Still Time Sverre Knut JohansenStill Time

Tracklist:
  1. Massive Extinction
  2. Still Time (Saving Our Planet)
  3. Rhinoceros On Large Salt Pan
  4. Storm Is Coming (At Walvis Bay)
  5. White Clouds Above Giraffe
  6. Dead Vlei - The Most Beautiful Dead Place On Earth
  7. Oryx In Yellow Light
  8. The Desert Elephants Of Namibia
  9. The Golden Flamingo Lake
  10. A Cheetah's Realm (At The Masai Mara National Reserve)

Release Details


Genre : Ambient, Atmospheric, Deep Listening, Electronic, Soundscapes
Label : Spotted Peccary Music
Country : USA
Format : CD, Digital album
Date : June 21, 2024

 

Still Time – Spotted Peccary Music SPM-3007

 

Sverre, speaking about Still Time, said that “Creating music is much based on moods and a quest to find something undetected. New roads leading to something spiritual and inexplicable. Finding peace in a quiet place. Rhythmic elements coasting to a target. Undiscovered landscape and new unknown worlds. Everything is out there…”

 

1. About the album Still Time

Still Time begins with a dark tone, observing the extinction of too many animals. From there the inspiration elevates and flows, ultimately quite a bit of positivity animates the album’s sound. Still Time brings a complicated environmental message, it also features imagery from the Southern African wilderness, and brings some new percussion and vocals coming from Space Center Music Productions in Sandane, Norway. Sverre Knut Johansen is the visionary there, an electronic artist/composer, originally from Mo i Rana, a lesser-known town in the northern-central Helgeland region of Norway, just below the arctic circle.

What is new on Still Time is the expanded use of sampled percussion, and the use of anonymous international voices, as well as the connection with a specific photograph for each track. The amazing photographs in the accompanying booklet connect directly to the music, taken by Solly Levi (https://www.sollylevi.com/) in nature reserves including The Etosha National Park, Namib Naukluft National Park, the Masai Mara National Reserve in Namibia as well as some photos from Kenya. The Elephant imitating sounds, and Flamingo imitating sounds come from a PROPHET X hybrid synth.

 

2. The tracks

As a solemn requiem for the growing number of lost species, the first track “Massive Extinction” (9:17) starts out blending voices and electronics with rumbling and develops an ominous haunting melodic theme. The mood continues with the sounds of rattling sticks or wooden chimes as well as hints of haunting vocals, “Still Time (Saving Our Planet)” (5:17) completes the delivery of the doom aspect.

Now things change. The harp is not what I would expect to hear when I think of the grumpy Diceros bicornis, “Rhinoceros On Large Salt Pan” (6:45), but here the feeling of sunshine on the grasslands and savanna where the rhinos once were plentiful, is quite evocative. The weaving and fluttering of the tall grasses in the wind take on a kaleidoscopic feeling, blending into a multidimensional choir of wonder.

The name Walvis Bay translates to some as the “bay of whales” and lies on the edge of the Namib desert at the mouth of the Kuiseb River, which almost vanishes when there is not enough flowing water. The track “Storm Is Coming (At Walvis Bay)” (9:53) is a soft sort of drama, beginning with a quiet exploration of voices and percussion, then the beat kicks in and the storm takes off. The electronics hold the whole frame together bringing the progressive motion. The feeling is more of a wild ride with a choir than a deluge or catastrophic event. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “every natural power exhilarates, in the presence of nature a wild delight runs through the heart, in spite of real sorrows.” The sampled drums add quite a bit to the atmosphere.

 

With a ringing and jingling, a tempo…

…suitable to depict the long legs of a running giraffe starts the next track off, “White Clouds Above Giraffe” (8:07). The running legs fade in and out while the electronics glide and soar in the sky above. What stands out on this track is the persistence and expanse of the world in this place. We run on and on, forever. There are no limits or fences, just the burning sun and the distant dry mountains surrounding the grassy savanna.

