Author Topic: CD release: Various - Echoes of Polyhymnia  (Read 6196 times)

mgriffin

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CD release: Various - Echoes of Polyhymnia
« on: October 24, 2008, 09:56:24 AM »
CD release announcement from Hypnos Recordings
Various artists
Title: Echoes of Polyhymnia
Hypnos Recordings, hyp2855




2008. Polyhymnia was one of the Muses of Greek myth, specifically the Muse of sacred hymn. Echoes of Polyhymnia compiles music in ambient and related genres composed and recorded exclusively by women. This genre is so male-dominated generally that we had a lot of fun gathering interesting ambient sounds, including some works that have one foot in ambient territory and another foot in one of several different, related genres. It covers styles and flavors as diverse as ambient, drone, glitch, vocal collage, goth and electronica.

Hypnos manager (and artist) Lena Griffin curated this specially-themed compilation which gathers an assortment of ambient & atmospheric sound works from around the world. This project reveals a totally new angle on ambient music, more diverse and wide-ranging than all previous ambient compilations from Hypnos. Ranging from ethereal to dark to pretty to spooky to melodic, we think this album displays a solidly worthwhile musical and soundscape content beyond just the curiosity and "I've never seen that before" factor of the theme.

"The nine Muses struck up a lifestirring melody. Polyhymnia, nursingmother of the dance, waved her arms and sketched in the air an image of a soundless voice, speaking with hands and moving eyes in a graphic picture of silence full of meaning." --The Dionysiaca of Nonnus

Track listing with mp3 sample clips:
1. Margaret Noble: "Nufon" mp3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-v-eop-01.mp3
2. Stellaria Fennica: "Hibernia" mp3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-v-eop-02.mp3
3. Kristin Miltner: "Slew Wave" mp3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-v-eop-03.mp3
4. Clarissa Borba: "Floating Tones" mp3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-v-eop-04.mp3
5. Sara Ayers: "There Was No More Time" mp3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-v-eop-05.mp3
6. Rose Bolton: "An Unheard Message" mp3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-v-eop-06.mp3
7. Gydja: "Wave-Particle Duality" mp3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-v-eop-07.mp3
8. The Floating World: "Kanam" mp3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-v-eop-08.mp3
9. K. Cornelius: "Of The Ancients" mp3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-v-eop-09.mp3
10. Lena Griffin: "She Forgot, She Dreamed" mp3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-v-eop-10.mp3

You can purchase  Echoes of Polyhymnia directly from Hypnos for $12.99 here:
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyp2855
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

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Re: CD release: Various - Echoes of Polyhymnia
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2008, 01:47:11 PM »
Here's a bit of information about the participants, which was left out of this initial announcement.

THE ARTISTS

Margaret Noble - This experimental sound artist performs with analogue hardware, turntables and toys.... more info at margaretnoble.net

Stellaria Fennica - This project, the alter ego of Mari Aho of Sweden, records atmospheric and melodic ambient with elements of electronica. The songs combine sorrowful piano parts with gloomy string combinations, together with dynamic drum sections carrying experimental touches

Kristin Miltner - Kristin Miltner makes music primarily with computers. A great deal of it involves her incredible voice, and she is a great keyboard player as well. She also plays in a duo called "miba,"with electronic musician and composer Mark Bartscher.

Clarissa Borba - Clarissa Borba is a percussionist who works with sound experimentation and unconventional ways of playing percussion instruments, vibraphone and marimba. She has a Master's Degree in Percussion Performance from the East Carolina University and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Miami, and resides in France

Sara Ayers - Sara Ayers creates unflinchingly intimate soundscapes using her voice: sampled, layered, looped and pitch-shifted. Combined with occasional guitar washes and a warm bedrock of molten noise, she creates richly textured sonic atmospheres that vary in tone from the haunting whispers of angels to wall-of-sound banshee wails

Rose Bolton - Grew up in Toronto, where she began her musical training on classical violin and piano. Since studying music at McGill university, she has worked as both a classical and electronic composer, and a fiddler

Gydja - Gydja is the dark ambient/experimental/drone project of graphic designer, video artist, and writer, Abby Helasdottir who is based in New Zealand

The Floating World - This ambient/ experimental musician, real name Amanda Votta, lives in Ontario, Canada

K. Cornelius - A multimedia artist working in music, film/video, installation, performance, and other media. The instruments K. plays range from a whole world of musical territory and studies, including Djembe, Tabla, Doumbek, Darabouka, Frame Drums, Rattles, Waterphone, Sitar, Tanpura, Piano, Guitar, Drum kit, Marimba, Balaphone, Bells, Bowls, Electronics, Found Objects and more

