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Rudi Arapahoe: Echoes from One to Another

img  Tobias

On the other hand, his intentions are far from the stereotypical desires of wanting to remain "anonymous." Rather, by stepping aside and allowing his pieces to breathe on their own accord, Arapahoe is merely reinforcing the aspect that music should be a two-way form of communication which can only truly touch the recipient if its author cares for meaning beyond his own, private world. "My music is a highly personal language imbued with transpersonal qualities." He puts his sentiments on the issues into words. "The work goes beyond me; therefore the music is my introduction. My cue to remain behind a curtain."

Words – they often get into the way whenever listeners, journalists and even artists themselves are trying to express their feelings that sounds are evoking deep within them. When Arapahoe described "Echoes
from One to Another" as "essentially classical ambient with a strong sense of narrative" in our first communication, I certainly wasn't expecting the albums diversified roster of field-recording-flooded drones, mediaeval lute fantasises, dreampop, poetry, folk, minimalist piano etudes and ethereal soundscapes. Rudi, on the other hand, finds it hard speaking about his work merely as the result of an interest in trying out different techniques. 

"I want to create powerful, beautiful and timeless works of art", he specifies his thoughts, "Dynamics and juxtaposition are the most appropriate tools I have at my disposal to forge this trinity." When I dwell upon the significance of the absence of the term "composed by Rudi Arapahoe" in the CD booklet (it is replaced by the more descriptive "conception"), he is quick to reply. "The term 'composed' would play down the complex relationships between the musicians and myself. I believe in experts and the inherent artistry of the performers. Therefore in truth, all of my work is collaborative. However I am not presenting a Utopian model of collaboration." 

The line-up of the record is evidence to his interest in building his work from the artistic relationship with other performers. Musical partners on the album include guitarist Sean South, as well as the three female muses Kaithlin Howard, Sara Chambers and Eve Basilides on voice, voice and violin as well as voice and harp respectively. The input of pianist David Berger was particularly prominent on "Echoes from One to Another." "Stylistically, a listener may be able to distinguish between the marks we leave'" Rudi ponders, "Indeed there are recognisable ideas that interlock throughout the album; however in many ways these faint echoes simply question a notion and that notion is the of ownership of ideas."

Similarly, silence and noise are awarded new meaning not in absolute terms, but rather through their relative weighting. Arapahoe develops the idea when we touch upon the issue of the peaceful moods in Chinese gardens. "The gardens are most compelling when accessed directly from busy urban area. In my mind it's all about the threshold of your senses adjusting to the bombardment of stimuli followed by the relative paucity. So the Chinese garden is not necessarily quiet in the true sense of the word; but exceptionally quiet compared to the bustling city. Dynamics in music (and music mastering) could be suggested to function in a similar way." 

In the end, though, "Echoes from One to Another" doesn't work because of the inspired and spirited ideas at the heart of its compositional process, but rather because of its gentle oneiric pulse and the intimacy which Arapahoe allows to put up on display. Comparisons to Arvo Pärt don't quite seem representative, but they certainly point in the right direction, namely towards a style of zero frills and all emotional directness. You can call it "Classical Ambient," "Skull-Fucking" or even "Spherical Neoclassical Dreamscapes". But "Art" will do just fine as well.

Homepage: Rudi Arapahoe
Homepage: Symbolic Interaction Records

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