Hedia | Libra | Featherspines 26 -October 2009
The ”sedative lullabies” of New Mexican duo Bryce Hample and Brodie Johnson move through a thick, palpable fog. They are far warmer than the usual ambient sleep or drone musics as they are made with cello, piano, brass, guitar, bass and viola da gamba. Libra leans in toward orchestral music, but one in which the players seem to have been given instruments that have been improperly stored and have become slightly warped and almost out of tune.
The album is somber and serious but not maudlin. Longer, slowly building pieces like ”Ache” might lead thoughts to ”Fratres” by Arvo Pärt, but unlike that holiest of minimalists, Hedia´s titles, which include ”Trading Caresses” and ”Sight”, seem to indicate a strictly hedonistic source of inspiration, whether satified or unfulfilled. ”Contrary to Her” sweetly juxtaposes a lone piano and rolling vinyl crackle, perfectly capturing this physicality.
On the title track, the last of three roughtly fifteen-minutes pieces at the centre of the album, the viola da gamba is played inside some great, gray, empty space, listening to its own echo. If it weren´t for the sound of traffic outside rudely leaking in, you might think you were in a medieval castle hall.
As a proper name, ”Hedia” is originally Hebrew and feminine and means ”God´s Echo” – which, some would argue, is what we all are in a created and creative world.
Posted by Stephen Fruitman
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