zake, Marc Ertel, James Bernard : Hearkeneth

The world of ambient/new age music seems to have gotten a bit of a boost thanks to artists like Jonas Munk, Dawn Chorus and the Infallible Sea, Billow Observatory, Marine Eyes and City Of Dawn. The manipulation of guitar and keys with the help of modular synthesis, echo, and maybe even a touch of cosmic magic has re-energized and re-vitalized a corner of music that got its start with early German electronic pioneers and spanned clear into the 80s with Windham Hill releases. Labels like Past Inside The Present, Zakè Recordings, Azure Vista Records, Moon Glyph Records, and Florina Cassettes are keeping the ambient/new age world vital and pushing the music to new visceral and intellectual levels.

The latest from Florina Cassettes has three of the best working in ambient music today collaborating and interpreting a poem by musician and label runner zakè. zakè, Marc Ertel, and James Bernard present Hearkeneth, an epic musical interpretation of the poem by zakè of the same name. A vast and all-encompassing listening experience, Hearkeneth explores the void in a beautiful and heady way.

“Her angelic halo shines through a shroud of dark clouds,
Tragically and harmoniously beautiful,
She was the solace of melancholy,
Every part of her angelic wholeness,
Filled with wonder and all things lovely.

Protector of the night,
Lighting our paths as we venture in the shadows,
Beckon unto me with thine Angel-voice so soft,

In an infinite state, a sustained breath,
Who hath listened to her voice and hearkeneth?”

Over five tracks and an epic hour’s worth of sonic bliss, the trio of zakè, Marc Ertel, and James Bernard create clouds of mood and sound. The three opening pieces make up the majority of the album. “Protector Of The Night”, “A Shroud Of Dark Clouds” and “Sustained Breath” make up 50 minutes of the runtime, and feel like a drop into pure light. The purr of the universe breathing as we make our way through it. This is the sound of quiet reflection; the auditory equivalent of thoughts murmuring in one’s head. That place where the cosmic and emotional come together, sharing the great unknowns.

Those three openers are a journey through weightless wonder and dark unknowns, while “Filled With Wonder” and “Who Hath Listened” seem to bring this auditory journey to a crystalline ending. A kaleidoscope of synthetic and organic energy emanates throughout the final 13 minutes of our time with Hearkeneth.

zakè, Marc Ertel, and James Bernard have pulled yet another sonic gift from the universe with Hearkeneth. A musical rendering of written words; words heavy with emotion and wonder. An epic album worthy of your time.

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