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

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Terreno Baldio & Recordando o Vale das Maçãs – Both of these are grouped in a single review, not simply because both were classic 70s Brazilian progressive bands, or because they both happen to be on the PRW Label (Progressive Rock Worldwide...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues