Nice. Not the classic, gritty/darker ambient shades of Greinke – but I’ll still be using a track from this on a future mix.
Rich with harmonic texture and delicate detail, sound-sculptor Jeff Greinke’s BEFORE SUNRISE presents an exquisite arrangement of ambient chamber music. The album follows a natural progression from the composer’s previous works, featuring abstract soundscapes and emotive passages of effortless beauty, created with an abundance of acoustic instruments. Piano, cello, viola, winds, brass, and vibraphone, all blend fluently with Greinke’s own sampled textures, synthesizers, and other electronic elements, resulting in an expansive palette of rich timbres that underscore a nuanced display of ambient impressionism.
Spanning the genres of modern classical, electronic, and ambient, BEFORE SUNRISE gently evolves, flowing through a predominately non-linear structure. The music is characteristically slow-moving, and the balance between composition and improvisation reveals an organic sound that is vital for a dynamic listening experience. The string instruments are recorded in such a way as to highlight the sound of the bow moving across the strings, and this attention to both acoustic details and performance techniques feeds the music’s natural quality. Greinke explains, “I instructed the musicians not to shy away from squeaks and scrapes that sometimes happen while playing such instruments. It’s the first time I’ve really paid attention to those sounds and I made sure to bring those qualities into the mix when appropriate. I find that those sounds evoke a lonely, abandoned landscape that appeals to me.” Indeed, the recordings conjure a desolate, and at times melancholy terrain, while the warmth and depth of the electronic textures offer a lush, comforting blanket of sound.
Greinke takes deep inspiration from the sights, sounds, sensations, and atmosphere of his natural surroundings, and as a result BEFORE SUNRISE is an intimate and spacious work that unfolds with the majestic subtlety of a pre-dawn sky.