Music Reviews

Artist: Paul H. Muller (@)
Title: Sunbreak
Format: CD
Label: Ventura Contemporary Music (@)
Rated: *****
I had previously reviewed 'East/West' by James Ross and Paul Muller, so I was somewhat familiar with Muller's music when I received this disc. Of the two, Muller's work was the stronger, with nice droning ambience. On 'Sunbreak,' we see him continuing this trajectory, with slow moving, peaceful droning synth work. According to the liner notes, this slowness is by design: 'The original chords are notated on a standard treble and bass clef and then converted to midi. The midi file is sequenced using orchestral instrumentation and subjected to a stretching process such that the tones are extended 20 to 30 times longer in time but without changing their pitch.' This accounts for the almost glacial pace of the music. At times Muller breaks it up a bit by adding some piano over the synth lines, as heard in tracks like 'Tone Three' and 'Tone Four.' His use of piano seems more for accent than as a way to create a melody. Overall this is music that is blends into the background. It doesn't really push the experimental envelope, but sometimes that is not necessary. The closest comparison that I see here is Harold Budd's ambient work. You can check this out for free on the website, so if you're strapped for cash and looking for some peaceful ambience this is worth checking out. This album weighs in at around 63 minutes.

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