As Dusk Becomes Night – Spotted Peccary Music SPM-2604
As Dusk Becomes Night is an homage to experiencing the night, suggesting the concept of transformation associated with closure or relaxation, born out of the unusual events which the whole world went through in 2020.
1. About the album As Dusk Becomes Night
Rudy Adrian is not a fan of…
…having a recording studio filled with many different synthesizers, in fact, whenever possible, he might prefer to spend more time outdoors celebrating nature. His new album of electronic ambient soundscapes is about being awake outdoors on a nocturnal journey with timeless diversions to investigate various discoveries. All the music on this album was created using the Yamaha SY77, plus the similarly designed Yamaha Montage 6, with lots of sampled sounds. I asked the composer himself about his approach to this craft. “Making this music was also a celebration of the technology from when I started out making atmospheric music in the late 1980s,” muses Adrian. “I still enjoy using my Yamaha SY77 synthesizer from 1988 and an Apple Macintosh Plus computer, which boasts one megabyte of memory and floppy discs that hold 800 kilobytes of data.”
Featured prominently throughout the…
…album are some interesting trill-like insect sounds that sound a little like a cricket chirp or click, perhaps the winding in of a fishing reel. Sometimes I think it sounds like creatures who are making their signature in the night. Many arthropods are able to generate such sounds by rubbing two hard parts of their exoskeleton together, in a fashion similar to dragging a microscopic stick across a tiny wooden fence.
As Dusk Becomes Night is an homage to experiencing the night, suggesting the concept of transformation associated with closure or relaxation, born out of the unusual events which the whole world went through in 2020. “I was trying to make an album which would seem to my listeners to be a logical continuation of what I’ve done before, as a ‘thank you’ to those who’ve liked the music I’ve created thus far.” Rudy wanted to make something peaceful and calm for people to listen to, something to soothe the anxiety and stresses of life in these historic, unusual and uncertain times. The timeless spirit of the hours of darkness will bring you back again and again to an electronic dream of future and ancient nocturnal beauty.
2. The tracks
The dream begins in the sky…
…”Stars Appear” (6:42), opening up, emerging and swirling, suspended across the night above, the infinite and the supra musical, blending flute and synthesizer with accents from clicking insect calls on earth, and adding a chime or bell’s double call. The title track, “As Dusk Becomes Night” (6:28), begins with rushing sounds which are expanding into the void, the night is a time for active hunting and exploration. The synthesizer provides an inclusive blanket of protection and security against the unknown darkness while containing the hand percussion and breath.
The smell of walking in a conifer forest at night is always a delight. The gases that escape the pine tree leaves in the form of vapor carry the strong scent of pine oil, a volatile organic compound. Conifers are aromatic plants that have cones. Conifer seeds develop inside a protective cone called a strobilus. Examples include cedars, Douglas firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews. “Conifer Grove” (2:05) blends flute breaths with small chimes, enclosed in the synthesizer strobilus, for a short tone poem. Looking through the pine boughs into the night sky overhead, the next piece of music unfolds, “Starlane” (5:32), elements of tonal color and linear ordering reveals new astral vistas, which carry and radiate personality and motion in the atmosphere, as I am thinking about travel in the future, remotely beyond this planet and constantly heading towards increasingly extreme distances.
There are numerous caves in…
…New Zealand, such as the Ngarua Caves, with a variety of stalagmites and stalactites, and skeletons of the extinct moa, which resembled very large ostriches. The word “moa” is from the Māori language, the moa were the largest terrestrial animals and dominant herbivores in New Zealand’s forest, shrubland, and subalpine ecosystems. No records survive of what sounds the moa made. The preservation inside the caves is fascinating. “Moa Caves” (4:20) is the fifth track, and develops from water sounds with a melodic presence, soon joined by tones from a glowing synthesizer, and what sounds to me like a rain stick, which combine to take over the subterranean atmosphere. A rain stick is a hollow tube filled with pebbles or seeds that creates a pleasant rustling rain-like sound when gently rotated.
The word crepuscular derives from the Latin crepusculum meaning “twilight.” Special classes of crepuscular behavior include matutinal (or “matinal”, animals active only in the dawn) and vespertine (only in the dusk). Nocturnal creatures generally have highly developed senses of hearing, smell, and specially adapted eyesight. “The Crepuscular Wildlife” (5:17) brings a sense of secret motion hidden in the darkness. Crepuscular birds include the common nighthawk and the barn owl. Many moths, beetles, flies, and other insects, as well as bats, rats, jaguars, ocelots, bobcats, servals, strepsirrhines, red pandas, bears, moose, sitatunga, capybaras, chinchillas, the common mouse, skunks, squirrels, Australian wombats, wallabies, quolls, possums, snakes and lizards, ocelots, deer, marsupial gliders, tenrecs, and spotted hyenas are also active at night, especially during dawn and dusk, so mind your step.
Pittsburgh-based artist Jeff Kowal (aka Terra Ambient)…
…was a trained visual artist and graphic designer, his musical approach had a visceral, painterly quality to it, leaving a deeply unique collection of crossovers of electronic, ethnic, acoustic and experimental sounds. Sadly, Jeff Kowal passed away in 2016 following a battle with cancer. Reflecting on his friend, Rudy shares that “He also created some of my early album covers. One of the pieces I was working on (for this current project) reminded me of the cover he created for my album MoonWater, featuring a somewhat surreal moon rising over a beach.” The seventh track, “Moonlit Beach (for Jeff)” (5:15), has a peaceful glowing energy, sparsely accented with those insect-like purring sounds.
Continuing on our velvet sojourn, tenebrous shapes take form and I sense that we are approaching something in the darkness, it appears to be a structure, I hear distant night birds calling in the void, and now a lake is open before us. Here is a “Lakeside Shelter” (5:22). The darkness provides space for gigantic overhead activities, I hear rushing sounds carrying chimes and subtle whistles weaving around, “Western Wind” (5:34) depicts an overall zephyral architecture or form fundamental to the ancient language of poetry, dance and music.
The rising of the sun brings a new world belonging to the morning, quiet with emerging light in the Eastern distance, “Night Becomes Dawn” (3:45) and the darkness falls away slowly, as the new morning watches. Now we are left with the final track, “Sunny Day” (7:53), it is quiet and contemplative, giving us time to realize that a new day begins here.
3. About Rudy Adrian
Rudy Adrian has a complex career, and his musical accomplishments include being a successful planetarium soundtrack composer, which brings a new dimension to appreciating his studio craft. He said that this new album “was pretty much entirely created during New Zealand’s lockdown in late March 2020, so the album was put together very much in the confines of my own home. Luckily there are some nice views to enjoy from the deck at the rear of my house and watching the sunsets and stars slowly appearing, plus checking online to see if the International Space Station was to soar overhead were some of the inspirations.”
4. Where to buy As Dusk Becomes Night?
Written by Robin James, March 31st, 2021