4/19/2017

Archon Orchestra — Cenotaph


I hope nobody will get disappointed when finds out that this release is not one of the latest. What you are going 
to read below is half story, or rather, history and half an album review. I am sure you get to listen to a ton of music, but not sure if you ever heard the works of Archon Orchestra. Below is their story, which can be a research topic of its own.

Archon Orchestra has started in Moscow with the experimental project, Cyclotimia. The first album that I ever heard was a monumental space work, called 
Celestis: Space Ceremonial Music, followed by Music for Stockmarkets. These two albums are the remaining blocks to complete any music collection.

One of the participants of Cyclotimia, Max Khachmanukyan started his own project in 2009, called Sphere Rex and recorded a very beautiful and touching piano album, For Electronics and Piano, his view on minimalism and ambient music. Max had so many good ideas that he created another project, known as Archon Orchestra, moving in a different direction of music.

Debut album of Archon Orchestra was Pong, where Max used real space organ to produce mechanic sequences and creating sound landscape of your inner space. Take for example, Orpheus, Golconda tracks, which project you a long distance away from this planet. They have quite a surprising effect, considering that the ideas behind the music and sounds are pretty basic.

The second album of Archon Orchestra is called Cenotaph. This record has quite a sad tone and I keep thinking that this is the musician reminiscing the golden age of the Renaissance. The record is very unique, being artistic and electronic at the same time, with the sounds of medieval organ and translucent sounds of piano. The artwork of the album is the work of the German-American artist Lyonel Feininger - Market Church In Halle, who was influenced by analytical cubism and Italian futurism.

The album starts with a piercing play Lento, turning into Hope and Calm, with hissy electronic drums. After all, electronic music is just a modern way of sharing the information between the artist and its listeners. The content 
of modern soundscapes is similar to the content of couple-of-century-old canvases: artists fix the moments of their enlightenment in their works. The play, Eluding I, has way more of content than any story can tell. In between the notes is an evolving ambient plain with distressed sounds of strings, followed by Les Dirigeables, and then by Eluding II, with their weightless and incredibly crafty melodies turning you to the state of levitation. Cenotaph, the main chapter of the album and is a symbolic monument: it erases the definition of time does and introduces you to the eternity. Time is the last page of the album, one of my favorite tracks, it is the soundtrack to the real life, which is quite a different story to the rest of the album.

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Author: Faith