Exposé Online banner

Marvin Ayres — Cellosphere
(Burning Shed bshed 0604, 1999/2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

Cellosphere Cover art

Marvin Ayres is a string player (cello and violin here) who specializes in using electrified instruments to build ambient clouds of sound (see Neptune in New Releases). This is an early example of his technique which centers on long tones and a very spacey vibe. Definitely music for drifting aimlessly rather than traveling purposefully. While there is not really a conventional tonality to the music, it is not particularly dissonant either. The layers of notes build up and fade away, now a dense cluster, now near silence. Often there’s a shimmering texture in the upper frequencies probably resulting from some sort of effects devices or signal processing, and sometimes the instruments drop out, leaving echoes to continue after them. Many times you’ll swear there’s a keyboard getting in on the action, but it’s probably just illusion. While there are never truly melodies, sometimes the sound is very sweet, though there is a hint of unease lurking in the background. Like any other music of this kind, it doesn’t bear sustained listening unless you’re in a very mellow mood, but when the time is right, this is good stuff. This reissue adds a bonus track, the ten-minute “Sensory,” to the original release’s three tracks, which totaled less than forty minutes.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 32, 2004 releases, 1999 recordings

Related artist(s): Marvin Ayres

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Progressive & Melodic Rock Vol. 1 - 3 – Can you say Neo? Do you enjoy the music of bands like Marillion, Rush, Saga and Tears for Fears? Do Univers Zero, Area, Etron Fou and Il Balletto di Bronzo give you nightmares? If the answer to the...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues