The new release from Geoffrey Armes is his first ‘live’ recording, and introduces a new concept of ‘environmental music’ where the sonics of a specific live environment are melded with subsequent overdubs and the imagined space of the listener.
The basic rhythm tracks and concepts were all improvised in February 2009 whilst Armes accompanied ‘Movement for Actors” classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse Theatre in NYC, usually playing some combination of synth, piano, and handsonic simultaneously.
Armes writes, "Ghosts dwell in this eerily dark and sober room… Martha Graham, Doris Rudiko, Jane Dudley, Pearl Lang, Kevin Keenan taught, and have now passed on… a number of well known actors have listened and moved… also the Playhouse still resonates with the feeling of the nineteen-twenties studio it once was, there are original fixtures and pieces of furniture littering the place… Studio 4 is a floor through hall raised up through two apartment levels, in other words a high ceiling, but tenebrous, despite the wall of mirrors and light through windows… the floor has been burnished over the decades by characters well known and obscure, all working, all realising some previously obsfucated aspect of self into ‘legitimate’ (I use the word guardedly but don’t have a better right now) expression… in other words the air through which my sound vibrates is laden with meaning and memory…"
Working on in his home studio the artist added extra instrumentation, sounds and found voices, to make a music that is both complex and easy. This sound integrates movement and silence, a splinter of peace in the midst of the clatter and chatter of multi-faceted post-modern life and particularly rewards the listener using headphones.
An early review from Dan Herman of Radio Crystal Blue reads “One comes away from the listening and absorbing of Geoffrey’s latest offering Hemisphere as though well-traveled in one’s inner world….space-age technology combined with hallway voices, handclaps, blips, bleeps, smooth and sublime bass riffs, and a palette of sound that commands attention.”