Anno Domini is a new Spotted Peccary release from Deborah Martin & J.A.Verner. Verner is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who’s released a series of recordings featuring his unique ambient guitar stylings. Martin also has several previous releases on the Spotted Peccary label, and contributes vocals to this cd.
The music is ambient music in the tradition of Western US ambient artists like Michael Stearns, combining slowly evolving synth textures, bell-like timbres, and other beautiful sounds with cavernous reverberation effects.
The music has a mystical religious element, too, with Latin lyrics and phrases incorporated in subtle ways. The combination results in a sort of ambient liturgy.
Verner and Martin start the CD with a Kyrie. They layer freely sung Kyrie’s and Christe’s over slowly shifting synth textures & cathedral-like reverb. The rest of the CD follows in a similar vein, with freely sung Latin words and phrases layered over shifting drones and synth pads.
Anno Domini captures the spirit of the CD in one track. It starts with the sounds of church bells ringing and then introduces synth strings and pads that drift over each other. On top of this, Martin sings, chants and whispers “Anno Domini”, giving the music a sort of abstracted religious quality.
Throughout most of the CD, the music is pulseless or is very freely performed. The instrumentation and arrangements are similar from track to track, so that the music is never jarring.
The CD reaches is nicely paced, with a peak close to the end with Dona Nobis Pacem (Give us peace). This track has more of a live band feel, with a regular pulse, percussion, guitar and vocals giving it drive.
Deborah Martin & J.A. Verner’s Anno Domini is a deep ambient work that evokes the ancient mysteries of forgotten rituals. It’s another solid ambient release from Spotted Peccary, a label that seems to get stronger with each release. The CD should appeal to fans of Michael Stearns, Steve Roach and other Western US ambient artists.
You can preview tracks at the Spotted Peccary site.
- Anno Domini
- Vicis Pro Vicis
- Dona Nobis Pacem
- Inter Astrum