Archon Orchestra - Cenotaph

Archon Orchestra

CD (ltd. 500)

1. Lento [mp3]
2. Hope and Calm
3. Eluding I
4. Give us a Sign [mp3]
5. Yes, I was Glad
6. In Between the Notes
7. Les Dirigeables
8. Eluding II
9. Solace [mp3]
10. Cenotaph
11. Time {extra}

total length: 44:28
release date: February 28, 2013
price: €10


Together with the labels Shadowplay Records and Monopoly Records we are pleased to present you the second album of Archon Orchestra, produced by the well-known founder of Cyclotimia and Sphere Rex projects. "Cenotaph" continues the line started on the debut CD "Pong" - the sounds of a church organ harmoniously intertwine with delicate, subtle electronics while piano and strings mysteriously "float" under the arches of a gothic cathedral immersing the listener in light melancholia. Recommended for the lovers of both atmospheric soundtracks (Ludovico Einaudi, Eleni Karaindrou) and academic "minimalism" (Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Arvo Pärt). However it's also absolutely worth checking out for the fans of "neoclassic" and "ethereal".


...And finally there is that Archon Orchestra again, with a second release, following 'Pong' (see Vital Weekly 744). Here too its sees a continuation of the previous album: church organ like sounds are mixed with electronic beats and piano. Very occasionally, if I like a film, I will download the soundtrack of the film, and the music here reminded me very much of 'The Truman Show' - a bit slick, new age like music, but with that very odd edge; a bit darker and a bit weirder than what is probably 'allowed' in the world of new age. There is an element of repetition in this music, but it's never connected to the world of 'academic' minimalism (Glass, Reich). Like with 'Pong' I must secretly admit I quite enjoy this, but I am not sure why. It seems all like a mighty cliche this music, like midi instruments from garage band, but still it has that nice, darker edge, which makes this is the perfect soundtrack, for, indeed a dystopian movie like 'The Truman Show'. Not really Arvo Part I should think, but here's a nice film/music quiz question: which composer has a cameo in 'The Truman Show'? Right. That should make this little circle complete.

‘Zhelezobeton’ label’s sister – ‘Muzyka Voln’, together with Shadowplay and Monopoly records, releases the second album by Archon Orchestra, which is the first album in quite a while that manages to blow me away into another time and space from the first musical note that is played on the track “Lento” to the last moment of time. The gateway to this place is painted on the cover art of this album, and in the shape of a modernist construct, manifested through an expressionist hand that painted it as a tribute to painter Lyonel Feininger, it tells countless stories about the archon orchestra.

The Neo classical compositions, now created through electronic methods, are of a surrealist and serene world. At times, on the track “Les Dirigeables”, for example, the Archon Orchestra brings a naive sense of wonder to the music, and I am listening to it with an amused fascination that I would have as a child examining flowers on a beautiful field. As I go through this album, gliding softly between light melancholia and surreal joy, I keep seeing this vision of the painted tower in front of me. Cenopath has detached me from time and put me in this space that is drawn between piano notes and electronic or drum based rhythms.

The world of ‘Cenopath’ is dreamy at times, exotic as well, and can persuade the listeners to stay inside it while the music draws visions from French soundtracks, surreal imaginarium and a baroque painting seen through the mirror darkly. Certainly an interesting and rewarding release, it would fit well on the shelves of Ethereal, Neoclassical and minimalist music fans.

I hope nobody will get disappointed when finds out that this release is not one of the latest. What you are going to read below is half story, or rather, history and half an album review. I am sure you get to listen to a ton of music, but not sure if you ever heard the works of Archon Orchestra. Below is their story, which can be a research topic of its own.

Archon Orchestra has started in Moscow with the experimental project, Cyclotimia. The first album that I ever heard was a monumental space work, called Celestis: Space Ceremonial Music, followed by Music for Stockmarkets. These two albums are the remaining blocks to complete any music collection.

One of the participants of Cyclotimia, Max Khachmanukyan started his own project in 2009, called Sphere Rex and recorded a very beautiful and touching piano album, For Electronics and Piano, his view on minimalism and ambient music. Max had so many good ideas that he created another project, known as Archon Orchestra, moving in a different direction of music.

Debut album of Archon Orchestra was Pong, where Max used real space organ to produce mechanic sequences and creating sound landscape of your inner space. Take for example, Orpheus, Golconda tracks, which project you a long distance away from this planet. They have quite a surprising effect, considering that the ideas behind the music and sounds are pretty basic.

The second album of Archon Orchestra is called Cenotaph. This record has quite a sad tone and I keep thinking that this is the musician reminiscing the golden age of the Renaissance. The record is very unique, being artistic and electronic at the same time, with the sounds of medieval organ and translucent sounds of piano. The artwork of the album is the work of the German-American artist Lyonel Feininger - Market Church In Halle, who was influenced by analytical cubism and Italian futurism.

The album starts with a piercing play Lento, turning into Hope and Calm, with hissy electronic drums. After all, electronic music is just a modern way of sharing the information between the artist and its listeners. The content of modern soundscapes is similar to the content of couple-of-century-old canvases: artists fix the moments of their enlightenment in their works. The play, Eluding I, has way more of content than any story can tell. In between the notes is an evolving ambient plain with distressed sounds of strings, followed by Les Dirigeables, and then by Eluding II, with their weightless and incredibly crafty melodies turning you to the state of levitation. Cenotaph, the main chapter of the album and is a symbolic monument: it erases the definition of time does and introduces you to the eternity. Time is the last page of the album, one of my favorite tracks, it is the soundtrack to the real life, which is quite a different story to the rest of the album.

Faith, Data.Wave

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