As the notes inside the essential digipack (produced in 500 copies) underline, “resonance” is not only a sound reverberation, but also a sound, a thought, a sensation or a memory that a piece of music or writing evokes in a listener or reader.
That of the work in question is profoundly ancestral, as the title suggests, as it is linked to a past that lives inexorably in that sort of “common spirit” that leads us all back to a hidden spiritual dimension. Between ethnic rhythms and settings full of mysticism, ritual cycles and highly meditative sound captions, the eight tracks of the work shine for their evocative power, rhythmic creativity, variety in solutions, intensity and, last but not least, an audio quality that allows fully enjoy the many exquisite details, melodic as well as percussive. Rarely do you hear such stimulating works in a genre in which it doesn’t take much to fall into the already heard, ending up appended to that ambient/new age/world music with well-defined, safe and predictable outlines. Honor to the two artists, immediately able to complement each other and to masterfully develop a common vision which, while paying a strong tribute to ancestral musicality, manages to bring a breath of freshness, both in the modalities and in the final result. Definitely recommended, especially for those who still know how to “immerse themselves” in a disc. -Roberto Alessandro Filippozzi
Del percussionista dell’Arizona Byron Metcalf, veterano della scena, abbiamo parlato più volte in occasione di alcune fra le sue molte collaborazioni in casa Projekt, come quelle con Steve Roach, Erik Wøllo e Mark Seelig, e stavolta ad affiancarlo troviamo l’esperto compositore ambient e polistrumentista Shane Morris, proveniente dall’Arkansas. In questa loro prima collaborazione, cementata da evidenti affinità sonore, i due mettono in campo, oltre ai synth, un ampio corredo di percussioni (tamburi, campane, gong, congas e tante altre, particolari e dalle più disparate culture) e di fiati (fra cui il caratteristico didgeridoo e l’inconfondibile flauto Navajo), omaggiando già dalla strumentazione impiegata un vasto panorama culturale, spirituale ed ancestrale. Come sottolineano le note interne all’essenziale digipack (prodotto in 500 esemplari), la “risonanza” non è solo un riverbero sonoro, ma anche un suono, un pensiero, una sensazione o un ricordo che un pezzo musicale o uno scritto evoca in un ascoltatore o lettore.
Quella del lavoro in esame è profondamente ancestrale, come vuole il titolo, in quanto legata ad un passato che vive inesorabilmente in quella sorta di “spirito comune” che ci riconduce tutti ad una recondita dimensione spirituale. Fra ritmi etnici ed ambientazioni dense di misticismo, ciclicità rituali e didascalie sonore ad alto tasso meditativo, le otto tracce dell’opera brillano per potenza evocativa, creatività ritmica, varietà nelle soluzioni, intensità e, non da meno, una qualità audio che permette di godere fino in fondo dei molti squisiti dettagli, melodici come percussivi. Raramente si sentono lavori così stimolanti in un genere nel quale basta poco per scadere nel già sentito, finendo accodati a quell’ambient/new age/world music dai contorni ben definiti, sicuri e prevedibili. Onore ai due artisti, subito capaci di completarsi a vicenda e di mettere a punto con maestria una visione comune che, pur pagando un forte tributo alla musicalità ancestrale, riesce a portare una ventata di freschezza, tanto nelle modalità come nel risultato finale. Decisamente consigliato, specie per chi sa ancora “immergersi” in un disco. -Roberto Alessandro Filippozzi
Reviews Editor –
From Synth & Sequences
A very solid album and a must for fans of the genre
An artistic union between Byron Metcalf and Shane Morris is sure to excite fans of tribal-style electronic music (EM) with a hint of dark psybient in its musical panoramas. While the American shaman and master of acoustic percussion needs no introduction, Shane Morris is a lesser-known artist with a solid track record in ethnic music that draws its richness from a variety of sampling sources collected in natural environments. His track record includes more than 30 albums, including collaborations with Frore and Mystified in a series of albums where Jurassic universes challenge our curiosity. The two musicians unite their visions in an amazing musical adventure where the richness of one gives a new dimension to the ingenuity of the other. Available as a download and as a 6-panel CD Digipack, Ancestral Resonance activates our neurons with all the richness of the 2 musicians’ acoustic percussion, structuring passive and animated trance rhythms in a sonic panorama that far surpasses Byron Metcalf’s more desertic ones. When the visions of the first people of our universe meet the dominance of those more current, that can only give an album whose extent exceeds our expectations. A very beautiful realization of the American label Projekt Records which will be released tomorrow, February 3rd, 2023.
