Veteran Vancouver-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and world music pioneer Randy Raine-Reusch and electronic musician, composer and DJ Michael Red join forces in six deep sonic meditations on Eras.
The project has a fascinating backstory: back to 2014 when Red met Raine-Reusch in the latter’s home- world instrument-museum. Raine-Reusch is not only a noted instrument collector but has also spent his career studying and playing them. He specializes in performing and composing experimental music for instruments from around the world, particularly those from Asia.
During their 2014 recording session, Raine-Reusch chose various acoustic instruments from his vast collection including Asian flutes and various string zithers, African harps, and gongs. Adopting an intuitive interactive process, the duo recorded their finely-grained and honed improvisations, Red electronically processing them. The album was completed over the course of several days, but rather than immediately releasing it, they chose to leave it “to mature and distil.” The duo decided to finalize Eras this year, being “careful to preserve the direct and intuitive process that permeates the recording.”
Evocative track titles such as Five Names of Peace, Shifting Silence, Inner World and Winter Water capture the meditative, slowly flowing focus of the music. Between Is Six, the opening track, sets the tone with Raine-Reusch’s sensitive breath-centred sounds made on a low flute, sensitively modulated over the stereo sound stage by Red. And the last album sound is the most exquisitely languid fadeout I’ve heard all year.
How to sum up the music on Eras? Rather than New Age, descriptors such as shadow worlds, sonic incantations and dreamtime may make more sense.