James Johnson - The Butterfly Chamber
TRACK LISTING (with MP3 sample clips)
The Citadel - mp3 download
Hall of Radiance - mp3 download
Through the Resonance Field - mp3 download
Incensario - mp3 download
Tepantitla - mp3 download
The Butterfly Chamber - mp3 download
House of Mist - mp3 download
Reviews"In rare cases, two strangers may become aquainted merely through the act of listening to a record album. On The Butterfly Chamber, James Johnson offers to us freely the brilliant gleem of his intimate and universal sonic story. His musical devices create distance as well as common ground with Johnson here aimlessly wandering across the thin borders between Ambient, Quiet Music and New Age. Dreamy and languid, fragile and delicate, the airy pieces on The Butterfly Chamber seem likely to colapse inward were it not for the undertow of current gentley tugging them along.
Johnson's key musical elements are his churning synthesizer textures, field recordings and nomadic piano playing style. The Butterfly Chamber benefits from the introduction of reverberant acoustic guitar on "The Citadel" and subtle violin meditations on "Hall of Radiance" and "Tepantitla". The mysteriously insinuating melodies waft gracefully into the listening space over peripheral variations in ambience. The accompanying harmonies and gorgeous, liquid phrasing of this album bring to mind the stillness in the murmmer of a warm night or the gentle transformation of twilight's diurnal mediation. The seven tracks are noticably shorter than on past releases and seem more focused, but still succeed in communicating the same dreamy images, at the same pace, in however less time. Unlike the ramblings and laboriousness of post-"Music for Airports" attempts, The Butterfly Chamber is not focused on the destination of the musical voyage nor the details of the trip, but on the simple idea of motility."
--Chuck Van Zyl, Star's End Radio
"Pensive, but pleasantly so, The Citadel is constructed of thoughtfully placed guitar strands (with help of Chris Short), rising amid breezy synth Ephemera. Susan Johns' violin strings stretch across the faint-though-expansive ceiling of the Hall of Radiance, joined by patient piano notes. Dreamy undulations of piano/synth softly unfurl across Incensario (13:10) caressed by light, steamy breezes; an incredible floatation. Johnson leisurely casts sparkling notes into a pool of droning resonance in The Butterfly Chamber. Surrounded by the evening-evoking sounds of crickets and perhaps a crackling fire, House of Mist (5:06) emits sparse twinkles into a captivatingly serene night sky (subtly laced with vocal chant samples from Robert Scott Thompson).
Bathe in the preternaturally subdued ear visions which flow from the butterfly chamber; James Johnson expertly applies just enough "ordinary" instrumentation to his amorphous musical Ephemera, all at a stunningly relaxed pace. Very nice... A.
-- © David J Opdyke / AmbiEntrance