Title: In the Omnispheres
Artist: Wolfgang Gsell
Release Date: 2013 Sept 2
Genre: Ambient / Soundtrack
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Aural Files
Completely unencumbered by the thought process, this has become the week of Aural Films reviews. I say that because, I literally didn’t realize I had scheduled three releases from that label for this week. But, as I’ve said before, that happens when I batch download a lot of music to listen to. And, the fact that three releases from one label made it into my review queue should be taken as a positive sign for the label.
So, I was trying to find some biographical information on Wolfgang Gsell for this review, and checking to see if he had any other releases. Wolfgang Gsell does have a Bandcamp page (linked) but none of his other releases are Creative Commons, only In The Omnispheres on Aural Films is a CC release.
What is interesting is most of his work I would classify as new age music: nature focused with “healing” properties. It’s a quality that comes across on this release: most of it is very smooth, cascading synth drones with occasional vocals, percussion, guitar etc. It is possibly one of the most relaxing ambient releases I’ve heard in quite sometime.
It’s interesting to see a new prolific artist showing up on the scene. All eight of the releases on his Bandcamp site were posted between September and December of last year. I would think the music has been around longer, but he has just decided to post them now.
While ‘In the Omnispheres’ starts with a vocalization that sounds like some form of overtone singing (be it Tibetan, Tuvan or any one of the dozens of variants listed in Wikipedia), it quickly evolves into a a lush electronic work.
The panoramic nature of the sounds easily lends itself to imagery of track shots, or panning through clouds or space. I immediately grasped on to this as a space exploration soundtrack, despite nothing in the title or the description of the release indicating that it was designed to be for this type of movie. For some reason, I just had images of 2001 sequences being backed with this music.
And when this release was over, I wasn’t ready for it to end. I found myself immediately going back and starting it again. To experience the unfolding cascade of sounds, and swaths of lush synthesizers all over again.
While this really isn’t the kind of work that demands your immediate or direct attention, you will notice some interesting techniques and thoughts in the music. This isn’t some simple pre-programmed / generated work that doesn’t have any personality or core of it’s own.
Some people have claimed that New Age and Ambient works are the new classical music of this generation. This is the kind of work that makes the point very well. There’s no cheap adornments, no throwaway elements of this work. Everything is built and developed on. Each movement represents a piece of the larger whole, and contributes a new set of ideas and themes to the overall.
It’s obvious that Wolfgang put a lot of work into the structure of the work, and the flow and movement of it. It makes for a work that is a joy to listen and relax to, to work to, or to meditate and let your mind wander to.
Now, hopefully, Wolfgang’s experience releasing his work on Aural Films will lead to more Creative Commons licensed works from him.