August Stars: Music for Twilight (Make Mine Music, 2006)
August Stars is the project of Sebastien Wright. Begun in 2002, Music for Twilight is a compilation of songs recorded between 2002 and 2005. Describing landscapes and geography with longing drones, August Stars evokes snow laden prairies and grey skies.
“The Round Church” begins with a low rumble that will be the underlying drone for the rest of the track. The keys hum and float along the rumble as the volume patiently and subtly builds. Moments of intensity and deep longing are evoked throughout the track. “The Round Church” contains deep, foreboding sounds with arresting moments of ease and tension. This leads into “Heiligabend.” This begins with an eerie didgeridoo type drone that is moves the track along. Bright drones float on waves of melancholy waves. Lurid movements come in and out of the track as it finishes. “Two Queerly Placed Melancholy Windows” begins with a beautiful and subtle drone. Besides the great title for this track, the music is sparse, and, in the moments of quiet, evokes the ominous and the sad. “Chantchester Meadow 2” has deep throbs and less melancholy tones. The keys ring through the speakers and resonate with high tones on fat, low beds. This brief interlude is beautiful and restful.
“Chamber Ghosts (edit)” is extremely subtle in its execution. Brief moments of swirling sounds move among the speakers, creating eerie movements. Light, distressed sounds move in and out of the speakers while the keys sound like cries from some other place. “December Skies Over Clare Street” hums into the speakers and is soothing. The soundscapes are bleak, evoking silent snow and grey, expanding skies that bleed over the horizon. The track is beautiful, settling, and brings back memories of a place I long to return to. “Reflection on the Bridge of Sighs” is another track that begins with a subtle hum. The layers build, with shimmering sounds on deep rumbling waves. The sounds ripple through the speaker, undulating in and out of the speakers. This leads into the longest track on the disc “The Twilight Turns from Amethyst to Deep and Deeper Blue.” Clocking in at over 17 minutes, it begins more subtly than any of the other tracks and invites the listener to relax as the disc begins to play out. Comforting and beautiful, this track is simply elegant in its execution. Eventually what sounds like wind and thunder punctuate the calm. Warbles and metallic sounds begin to fill in the void toward the end of the track. This turns into more layers of keys here and there. As the track nears its end, the elements come together and fade into the distance.
August Stars’ Music for Twilight is a breathtaking epic through varied emotive experiences. I highly recommend this disc to all lovers of drone and ambient music. It is stark, lonely, and breathtaking all at the same time.