A breath of a misty savannah is at the origin of Spectrum of Possibilities. The first beats of the percussion orient the music towards a dramatic portion, but especially initiates the arrival of the shamanic bells. Other acoustic drums hatch in clusters before structuring a passive trance rhythm. And that sense of hearing those drums flooding our listening room is as ubiquitous here as it is on the other albums by the Arizona percussionist and sculptor of meditative moods. A short fluty tune rises, the first bastion of another charming element that will help cement our listening to this first Metcalf/Morris collaboration. Moreover, the sound of the Arkansas musician’s synthesizers is easily guessed with nebulous arabesques that crisscross the quiet rhythm of Spectrum of Possibilities. Also, the presence of Shane Morris brings a thin cabalistic layer, weaving a discreet dramatic web, in the universe of Byron Metcalf. She injects this effect into the opening of Mystical Meanderings, a more atmospheric and meditative track covered by synth shadows, metallic haze and twilight glows. The arrangements also bring a more cinematic vision to the present work of this new duo. The dull beats and the agitated dance of the ceremonial bells surprise after this quiet title, shaking Portal 48 of a frenetic rhythm which is finely slowed down by synth waves hovering like dark threats. We are in the spells of the Byron Metcalf universe who hammers our ears here with a fascinating and very catchy part of acoustic percussions. These percussions resonate and roll from one eardrum to the other, like a rhythmic river, annihilating any chance of a nanosecond of tranquility. The muffled beats of a bass-drum help to accentuate the illusion of a meditative trance. It’s downright spellbinding! As much for the legs as for the mind.
On the other hand, a track like the very ambient Sounds of Awareness comes straight out of Shane Norris’ visions of Jurassic ambiences. One hears samplings of a nature which remains to be defined in a moment of sound happening well dictated by the percussions of the Arizonan shaman. If the percussions thunder with enthusiasm in Mythic Momentum, the ceremonial rattling diminishes it. The rhythm is thus slow. Like a percussion beast, it watches our senses. Accentuating its flow little by little, it stimulates a trance around an imaginary fire where vipers rub shoulders with diurnal specters. The synth multiplies the sound arabesques which come and go to melt and thus obscure a panorama well detailed by subtle samplings. Perhaps a bit more energetic, A Dynamic Presence is easily comparable to Portal 48 with a much more creative set of percussion, and percussive effects, here. The guttural winds of the didgeridoo and those synth shadows lamenting like disowned specters as well as an organic language are among the sonic elements that accentuate the charms of this frenetic trance. The percussion work is also more sculptural in the very ambient and atmospheric Symbiotic Reflections. The fluty sound of the synths is not really omnipresent in this album. The fact that our ears meet its full splendor in the title-track enhances the interest for this purely meditative track that concludes this other musical spell to come out of the Projekt Records label.
It is to be wished that this Ancestral Resonance is only the beginning of a long collaboration between these two American icons of ethnic ambiences music. Byron Metcalf, like Shane Morris, enriches the sound and musical vocabulary, already very fleshed out, of the one and the other. The two artists complement each other wonderfully in an album that is more musical for Byron, and more animated for Shane. It’s the best of both worlds that charm our ears with sonic frescoes where the percussions activate our senses, and the mythical abstruse secrets cover them with an aura of spiritual mysteries. A must for fans of the genre! Rating: 4/5 -Sylvain Lupari
Reviews Editor –
A bridge between ancient tribal sounds and the mystical dreams of the present, this first collaboration between ambient composers Byron Metcalf (hand drums, rattles, shakers, spirit winds) and Shane Morris (synthesizers, Navajo flute, talking drum, shakers, udu, didjeridoo, gongs, berimbau, bells, handpan, congas) offers a starting point that hopefully will result in ongoing developments and future endeavors. While Metcalf’s work as a sideman goes all the way back to the mid-70s, his interest in tribal and shamanic sounds began in the 90s, with numerous collaborations with the likes of Steve Roach, Mark Seelig, Jack Coddington, Erik Wøllo, and others, as well as several unique and engaging solo releases. Multi-instrumentalist Shane Morris has been plying his craft for the last fifteen years or so through a number of solo recordings and collaborations with the likes of Thomas Park (Mystified), Disturbed Earth (Dean Richards), Frore (Paul Caspar), and others.
Needless to say, the focus of Ancestral Resonance is squarely on tribal percussive sounds, the synthesizers merely adding textural elements that swell and breathe under the roadbed of drums, rattles, gongs, bells, and shakers. The effect is dreamy and quixotic, each of the eight long tracks offering a shadowy path through the dark moonlit night, with echoes of mysticism and exotic power that echo primal and hypnotic emotions from deep in the soul. Where they are heard, the clay flutes and didgeridoo offer even further ties to ancient emotions, following the visionary depths of past experience. Every additional spin offers further insights into a hidden secret world known only to our distant ancestors. A brilliant and epic journey through the past. -Peter Thelen