Richard Knox and Frederic D Oberland
Artist: Richard Knox and Frederic D Oberland
Title: The Rustle of the Stars
Record Label: Gizeh Records
It’s something of compelling beauty when a piece of music can document perfectly a journey or right of passage. This new collaborative marriage of sound between Richard Knox and Frederic D Oberland does exactly that. These two modern classical musicians have created a beautiful yet bleak album in The Rustle of the Stars. Knox and Oberland’s plan for this project was simple, to record the album in a church, to act quickly and to document the travels of a North Pole explorer.
The album was born out of the amalgamation of many recording sessions, some in their own homes and the main sessions at St Margaret of Antioch Church. This is where the pair used the wall of sound process to forge The Rustle of the Stars’ expansive sonic trajectory.
The opening track ‘Sleeping Land (pt I)’ sonically maps out the last ebbs of summer, and the swirl of quivering strings invokes the change in temperature associated with when summer becomes fall. You can almost feel the warmth disappearing from the sun as the swelling strings ascend to a beautifully calming climax. Amongst the more traditional classical instrumentation you can also hear slight bursts of static and muffled radio interference. Knox and Oberland have managed to combine a sound which is contemporary yet traditional.
Once the fine notes of Sleeping Land (pt I) come to a close, it is evident summer has come to an end as the remaining tracks plunge you into an ice cold pool of water. This wall of sound is akin to a bracing winter wind harshly whipping at your face. The textures and tones of The Rustle of the Stars fit the aesthetic Knox and Oberland wish to convey perfectly. The Arctic expedition is portrayed wonderfully with the ever changing maelstrom of noise created by these two talented musicians.
What at times can be a very desolate experience, can also by an emotional journey for the listener. The glacial tidal waves of trembling strings and noise sends a shiver down your spine, while at the same time, warms your heart with the albums ever present human touch.
The Rustle of the Stars is an intrepid journey from beginning to end and not one to be taken lightly.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams