Exposé Online banner

Peter Garland — Moon Viewing Music (Inscrutable Stillness Studies #1)
(Cold Blue CB0052, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-02-26

Moon Viewing Music (Inscrutable Stillness Studies #1) Cover art

We reviewed Garland’s Cold Blue release String Quartets (2009) and his contribution to the compilation Cold Blue Two, but in fact he has numerous other releases on a half-dozen other labels as well. He is one of those composers that you never know what to expect from; his music goes in many different directions and every release is a welcome surprise. For the release under review here, Moon Viewing Music is the perfect title, and truly offers the six pieces a reach and purpose that eschews any confusion regarding its intent. The performer is percussionist William Winant, with 14 recorded collaborations and over 200 appearances on recordings throughout the years, one could say he’s high on the who’s-who list of avant-garde percussionists. Here he is equipped with a tam-tam drum and three gongs tuned to very deep, low sounds, though with a tonal and harmonic relationship to one another. The three gongs are featured in a very sparse and ambient way, each gentle strike is allowed plenty of time to decay completely before another is begun, and are sometimes seemingly in a random rhythmic pattern, yet the procession of tones is slow and minimalist, making for for a perfect ambient backdrop. The first two pieces, “Living Alone in the Woods” and “Even More So,” only feature two gongs, the third is brought in for “Only the Moon” and the remaining three movements. The tam-tam is used intermittently to convey a subtle sense of light, shadow, and intensity as the six movements proceed. One would be surprised how many sounds can be found with three gongs and a drum. Yes, this isn’t any kind of conventional music, but a more expansive exploration of the lowest registers of sound, though done with a sense of purpose, referring back to its title. The 34 minutes go by fairly quickly, then it’s time to hit the repeat button, because once a listener gets comfortable in this soundworld, you’ll want it to go on forever.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Peter Garland

Latest news

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Mahavishnu Project - Return to the Emerald Beyond – Gregg Bendian and Company are back with another take on classic Mahavishnu material. While previous efforts have dealt entirely with that band’s first incarnation, due to (as they say) popular...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues