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Some more goodness from the Symbolic Interaction label in Japan which is rapidly shaping up to being one of the best new labels we've been dealing with. Here's a great CD by a chap called Rudi Arapahoe who I know nothing about whatsoever aside from he's a sound artist working from Helix Branch Studios. I don't even know where they are. They could be down the road. He might live next to me for all I know. Watcha Rudi. Here's 21 tracks of neo classical music featuring some warm electronics. This is really beautiful stuff and the closest comparison I can think of is somewhere between Max Richter and Helios. Strings, acoustic guitar, electronics, occasional eerie vocals all mashed up into a huge bowl of cinematic soup. The artwork is also smashing too. Woohoo. Someone new to like!! 'Echoes From One To Another' is CD only folks! - Norman Records
We were floored by the beauty of this ravishing fusion of classical and electronic musics when it appeared in mid-2008. Created by a “sound artist working from Helix Branch studios” and augmented by a small but critical assortment of guests credited with keyboards, vocals, guitar, harp, and strings, Echoes From One To Another sounds like what might result if Akira Rabelais, Arvo Pärt, and The Balustrade Ensemble spent a month collaborating at a studio in some ancient, haunted castle.
... Listening to this ravishing fifty-minute collection, two questions repeatedly come to mind: Who is Rudi Arapahoe and where did his gorgeous Echoes From One To Another come from? It's like nothing else in the Symbolic Interaction catalogue, and like very little else in general for that matter. We can report that Arapahoe is a “sound artist working from Helix Branch studios,” that he is the album's sound designer and conceptual driving force, and contributes field recordings and antique electronics to the album (augmented by a small number of guests credited with keyboards, vocals, guitar, harp, and strings).
With the exception of a photo on the disc itself that suggests a reclining female vampire, ghostly apparitions dominate Echoes From One To Another's presentation, and the visual approach complements the material's equally haunted and crepuscular sound. The album plays out like an episodic dreamscape where speaking voices, phantom whispers, incantatory singing, delicate piano and string melodies, and field sounds (forest rustles, waves breaking) alternately appear. The material's elegiac tone is clearly conveyed by titles like “Last Words Unspoken” and “My Shadow (Vanishes),” and its “narrative” thread is crystallized by a poem that's recited in the second song: “In a dream I am standing / At the entrance to a forest / Here there are constructed / Numberless arches that radiate light. / When I pass through them at night / My body floats gently into the air. / At this precise moment / When I am on the cusp of sleep / My shadow vanishes / And with it my weight.”Graceful cascades of harp melodies set the tone in “I Close My Eyes and Float to the Ceiling,” after which follows an elegy filled with supplicating voices and weeping strings (“To Gather Flowers”), an ethereal and enveloping soundscape (“Forest Of Arches”), and a gentle piano etude (“Lunar Semaphore”). “Echoes from One to Another” leads a singer's haunting voice and a violin's cry through a pebble-strewn landscape, while two sopranos sing in entrancing counterpoint over a quietly insistent dance pulse in “Conversation Piece”; in “Pleroma,” the singer's stirring melody even carries with it a whiff of Holy Minimalism. A poetic fusion of classical and electronic musics, Echoes From One To Another sounds like what might result were Akira Rabelais, Arvo Pärt, and The Balustrade Ensemble to spend a month collaborating at a studio in some ancient and secluded castle. - textura.org
As Eve Basilides opens up with strumming of the harp, a distant lo-fi hiss transposes you into a surreal world of shadows and broken dreams. By the time Kaithlin Howard’s voice breaks through the reverb and lightly touched piano chords I begin to wonder if the imagery is indeed from my long lost memory. Rudi Arapahoe’s spellbinding soundscapes accompany my daydreams into a world of modern classical and magical realism. “A strange and beautiful tale, voiced across the windswept plains and forests of purgatory.”
Here I give into another temptation to repeat the Echoes From One To Another poem:
“In a dream I am standing / At the entrance to a forest / Here there are constructed / Numberless arches that radiate light / When I step through them at night / My body floats gently in the air / At this precise moment / When I am on the cusp of sleep / My shadow vanishes / And with it my weight.“Why bother attempting to even describe such beautiful and timeless experience? Rudi Arapahoe has captured it all. As if the music wasn’t enough, the photographs included in the packaging perfectly echo the artist’s message via the visual senses. Echoes From one To Another definitely reminds me of Max Richter, especially The Blue Notebooks. It’s mostly because of the melancholic piano, cinematic strings, and of beautiful spoken word. And when being compared to Max Richter was a bad thing? I hope Arapahoe’s future is bright with creating mystical soundtracks to a world that we carve out of this visible reality. For when I close my eyes, it rapidly vanishes. And only music remains. - reviews.headphonecommute.com/
Wide open spaces, delicate and precise soundscaping and moving atmospherics all define this somewhat mysterious and haunting delivery from Japanese imprint Symbolic Interaction. The fruit of the labour of Rudi Arapahoe, Echoes From One To Another is an ambitious piece of work on more than one level. Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s fourteenth century epic poem The Divine Comedy, which takes the narrator through the various stages of the afterlife as seen by Christians at the time, the album, which stretches over fifty minutes, is in itself a stunning and memorable journey through stark atmospheric textures and emotions.
