Rudy Adrianís debut, MoonWater, was a beautifully crafted study in deeply serene and contemplative soundscapes. His new release, Desert Realms, follows that same stylistic path, exploring the spectacular stillness and vast landscape of the American Southwest desert. |
- Saguaro Silhouette
- Desert Realms
- Circling Hawk
- Fading Light
- Subterranean River
- Of Clouds and Mountains
- Rocks Under Moonlight
- At the Edge of the Desert
Explains Rudy, "I was fortunate to spend a weekend exploring The Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks in Utah, USA. My tour guides were electronic musician Robert Carty and his partner Patricia Sandoval, who showed me a number of their favourite locations in the North American desert. On returning to New Zealand I became interested in creating music inspired by that journey."
Rudy's compositions are by themselves both vast and serene, but an additional level of emotion is provided by the poignant and moving flute expressions of Nick Prosser on a few of the tracks. Prosserís stirring musical statements interact with Rudyís vast soundscapes, filling the spectacular sonic vista with just the right amount of life and feeling; reminding the listener that although the desert realms may appear at first stark and barren, they are in fact full of life and captivating beauty.
2008. Press Information
Last year I already focused on monumental space odyssey "Distant Stars" by this highly respected New Zealander, now it's time to re-explore another of Rudy Adrian's masterworks and strongly notable desert wanderings. Inspired by his 2002 trip with exploring The Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks in Utah, "Desert Realms" (released in 2008) is absolutely fascinating journey through breathtaking sceneries of arid and rugged desert landscapes with eroded sandstone forms and canyons.
It starts with "Saguaro Silhouette", a very calm and dreamy ambience nicely flavored with Rudy's expressive wordless voice magics. And as much majestic as this large, tree-sized cactus. I really like the way the voice is used to support the overall feel of this composition. On the next piece, "Pathway", Rudy brings back his frequent guest, Nick Prosser, who is responsible for baroque flute wizardry on few tracks. Flute magics are wonderfully balanced with Rudy's soundscapes. The title track, "Desert Realms", is absolutely peaceful sonic medicine, a truly mesmerizing trip perfectly corresponding with its title!!! Slowed-down tribals with tinkling bells and poignant voices are heading "Circling Hawk", a deeply evocative composition! Follow warmly floating "Fading Light" and nostalgic "Subterranean River", the later beautifully enriched by mournful bells and submerging organics, another stunning ambience! Sounds of thunder and rain and Nick Prosser's highly sensitive flute work nicely color the next remarkable piece, "Cloudburst". "Starlight" is another beautifully floating aerial voyage, with deeply serene and mesmerizing effect, for me, one of the masterpieces on this album. But the spectacular beauty of Utah's natural miracles is emphasised also on the next two strongly ethereal compositions, "Of Clouds And Mountains" and "Rocks Under Moonlight", truly captivating late night sky journeying!!! Bird calls "At The Edge Of The Desert" and catch y piano tune bring this masterful album to the end.
"Desert Realms" is certainly not only one of the milestones in 12-album discography of Rudy Adrian, but this utterly beautiful and magnificent work could become a memorable classic in desert ambient genre.
Richard GŁrtler / Bratislava, Slovakia
Itís inspired by a voyage made in the national park of Utah that Rudy Adrian concocted Desert Realms. These desert kingdoms are composed of 11arid musical landscapes carried on warm winds from a synth with heavy and touching layers as well as flutes which transpierce immense dunes of architectural stones.
Delicates shimmered arpeggios open Saguaro Silhouette. A soft wave intermingled with Amerindian vocalizes, just like in Circling Hawk, crosses a desert plain where rattlesnakes bells and Tibetans cymbals wrap an atonal movement. The wind alone offers a light undulation in a sound structure as rich as mystical. A fluty sound floats on slightly anvil percussions on Pathway opening. Here, as on the whole 12th opus from the New Zealand synthesist, the movement is linear and without forms except for few fine modulations which are lurching through the sound memories of Rudy Adrian. Desert Realms is a long peaceful powerful ode of American Western South desert grounds. A title with musical poetry which espouses a structure sometimes dramatic on a synth with breaths a little more seizing as on Cloudburst and its spiral flute. Fading Light is synonymous of tenderness and nostalgia. Subterranean River borrows the same musical paths that one can meet on this arid work. Sound samplings of a desert nature are present on each track, as on the morphic Of Clouds And Mountains and Rocks Under Moonlight as well as on the melodious at The Edge Of The Desert which is completely relaxing with it bird songs.
Desert Realms is an album of a sidereal softness filled of melodious passages that would please to fans of landscapes sounds or to those astral travelers who are able to leave without moving out of their bodies. An album that is very near the floating and tribal worlds of Ray Lynch and Steve Roach.
2010. Sylvain Lupari / Synth&Sequences
His acclaimed live performances and the ever-ascending quality of his recorded works have made Rudy Adrian one of the most distinctive voices in the ethereal music genre. His talent is in picking just the right sounds, arranging them in unique combinations and rolling it all out in an always-engaging collage of music and atmosphere. This process stems from personal experience or inspiration, as on his CD Desert Realms (69'28").