Now we are descending step by step into a deadly dark bottomless land, located below the dismal tones of doom. “Dead Vlei – The Most Beautiful Dead Place On Earth” (6:36), where huge echoes reverberate at times, with clicking and rattling, the bass hums in a sinister light, the orchestra emerges, and layers are expanding and unfolding. The feeling is of wonderment and awe of the resilience of life. There is hope and inspiration to be found, even here in this endorheic basin.

Flutes sound like adorned breaths to me, and here the sound is dry and strong, pulsing at times. The picture is of a singular horned animal looking back at us, “Oryx In Yellow Light” (6:10). The flutes magically turn into woodwinds and electronica, the feeling is ponderous but not heavy or dark. I might hear the ocean surf out in the distance. For the next track, dissonant harmonies and abrupt brutal shifts for a strained and rough sound, bubbling, tar-pit-like tones are heard in “The Desert Elephants Of Namibia” (4:06). The music depicts the way a herd of pachyderms might move, making their way across the arid wilderness of central Africa.

 

Strings, including harps and lutes…

…with the electronically invented choral accents, show a calm body of water complete with flocks of waterbirds, “The Golden Flamingo Lake” (9:14), creating a sensation of wonderment and relaxation, an extended moment of peace to enjoy. The lake is a mirror, the birds are calm and communicative, the form holds while the elements shift and change, it is peaceful here on the lake, with lots of interesting textures and underwater electronics.

“A Cheetah’s Realm (At The Masai Mara National Reserve)” (7:21) goes from establishing the gait to soaring above the landscape’s connection with the sky and now the drums kick in, building slowly into something efficient, fast, and lethal, but with loving judgment, and we are running through the savanna grasslands at a fast pace, as the bass brings it all home. Running is what these veldt cats are most famous for, the tempo is powerful at times, and persistent, rushing on and on.

 

3. Epilogue

Still Time has an ambitious mission, to sound the alarm about global warming, and it blends distress with wonderment. The music is crafted with love for all animals on this planet, they are all heroes and represent the purity of this Earth. Still Time celebrates humans and nature, we are all here on Earth together. The music has some wonderful voices that sound to me almost like they are from South Asia. The visualization takes place in Africa, in the deserts of Namibia where traditional difficult desert conditions have become increasingly harsher and creating a serious challenge to survive.

Symphonic electronic music dominates Sverre’s first releases, but his more recent releases vary widely in style, as he makes music that is both lyrical and rhythmic and often with elements of classical, kosmische, and electronic ambient music genres. Sverre’s previous albums such as The Source of Energy, which was released in 1999, and Elements of Light from 2014, were very much inspired by the work of Steve Roach. Precambrian is a collaboration with Robert Rich in 2019, and the mysterious cover art, “Dreamers and Warriors,” is by photographer Martin Stranka. Dreams Beyond (2020) is deeply inspired by “The Beacon” a haunting image by MichaŁ Karcz, which is featured on the album cover. Metahuman (2022) features new technology such as the HAKEN Continiuum and is inspired by the writing of Deepak Chopra.

 

The music of Sverre has always had rich…

…content and strong melodic elements that have become his trademark. His first album was released in 1994 and was produced by Erik Wøllo on the Norwegian label Origo Sound. In 1999, he released The Source of Energy, followed by Planets in 2012 and in 2013 he began releasing music on his own Origin Music label. Still Time is Sverre’s seventh release on the Spotted Peccary Music label, his previous releases are Metahuman (2022), Dreams Beyond (2020), Precambrian (2019), The Vast Expanse (2018), Secret Space Program (2017), and Earth From Above (2016) .

 

4. Where to buy the album Still Time?

You can buy the album Still Time at the store of Spotted Peccary Music and Bandcamp.

Written by Robin James, June 28th, 2024
 
 


‹ Komorebi – Sunlight Through Trees

Etherica Blue ›


No Response

Leave us a comment


No comment posted yet.

Leave a Reply