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Paul Vnuk, Jr.: Silence Speaks in Shadow

AAJ Staff By

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Paul Vnuk has done some fine ambient work in collaboration with "Vir Unis" and Steve Roach in the last decade. Here he is on his own in an extended ambient atmosphere, a "sound-picture" or as he calls it, "psycho-environmental music." The album notes speak truth: "The open windows and industrial sounds of a rain-drenched city can have a strange calming effect on the soul." What you get for your 74 minutes of silence and shadow is the sound of rain and distant thunder, mixed with real-life city sounds (including a police siren at one point near the beginning). Accompanying these sounds is a delicate, mournful texture of long synthesizer notes which have no melody, just tones drifting here and there. One must imagine a meteorological situation of persistent instability, with low-level thundering for more than an hour, in order to experience the melancholy quiet mood of this album. Despite the description, this is not meant to be "music," in the conventional sense, but audible virtual reality. Vnuk's reality, though, is a bit on the spooky side; you might want to choose carefully when you will unleash this stormy weather into your parlor.

Title: Silence Speaks in Shadow | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Hypnos Recordings

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