The nine tracks are each an electronic expression of his beloved rugged desert landscapes, and the connection we as humans feel toward the natural world. The first few tracks feature tones played on native flute or originating from Rudy Adrian's own atmospheric vocals - mixed amidst hushed synth pads and ceremonial bells. The synthetic and acoustic textures go together very well and result in compositions that feel transcendent yet tethered to earth. Throughout Desert Realms harmony and timbre mutually reinforce each other. Faint chimes cast above luminescent chords provide a slow contemplative pace while reverberant strings (as if breathing) shift from dark keys to light. The experience is quiet and beautiful, like that of Spacemusic classics by Jonn Serrie, Michael Stearns and Kit Watkins.
Most times consoling, but occasionally questioning, Desert Realms is a nuanced journey into both sonic and terrestrial landscapes.
2008. Chuck van Zyl / Star's End
To compose the music in this album, Rudy Adrian was inspired by the landscapes of the American Southwest desert.
"Desert Realms" certainly takes us to the immense quiet of wide, virgin spaces. The music is an interesting example of Deep Ambient. More than concrete melodies in the traditional sense, there are chords and melodic atmospheres that come and go. The artist achieves an album which turns out to be ideal for meditation.
The most impressive piece in the album is, in my opinion, "At the Edge of the Desert", of a mysterious air and a great beauty.
2009. Valeriano Guiol
Engrossing ambient music with plenty of detail to hold the attention. Desert Realms is built around undulating, silken drones of a soft harmonious nature - these underlying forms variously enhanced by a broad range of additional sound: delicate chimes, clanging gongs, meandering vocalisations, suggestions of desert fauna - the blending of organic sound with synthetic is seamless and very effective. The expressive flute work of Nick Prosser drifts thickly across a number of pieces - woody, breathy plumes of melody across the expansive smoothness of the sonic terrain. Percussive aspects are subtle - the distant dull thump of a bass drum, tinkling chimes or cricket chirps - for the most part, however, Desert Realms is beatless and wide open. The music at times drifts like immense cloud movement, at other times stillness pervades - steady tones shifting ever so slightly, birds, flutes dancing in the soundspace or hints of melody touching the air. Water recordings, thunder or bird song assist in establishing an environment in places - working to compliment the mostly serene mood, the feeling of natural peace that runs throughout.
Desert Realms is a jewel case release adorned with suitable photographic imagery. The front cover shot runs across to the rear cover when the case is opened - a striking red rock arch against empty blue sky. Track titles barely distract from the pictorial impact - a light white font off to one side with track times for each piece. Opening up an arid scene of layered stone runs from immediate foreground into far distance - deeply grooved, heavy shadows and bright sunshine in powerful contrast. Here to the top left are brief thanks, artwork credits and contact details for the artist. The remaining page of the insert features an explanation of the album's origins and a gear list for the music. Hidden away behind the disc - a hazy portrait photograph.
New Zealand based Rudy Adrian produces music for film and television as well as developing his own releases. This album comes once more and consists of eleven panoramic soundscapes inspired by the deserts of the American South West. Previous Rudy Adrian releases have also explored a more sequencer based sound with Berlin school influences. The album includes a live performance by Adrian and Nick Prosser from 2001 - Nick's expertly played baroque flute appearing on various tracks across this album.
2009. Morpheus Music
Inspired by a weekend tour of North American deserts in 2002, Desert Realms finally comes to fruition in this 11-track, 70-minute set. Two tracks feature Nick Prosser on Baroque flute, adding to the desert theme and sound. This is a mellow Adrian set, devoid of the upbeat sequencer passages that he often creates.
Instead, a very specific mood is conveyed throughout, and as such this is probably Rudyís most cohesive thematic work, although he certainly has done similarly focused efforts, most notably The Healing Lake. Slightly dissonant bells carve out a unique beginning on "Saguaro Silhouette," accompanied by gentle synth textures and wordless vocals. Iíve lost count how many of Rudyís CDs start with soft vocals like this, but it does fit with the overall theme.
"Pathway" is one of the two tracks featuring Prosser, and his flute is joined by light tribal touches, very nicely done.
The title track is an excellent example of Rudyís dreamy style of ambience; the eight minutes seems to pass by quickly and easily.
"Circling Hawk" brings vocals stronger into the foreground, likely creating the desired effect but it is easily my least favorite on the album.
"Fading Light" fares much better, a subtle delicate Eno-like floater.
The slightly discordant bells return on "Subterranean River", surrounded by dark echoes of sound. "Cloudburst" consists of rolling thunder, rain, and flutes, again capturing the desert imagery quite well. The next three tracks make up over a third of the disc, and they are the most ethereal yet, and the strongest portion of Desert Realms. Chirping birds "At the Edge of the Desert" bring the journey to a pleasant end.
2008. Phil Derby / Electroambientspace