Saturday, May 14, 2016

Peter Michael Hamel - 1973 - The voice of silence

Peter Michael Hamel
The voice of silence

01. The Voice of Silence (15:59)
02. Panta Tantra (20:40)
03. Ego-Loss (Let The Red Buddha Amithaba Sweep You Along) (6:22)

-Peter Michael Hamel / Voice, Piano, Organ, Harmonium

 'The Voice of Silence' from 1973. Hamel was a man very actively concerned with the meditative and therapeutic properties of music, founding the Freies Musikzentrum institute for musical education and therapy a few years later.

On side-long opener 'Panta Tantra' he pieces together swift repetitive piano shapes and droning organ, harmonium and voice with heady and mystical results which draw from compatriots such as Popol Vuh and American minimalists like Philip Glass, Terry Riley and La Monte Young. The piano tinkles pile on top of each other in an unending blur that in places reminds me of Lubomyr Melnyk, providing detail and energy to the shimmering raga-esque drones.

Overleaf are two shorter pieces. First the title track takes the bubbling energy of the first side down a bit, eliminating the vibrant piano tinkling for a spooky voice and harmonium meditation, while the shortish closer 'Ego-Loss (Let the red Buddha Amithaba sweep you along)' has a dark, pained edge that I wasn't expecting, full of haunted vocal mumblings and flat foreboding drones. The key words here are "mystical", "meditative" and "droney".

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