Guenter Schlienz ~ Peace

PeacePacified tones flow out of Peace. In the key of sweet love, higher notes float on translucent, ever-calm waters. Occasionally, a soft, undulating bass will accompany them, drawing near and walking beside them.

Peace is more than just an absence of war. It goes deeper than anything else, save for love. Love and peace operate on the same parallels and frequencies, sharing many of the same characteristics; both are warm and all-embracing, sparkling with crimson and aquamarine, an inner radiance which both flows and flowers outwards. Its intoxicating perfume gives hope to this cruel, frosty world.

It scents everything you do in your life. It becomes more than a mere state of mind as it ascends to and enters a spiritual plane of existence. Peace isn’t mere contentment, nor is it always passive. In a world where violence and revenge is often glamorised to the point where Hollywood rakes in billions of dollars per year by selling it as entertainment, peace isn’t always in the mainstream; passivity is not a bestseller.

Peace sells…but who’s buying? Sadly, war is a profitable business.

And so, after receiving a number of emails from friends that ended with the word ‘Peace’, Schlienz began asking himself what the word really meant. He began reading the impressionist travelogue, ‘The Colossus of Maroussi’, by Henry Miller, which was written in 1939, when the world was on the brink of another war. Basking in a pre-dawn stillness that would later be shattered, 1939 was a year in which peace itself would be annihilated. And yet, even in the catastrophic amphitheater of war, stories of love and immense bravery abounded, claiming victory in the hearts of millions of people. Peace rose from the ashes and vanquished the evil that had gripped much of Europe. Peace isn’t just a state of mind: the old saying is that you come to know peace.

You befriend it.

Perhaps, as Miller discovered in Greece, peace can be traced to a slowing down of things, a differing of tempo and rhythm; certainly, in the physical body, a slowing down of the heartbeat can result in feeling calmer and more relaxed…but relaxation in and of itself is not entirely peace. Schlienz uses modular synths, electronic organ and guitar as his weaponry, while tape loops and analog and digital delays help in layering the music.  The tender, opening explorations of “Outer Corridors of Space” set off subtle changes in the atmosphere. The cosmic loops in “Powdered Stars Lightning Inaudible Noises” will soothe with its endless, calming repetitions, while “Marble Light” drifts ever onwards, sleepily looping, a lovely thing. The dulled, slower harmonies produce delayed reactions, like the softer glow of sunlight in September.

The absence of drums is akin to the absence of gunfire, of artillery, of bombs. No distortion = the death of rage.

Ambient music is more peaceful than metal – but why is this the case? It may seem obvious, but the answer isn’t a simple one. Guenter Schlienz is more interested in finding out the why. Sometimes, though, there are no answers in life, and that’s fine…more than fine. You don’t necessarily need to analyze something that brings so much joy, freedom and bliss – just know that it’s here, free and unlimited. Likewise, there are no restrictions in the form of ambient song, absent as they are of pop music’s tight, often claustrophobic structures. A melody is there as a slow pulse, but if you raise its heart rate, you automatically diminish its sense of peace. Slowness is at the core of Peace, and no more is this so than in the blissful closer, “Epidaurus”, a point at which the music comes full circle. The music rests in open fields and amber light. Yes, peace is being able to smile on, come what may. (James Catchpole)

Available here

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