Lena Griffin - This multi-instrumentalist released her debut CD, Extended Gestures for Cello, on Hypnos Secret Sounds in 2007. She resides in Portland, Oregon, works as the full-time manager of Hypnos Recordings, and assembled this collection
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

drone on

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Re: CD release: Various - Echoes of Polyhymnia
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2008, 01:53:28 AM »
Haven't seen many (any?) comments on this CD so thought I'd dive right in with my review.  This one's turning out to be the perfect soundtrack to the fall/winter season, full of melancholy floating watery soundscapes.  The beautiful cover art on this release really fits the music contained within.  Unfortunately, the disc opens with an awful track that annoys rather than soothes, "Nufon" by Margaret Noble.  Didn't quite see how this one fit. Luckily it is only 3 minutes!  Onto track 2, "Hibernia" by Stellaria Fenica.  Now I never would have guessed I'd hear something like this on a Hypnos album, but it's great stuff.  File under "goth ambient."  If you're familiar with the Swedish goth band Arcana,  who are one of the few (IMO) artists to do the Dead Can Dance style with class and originality, this will be right up your alley.  Martial drumbeats, melodic piano, Lisa Gerrard-like vocals, and tons of reverb.  This would have been a much better opening track.  Track 3, "Slew Wave," by Kristin Miltner.  Wow, what a great track.  Think female Saul Stokes, I kid you not!  Drifty experimental ambient w/heavenly processed female vocals.  13 minutes very well spent.  Track 4, "Floating Tones" by Clarissa Borba.  Keeps the "water"' imagery going with what sound like a xylophone and bells. For some reason I think of Harold Budd on this one, perhaps in that it's quite "musical" and a bit avant-garde.  Very  nicely done.  Next up is the Sara Ayers track "There Was No More Time." She's one of the few artists I'd heard of before on this collection.  Some great (female of course)choral voices reminiscent of Eno's "Music for Airports" augmented with beautiful electronic drones.  Definitely one of my favorites on this disc.  "An Unheard Message" by Rose Bolton--we're back in Harold Budd-land with Budd-like piano chords and tinkly flourishes of notes, cello, bells, some Alio Die-infused organic scrapes, and nice effects processing.  Again, quite "musical" like the Borba piece, and again very aquatic sounding.  Next up is Gydja, who I'd heard before with her excellent Mystery Sea release a couple years back.  Nice electronic based soundscape with watery effects, some samples of a female scientist(?) speaking about cosmic rays.  Another very cool track.  "Kanam" by The Floating World (aka Amanda Votta) is a dark ambient stunner done in collaboration with Gustaf Hildebrand (Cyclic Law label). This is some very deep cosmic/organic ambient, Oophoi fans take note.    An amazing track.  "Of the Ancients" by K. Cornelius fuses reverb-drenched bells,  and echoing electronic effects,  reminded me very much of Rapoon/Zoviet France (two very good reference points!)  Another fantastic piece. Finally, we have Lena's "She Forgot, She Dreamed," heavily processed viola piece with a very big Alio Die feel to it.  A great way to close this very psychoactive and meditational album.  This disc is really successful in keeping a theme going (for me, that was water) and moving seamlessly from one track to the next, even though some of the pieces are quite different stylistically.  I am counting "Echoes of Polyhymnia" among my top five of 2008.  Great job, Lena!!!

lena

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Re: CD release: Various - Echoes of Polyhymnia
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 10:43:23 AM »
Thank you!  :)
When I die, I'm leaving my body to science fiction.

hdibrell

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Re: CD release: Various - Echoes of Polyhymnia
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2008, 02:27:41 PM »
I received "Echoes of Polyhymnia" yesterday and have only been able to listen to it once. I agree with Drone On that this a very good release. I used to not care much for compilations, but the recent batch of Hypnos comps have made me change my mind. I look forward to listening to this release a lot more this weekend. I disagree with Drone On , however, about Margeret Noble's track "Nufon". I did enjoy this piece. The second track, "Hibernia" did catch me by surprise , but not in an unpleasant way. All in all, another excellent Hypnos release. Way to go, Lena.    Harry
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lena

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Re: CD release: Various - Echoes of Polyhymnia
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2008, 03:01:26 PM »
Hi Harry, and thank you!

I love Margaret's track too, ( but I loved all the tracks on the album). I wanted it to be really diverse, with the main theme being that we are all female, and that our styles are based somewhere within the realms of ambient music. Funny, isn't it, how much people's tastes vary? How one person will like this song but not that one, and another person will say the exact opposite, (or have completely different likes/dislikes altogether). I'm very interested to hear what others will eventually have to say about it...

~L



« Last Edit: November 07, 2008, 03:07:00 PM by lena »
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drone on

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Re: CD release: Various - Echoes of Polyhymnia
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2008, 02:32:42 AM »
Although it is "interesting" that all the artists are female, I wanted to stress that this is not a "novelty" album by any means.  I think some people hesitant to check this album out may feel this way based on being largely unfamiliar with the roster of artists.  To be honest when I first read about this album I thought it sounded like a nice idea on paper, but questioned whether it would actually be good.  Yet I ordered it based on the fact every previous Hypnos compilation was extremely high quality and none of them disappointed, and Polyhymnia is no exception.  In fact I've listened to this more than Universe Overheard or Subatomic World, and it is my favorite of the three.  I hope to see some other opinions, too!