An Eilean Spring (Part III): Uwe Zahn, Porya Hatami & Darren McClure

coverEilean Records is only releasing one album in May, a collaborative effort that brings together three different artists from three different nations:  Uwe Zahn/Arovane (Germany), Porya Hatami (Iran) and Darren McClure (Japan).  Each has a specific field of expertise, ranging from electronics to textures to field recordings.  In this recording, it’s hard to hear where one artist ends and another begins, as the digital exchange is so thorough.  One might guess that the pacing comes from Hatami, the percussion from Zahn and the drones from McClure.  But more importantly, these artists create a soothing atmosphere that returns Eilean Records to the land of ambience after a brief experimental sojourn.  Without saying a word, the album also serves as an example of international cooperation and respect at a time when it is most needed.

Veerian‘s title seems invented, perhaps an amalgamation of languages to reflect the album’s pedigree.  The same is true of the first six titles, each starting with the letter V.  The attention is drawn instead to the music, itself representing a new language that incorporates the contributions of three performers without overwhelming or under-appreciating any of their efforts.  The strongest piece, “Vhaundt”, is also the brightest and most clearly textured, a springboard from the softer drone that precedes it.  A light rain falls; droplets bounce from cymbals; wooden toys roll.  A child gurgles contentedly, lulled and fascinated all at once.  The track sounds like spring and the color green, underlining the fact that Eilean matches its albums with colors and seasons.  The chatter and bells of “Vhandaan” play off of each other as if to suggest busyness and rest.  As one might expect, rest wins, with crickets entering and receding mid-mix.  But the album’s most restful segments are the piano interludes found at the heart of “Veeland”, which exude an internal calm; and “Modal”s dripping final minute.  As April showers bring May flowers, the stage is now set for Eilean’s summer slate.  (Richard Allen)

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