Exposé Online banner

Steve Roach & Serena Gabriel — Nectar Meditation
(Timeroom Editions no#, 2020, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-06-16

Nectar Meditation Cover art

Arizona based musician, performing and recording artist Serena Gabriel creates sacred sound spaces and performs worldwide. Her exploration of various world instruments (synthesizers, drums, percussion, flute, kalimba, didgeridoo, and more), voice, healing arts, and music production has led her to develop her own style spanning multiple genres: meditation, tribal medicine music, electro-acoustic, experimental and electronic. A quick visit to her Bandcamp site and her 2015 recording Diving Deep will offer a sterling example of what she can do on her own. The recording at hand, Nectar Meditation, is her first full collaboration with Steve Roach, and joining them on this long-form piece is none other than Byron Metcalf on frame drums and percussion. Roach soundpaints with his battery of analog synths and Solina string ensemble, while Gabriel plays harmonium, temple bells, and some wordless voice, with Metcalf’s drums keeping a slow trance-like pace as needed. Opening with the gentle sound of bells, the droning electronics soon make their entrance, with the wavelike interactions between harmonium and synths offering a revelatory, shimmering, and immersive listening experience. As the piece proceeds, the synths and harmonium (both droning at roughly the same pitch with very subtle nuanced variations) gently move forward and back within the soundspace, at times eclipsing one another or meeting somewhere in the middle, stretching and bending as it goes. The drums come in at around the twelve minute mark, creating a subtle cadence that underscores the dreamy proceedings already in progress without really dominating it. The sound created by the three offers a perfect respite from the tensions and stresses of everyday life, a perfect gateway to meditative states or even slumber, as it works its subconscious magic. Somewhere around the one hour mark, the drums withdraw and are replaced by other more subtle percussives, bells and such, eventually leaving the synths and harmonium to wind the piece down to its conclusion. A beautiful and engulfing journey.


Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Roach, Byron Metcalf, Serena Gabriel

More info
http://steveroach.bandcamp.com/album/nectar-meditation

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dave Cousins - Secret Paths & The Boy in the Sailor Suit – Cousins' latest two solo releases have the masterful Strawbs leader and songwriter in two very different settings, yet his muse is entirely comfortable in both. Throughout these two discs, his...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues