Release Date: Jan 31, 2012
Record label: Touch
Genre(s): Electronic, Classical, Pop/Rock
Let’s have done with this notion of ‘abstraction’ in music, shall we? Music. Is. Never. Abstract. It’s concrete, physical, irresistibly and incontrovertibly material. As Vladimir Jankélévitch put it in “Music and the Ineffable” more than 50 years ago, “It acts upon human beings, on ….
Recruiting a variety of guests and fellow travelers, including Eyvind Kang and Crys Cole, Oren Ambarchi continues in his vein of excellent solo releases on Touch with 2012's An Audience of One. The still feeling of "Salt," the album starter, suggests that it's not merely a solitary audience, but a contemplation of solitary feeling -- with calm slow melodies, softly echoed singing from Warm Ghost's Paul Duncan that's part stern, part wistful, and a sense of focused contemplation. "Passage" has a similar feeling at the start with its piano introduction, and notes paced out as Jessika Kenney's singing and textures via Cole emphasize centering and looking inward more than out.
It's a strange kind of fate that has caused Australian multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi to spend most of his career making records that demonstrated his singular guitar sound, only to gain greater notice for an album that barely shows it off at all. But that's the way Audience of One, released by his longtime label Touch, is panning out. Ambarchi is also known for his collaborative work with Sunn O))), with whom he's recorded and played live, complementing his extensive solo releases and further alliances with musicians including Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke, and Christian Fennesz.
Australian multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi’s Audience of One opens with a rather stirring track called “Salt”. Featuring the confident vocals of Paul Duncan (Warm Ghost) double-tracked with falsetto, the tastefully minimal piece bloops along sweetly, eventually joined by a hint of violin. Yet, from there, the album takes a turn from which it does not recover.