Expansive09

Peter Michael Hamel - The Voice Of Silence as reviewed by Expansive09

March 25, 2016
edited over 5 years ago
Music is very subjective to an individuals tastes thats a given but I have to OBJECT to marcelrecords opinion that this is dated and amateurish, neither comment hold's true here!

This is a brilliant slice of musical styles mainly ambient and minimalist predating Brian Eno's works i.e. Music For Airports by a few years. The Terry Riley influence is here without a doubt Hamel's channeled the repetitive organ arpeggio's that one can hear in 1960's Riley works.

Hamel drew on the meditative powers of repetition and eastern scales hence his manipulation of the piano etc. This music was never meant to be mainstream and there are no indication's of Hamel ever attempting to "crossover" by using typical elements i.e. drums, guitars etc. that were prevalent in almost all music back in the day.

Instead the music draws listeners in by repetition and juxtaposition of angular harmonies albeit dissonant or melodic. One can hear the Indian raga influence thru-out this and all his solo releases from the 1970's i.e. Nada, Bardo etc.

The Voice of Silence is the key piece for my listening tastes its a minimalist track with analog synthesizer drones sort of representing an Indian tamboura with Hamel playing his organ over the deep drones. This creates a subtle space for one to reflect, relax or meditate.

Hamel was attempting a sort of spiritualism "non denominational" thru sound.Based on the lp's front cover art(which is brilliant in and of itself) which contrary to previous reviewer expresses perhaps the musicians interest in all religions and their positive spiritual aesthetics. This album was purely ahead of its time as was Hamel's self titled debut. Now why aren't these on cd..........!
marcelrecords

Peter Michael Hamel - The Voice Of Silence as reviewed by marcelrecords

September 28, 2012
Hamel time knows no time. PMH is let loose in the studio and assaults the grand piano and other assorted keyboards, meditating his ass off. This doesn't mean there are only meditative sounds here. Some of it is quite aggressive even. The instruments are often doctored, not only to achieve different scales (mostly eastern), but also to intensify the players' touch. Three long tracks are the result and our hero even sings an Indian melody with long notes and fraught with echo. So here is another strange mixture of east and west, that becomes dramatic on Ego-loss (small wonder with such a title) through the inclusion of panting and screaming (crisis? what crisis?) and a kind of resurrection of the singer. He finally finds a mantra, that is adorned with German and English shreds of text. We're sorry to say that this has not aged very well... Surely it is very time-typical and could be duly used as a soundtrack for a nostalgic retrospective of the esoteric attempts of the seventies.

Artistic amateurism can be a sharp weapon, but this home-made brew of mandala-art, brimming with all kinds of occult symbols seems only ill-advised to us. Surely this is not how the road to any spiritual quest that really matters looks like? The backcover is more of the same. The cover is lightly textured with a rectangle pattern.
Even the lettering is strictly home-made, but in its attempt to be clear-cut even worse.
chris_left_field

Peter Michael Hamel - The Voice Of Silence chris_left_field

February 21, 2015
I disagree with marcelrecords' criticism of this album, and its cover art. The only way in which this could be said to have not aged well, is if the listener is not that into this kind of music anyway. Fans of Peter Michael Hamel and Between would most likely enjoy this album a lot, as I did - simply another timeless gem! To dismiss the symbols on the cover as merely 'occult' with no relevance to true spirituality, to the detriment of the album as a whole, betrays a limited understanding of the history and meaning of these symbols, and a limited mystico-phobic approach to the nexus of spirituality and music, which is very much PMH's ouvre, in a pan-religious sense. Of course mystical symbols are themselves of limited importance - it's what they signify that matters, and in that regard I see no problem. What is says to me, on the surface, is that PMH is indicating that his approach embraces spiritual traditions from all over the world and seeks the true core of all of them. This is reflected in the music, which is anything but 'nostalgic'.