Describing himself as a composer, sound artist and storyteller in equal measures, Arapahoe is credited here for concept, sound design, field recordings and ‘antique electronics’, and is supported by a host of additional musicians contributing piano, guitar, harp, violin, synths and vocal performances. While utterly difficult to sum up in just a few words, Echoes From One To Another evokes at time the medieval brushes of Dead Can Dance circa Aion or the cinematic melancholy of Max Richter’s The Blue Notebooks for instance, yet it reaches beyond any genre and define a space very much its own.
Right from the opening moments of I Close My Eyes And Float To The Ceiling, with its flickering harp whirlwinds which momentarily gather into tight molecular formations, the listener is drawn into a world of sweeping beauties, dense emotions and spiritual undertones. Delicate melodies sip through the pores of Ahapahoe’s elegant sound formations to concentrate into wonderfully ephemeral emotional sequences. Shrouded in vast ambient clouds, alive with found sounds and sonic details, the compositions, while very much individual, ripple endlessly as newer pieces are introduced, creating a radiating impression which gives this album its multi-faceted appearance. Whether through the meditative vocals of To Gather Flowers and Echoes From One To Another, the quietly uplifting soundwaves of Dionysian Bird, the crystalline melodic droplets of Every Time I Sleep or the romanticism of Conversation Piece and Last Words Unspoken, each new track, scattered with found sound residue, seem to add a layer of humanity and reinforce the overall tone of the record.
It is impossible to do Echoes From One To Another any favour in just a few words, such is the scope of the project and the mastery of the execution, and one can only partially lift the veil on a piece of work which keeps on revealing new facets with each new listen. Rudi Arapahoe may still be an unfamiliar name, but with such a strong, impressive and fascinating record under his belt, he should soon gain the respect he deserves. - www.themilkfactory.co.uk/st/
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. - www.tokafi.com/
Little is known about the mysterious Rudi Arapahoe except that he resides somewhere in the idyllic English countryside and has authored the riveting “Echoes from One to Another” for Japanese imprint Symbolic Interaction. Based around the Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy”, Arapahoe laces a narrative throughout this record, much like Last Days’ “Sea” and “These Places Are Now Ruins”. “Echoes From…” takes the listener on a journey from the moment of death through a haunting passage into the afterlife, discussing purgatorial thematics of lust and sin.
Arapahoe plays the roles of conductor and composer, utilizing field recordings and antique electronics, while directing a collective of musicians who engage instruments including harp, violin and vintage synthesizers. The effect is somewhat remarkable, as Arapahoe weaves a fabric of forgotten sounds, fusing nocturnal ambiences with noir-classical instrumentation and echo-dappled folk. The fleeting elfin-chanteuse vocals of Kaithlin Howard only add to the mystique surrounding this release. Beginning with the angelic harp-led vignette of “I Close My Eyes and Float to the Ceiling” and ending with the equally celestial “My Shadow (Vanishes)”, Arapahoe’s journey is like no other. “Echoes From…” effortlessly produces some of the most gorgeous pieces of music put to record this year. From the soft, twilight piano of “Lunar Semaphore” to the stirring “To Gather Flowers”, which is both beatific and desolate in equal measures.
The title track shades the region between Helios and Max Richter, offering the folkish acoustic guitar picking of the former, while paying heed to the cinematic nature of the later. When Arapahoe utilizes a range of field recordings (rain, storms, haunting whispers, pulsing heartbeats, shuffling feet, foliage and spiritual ambiences) he steeps much of the record in the traditions of labels such as Type and Miasmah, with artists like Elegi, Svarte Greiner and Deaf Center particularly coming to mind. While the subject matter of “Echoes…” may be rather morose, especially the crude Dictaphone recording found on “Conversation Piece”, the warmth and radiant nature of Arapahoe’s compositions are somewhat uplifting. A romantic melancholia dissolves much of the elegiac desolation and replaces it with a paradisiacal grandeur. A wonderful, wonderful record. - www.sicmagazine.net/
The first verifiable hit from the Japanese Symbolic Interaction imprint, Rudi Arapahoe's Echoes from One to Another is a remarkable avant-classical work.- THE SILENT BALLET
This is just a monstrously brilliant album. I had no idea what to expect as I hadn't heard anything from it at all and when I put it on it just blew me away.- SMALLFISH
Mixing decayed field recordings with lonesome piano and vocal passages; Rudi Arapahoe creates ghostly, melancholic worlds of dream and hallucination.- RAVEN SINGS THE BLUES
A masterful mix of classical, electronics, field recordings and poetry.- MAPSADAISICAL
Arapahoe's great mastery appears to be in sound design; raking in piano, guitar, synths, harp, field recordings, electronics and voices from which to weave a cinematic soundtrack lonely for accompanying images. Thanks to an inspired electronic and acoustic palette, 'Echoes From One To Another' is impossible to date-stamp or comfortably compare with anyone else operating at the moment. - ANYTHING BUT SILENCE
Double Bind EP (2013)