| Jeff Pearce:Vestiges|
(Jeff Pearce Music - 1998)
I remember many years ago being entranced by the amorphous rise and fall of my Lava Lamp. I get that same abstract fascination from the similarly fluid compositions on Vestiges, an album of ambient guitar music by Jeff Pearce.
That's right... ambient guitar music. For the most part though, it's completely unguitarlike. Through electronic manipulations, Pearce's Fender Stratocaster emits some of the sweetest flowing ambience you're likely to hear. Trying to describe each of the six tracks would be as futile as trying to describe an hour's worth of Lava Lamp activity... but I'll share some of the notable details. (You can learn even more in Jeff Pearce's Ambientrance Exclusive Interview.)
Vestiges opens to ringing waves of sound in the short (2:40) Lost Summer. Long, slow sonic ripples, some lighter, some heavier, ebb and flow. The brief song is like sticking your toe in to test the waters, as the remaining tracks get progressively longer.
There are recognizable "guitar" sounds in The Outer Circle, though still yet removed from "normal" playing. Delicately picked notes interweave with a soaring strand of Pearce's resonant, wailing Strat. With the Morning Light seems to have few little extra shimmery notes over the shape-shifting tones.
North Refuge is one of the tracks wherein Pearce takes a knife to his guitar, though you'd never suspect since the outcome is neither sharp nor violent, just more smoothly billowing patterns. Vestiges also floats along on those same ethereal currents, modulating gently in shapelessly evolving soundwaves.
Eastland Nightfall caps off the disc with a more-than-24-minute total immersion experience. You'll already be acclimated so it's no problem sinking into this sonic sea. Fans of beatless ambient should find a lot to love in this disc, while guitar fans may be surprised to hear the instrument being taught some new tricks.
|This is a beautiful piece of work, tranquil without being cliched. The fact that these luxurious soundwaves come from a guitar is interesting, but irrelevant, really. Vestiges warrants a big One Thumb Up. Hmmm... maybe I'll break out the old Lava Light and try them together...|
|Jeff Pearce also has a website, if you'd like to learn more... after you've read his interview, of course.|