Orb Temple by Lubbock, Texas-based ambient project Aura Gaze is an album comprised of two extended tracks of equal length: “Orb Temple (for zither)” and “Orb Temple (for synth).” The first is comprised of layers of textural yet ethereal drones, flowing, resolving tones and and minimal, processed string sounds perhaps gentle strumming on the named instrument sounding utterly unlike any traditional use of zither. It makes one think about music one might make trying to imagine the background workings of dreams and the unconscious mind—the rhythms, the composition of immanent psychological energy before it manifests as thoughts we would recognize as such. The second track shares a similar resonance but with purely electronic sounds takes us on a journey from the sources and base energy components of the quanta of perceived existence, of cognition itself. Of course it is impossible for us to fully experience these sorts of things in real time because we require the cognitive framing to even conceptualize what that might be like but with music and and other forms of art we can use our imaginations to express an approximation of such primal concepts for us to experience without having to impose verbal or cultural constructs that impede our apprehension of ideas through our enforced frames of reference as born of a specific set of shared assumptions. Yes the filters of mother culture and the use of technology and how our imaginations are shaped by a collective creative and symbolic language exist in all art but music separate of conceits of adhering to a narrow sense of accessibility stands a chance of bypassing those filters. Orb Temple perhaps borrows the familiarity of rhythm and major scale tonality at points to draw us in to a deep sense of peace and a journey in brightening the dark corridors of our minds in trying times but in doing so it also reminds us that imagination and not having to couch all our thoughts and emotions in forms that have been imposed on us by a full bombardment of media, that, in fact we can cleanse our minds and move toward creating the kind of space in our heads that is open to creating expansive and fortifying experiences for ourselves and others. Listen to Orb Temple on Bandcamp (where you can also purchase a download or a limited edition compact disc through Somewherecold Records) and connect with Aura Gaze at the links below.
Like beams of sunshine streaming deep into the algae rich waters of a hidden lake, the melodic drone of “Lightworker” by Aura Gaze brings a sense of calm and wonder. The enigmatic wind chimes and breezy white noise swirl around a shimmering synth figure, following it beyond the immediate reach of that solar illumination, which in the field of sound becomes a vague notion in the blue green mist. Alternately it suggests great vistas of arboreal splendor protected from the ravages of human industry by mountain peaks forbidding to summit and to descend into the immense valley where earth’s oldest living plants have taken root since time immemorial. It’s reminiscent of Popol Vuh’s work for Werner Herzog’s Aguirre the Wrath of God. But whereas there is an immense sense of melancholy to that work, there is a one of warmth and benign spirits to this song. Listen below, listen more to the full-length Eternal Hymns and follow Aura Gaze at the links provided.