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Troy Donockley & Dave Bainbridge - 2004 - "From Silence"

(56 min, 'Open Sky')

TRACK LIST:                             

1.  From Silence Part 1 9:45
2.  From Silence Part 2 6:15
3.  From Silence Part 3 15:51
4.  From Silence Part 4 9:04
5.  From Silence Part 5 9:44
6.  From Silence Part 6 5:35

All tracks: by Donockley & Bainbridge.
Produced by Donockley & Bainbridge.


Dave Bainbridge - keyboards; electric guitar, bouzouki
Troy Donockley - whistles, pipes; vocals

Prolusion. "From Silence" is the first collaborative production by Troy DONOCKLEY and Dave BAINBRIDGE. Apart from this album and those they did with Iona, Dave has one solo album to his credit: "Veil of Gossamer", and Troy two: "The Unseen Stream" and "The Pursuit of Illusion". The creators recommend listening to the CD with headphones.

Analysis. "From Silence" was recorded live in Lincoln Cathedral, one of the most beautiful and ancient buildings in England. The sound is crystal clear, and its excellent quality is evident throughout the recording. It's somewhat difficult to believe the material was recorded not in the studio, so the cathedral is justly famed for its specific acoustic atmosphere. The album features one suite (rather, a kind of suite) of the same title, divided into seven parts. Unfortunately, the music doesn't match with the sound of the recording. This is symphonic Ambient with some ethnic and medieval flavor, performed without the rhythm section. The ratio between acoustic and electronic textures is approximately equal. The first part begins pretty promisingly. In full accordance with the work's title, the solo of woodwind (which reminds me of flute by timbre) fluently flows from silence. Then appear keyboards, moving carefully, as if fearing to destroy the fragile atmosphere built by the flute. The fluidly flowing music generates in my mind the picture of a mysterious exotic landscape at the sunrise. Later on, however, nothing significant happens. The sun remained on the same place, and the overall picture remained almost unchanged, having lost all the charm it had initially. After the expiry of the first six or seven minutes, I became bored, and this state followed me until the last track. Well, some of the core pieces are notable for a richer sound and the variance of the instruments' timbres. Compositionally and emotionally however, everything remains close to the freezing point. As for Part VI, this is the only track that I feel inclination to. Here, the emphasis is placed on the wide use of acoustic guitar, and there appear to be certain analogies with fragments from the studio disc of the "Ummagumma" double album by the unforgettable Pink Floyd. That being said, this is the most successful thing here, partly because it is the shortest.

Conclusion. No one's opinion can be considered the truth in its last instance, so I can assume some people, particularly those who find strong musical tranquilizers to be useful, will disagree with the law rating (etc) I've given to this release. Nevertheless, from the viewpoint of progressive music, where the main values are the originality of structural and harmonic development and the expressiveness of melodic lines, amongst others, this project is hardly of interest to the genre's traditional audience.

VM: Agst 18, 2005

Related Links:

Dave Bainbridge
Troy Donockley


ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages