St. Mary's Hamilton Village
3916 Locust Walk in Philadelphia, PA
Free Admission/Donations Accepted
Renowned Soundscape Guitarist Jeff Pearce at long last returns to The Gatherings Concert Series and the remarkable setting of St. Mary's Hamilton Village for a rare east coast performance on Saturday 7 October 2017. Ambient multi-instrumentalistEyes Cast Down is set to open.
Jeff Pearce creates smooth and beautiful sound textures using (and mis-using) electric guitars. Producing tones that rarely betray their origin notes are processed, delayed, distorted and looped to create complex harmonies and timbres. Pearce's music is compelling and moody, traversing the Space, Ambient, Experimental and New Age genres. Whether playing intimate acoustic music or crafting deep-space drifts, Jeff Pearce composes a work which combines melody and mystery in a unique way.
Often cited as being among the masters of Ambient guitar the range of tones and textures that Pearce coaxes out of his six strings and electronic circuitry is a tribute to his craft. There are few who possess the creativity, skills, and vision to visit this rarified sonic terrain.
Jeff Pearce is also an active live performer. His concerts are memorable events, mixing songs from his albums with storytelling and surprising musical improvisations.
Jeff Pearce's five prior performances at The Gatherings (which remain highlights of the series) were each followed by live in-studio on-air radio concerts for STAR'S END Ambient Radio - one of which has been released as the album The Light Beyond (2001). Pearce has also played at the ECHOES affiliated Summer Solstice Spacemusic Spectacular held in Harrisburg, PA in June of 2003 as well as at The STAR'S END 30th Anniversary Spacemusic Festival held in Philadelphia in June of 2007. More recently Pearce joined an impressive line-up of artists as part of the HEARTS OF SPACE affiliated Ambicon 2013 in California.
Jeff Pearce returns to Philadelphia and The Gatherings Concert Series on Saturday 7 October 2017. Ambient multi-instrumentalistEyes Cast Down will provide an opening set.
With Evening Above by Jeff Pearce - at The Gatherings Concert Series (11 October 2014)
Album Review: From the Darker Seasons by Jeff Pearce
Emotions rise and fall, they come and go. It is only desire that is constant - and which is the substance of all great music. The work of Jeff Pearce feels the tug of this gravity. His album From the Darker Seasons (54'19") forges yet another wonderful wordless connection with his audience. If it suffers from anything, it is that, in delivering its message, the music is almost too gorgeous for its own good. The eight pieces that make up From the Darker Seasons present Pearce the electric guitarist playing chords deliberately paced and picked and echoing out across great distances - caught forever in the hold of his compositional design. As trails of digital reverb hang in the air, atmospheric eddies at once diffuse, smooth and enrich the glowing textures around the defined notes. While these warm, heart-felt songs foretell the coming of shorter days, this album's deep ambient zones provide their own frost wrought peace. Against a rush of darkness Pearce's long tones address the bright starred face of lengthening nights. The expansion of excited steel strings through electronic processing produces a harmonically sustained movement - where the setting for such contemplative chords will seem numinous to our teeming, gleaning minds. Sounds emerge, then slide and glide toward and past one another in quiet transformation. Within these pieces, awareness is incremental. Drawing affirmation out of the renewing power of music, From the Darker Seasons readily throws off light. In a work of music there must be something more than what is refereed to as force. There must be distinction, and a rarity of feeling. Jeff Pearce is playing for this fragile cause.
Album Review: Follow the River Home by Jeff Pearce
Jeff Pearce continues to exhibit a calm confidence over his abilities. Throughout the course of Follow the River Home (52'51") we will venture from the basic trembling of the air to a quickening of our consciousness. His work takes hold of us - speaking in a way in which words cannot. We feel a verging as Pearce releases imagery in seven studies on the beauty of musical timbre. In some places a stimulant, in others a tranquilizer, his audience easily follows the moral instruction of the music. The richness of tone - its intelligence, its casual precision - is felt from the first note. Generating a flux of musical expectations, Pearce raises anticipation at every turn. His use of digital processing, interspersed with clean playing, allows the vibrations emanating from his electric guitar to morph, swirl and assume a new identity. Filtered electronically this sound first begins as sympathetic resonation, in the generation of unexpected overtones. The resulting masterful formations are stirring exchanges of texture and atmosphere, resulting in distinctive moods and spirits. At many points during Follow the River Home, a coherent soloing plucks and picks through arpeggiated chords, and undergoes harmonic transitions gradually - as this shapely music activates our minds just as much as it flutters our hearts. Big chords then roll in through deep reverberation, possibly transporting the mind to a higher than normal level of integration. Three of the tracks express themselves in undulating swells of notes, generating the album's most spacey moments. There is a sonic glory here, as Pearce expresses some dark impulses... and then hope. He plays this music to light up the least grain of being in us - often finding our still point, and the deeper relations that hold this music together.
Eyes Cast Down is the ethereal music project by Greg Moorcroft. Using various guitars, synthesizers, computer programs and acoustic sources, Moorcroft produces fascinating sustained atmospheres. Measure upon measure of slowly changing, undulating chords advance and recede along a musical arc of vague dimensions. The slowly breathing tones summon interesting variations in mood and space. Yet these dark sonic clouds cannot keep the sacred from shining through. There are areas of minimal sound, which move on to a thick density of contrasting timbres and emanations in a striking drama of dynamic range. His intelligently directed soundscapes also offer restful sonic colors, luxuriant in their repose.
Eyes Cast Down debuts at The Gatherings Concert Series on Saturday 7 October 2017. Please find below an audio clip from Moorcroft's rehearsal sessions.
Album Review: The White Island by Eyes Cast Down
Without words we would communicate by trading symbols. Recording as Eyes Cast Down, guitarist Greg Moorcroft produces music under this assumption. His album The White Island (65'13") communicates to the listener, not just a substantial intellect, but also the many gray shades of mystery the human experience may touch. The musicianship found on The White Island goes beyond that of the virtuoso, and to a different kind of playing and composing. The addition of several layers of echo, reverb, pitch shifting, long and short delay lines and other forms of digital processing results in a confluence of processes, intuition and innovation. The idea of layering the sounds of a guitar by means of a long delay is about as old as our modern concept of Ambient Music. But Moorcroft aspires to more than he inherited. The White Island does represent his mastery of the equipment that loops, shifts, delays, flanges, filters and phases his plucked, rubbed and otherwise excited steel strings. However, his involvement with the music goes deeper than just a fascination with technology and technique. Consisting of six slow-motion cloud rider tracks, this album might help the mind reduce the taxing task of processing nonessential information. The pindrop performances were recorded essentially in real-time, and wanders from theme to theme in a free association of half-thoughts, lost memories and forgotten places. From smooth and swirling, to tempestuous and dark, the achieved atmosphere seems to be that of sustained calm and wonder - harmonic journeys without the usual conclusion. Characterized by the reiteration of extended phrases and weighted by unpredictable shifts in timbre, The White Island eventually settles into its own unique ambient area - where the ethereal and surreal meet as a cerebral force.
The Gatherings Concert Series presents Jeff Pearce plus Eyes Cast Down live in concert on Saturday 7 October 2017 at 8:00PM(doors open at 7:30pm) in the church sanctuary of St. Mary's Hamilton Village3916 Locust Walk (just east of 40th & Locust) on the Penn campus in West Philadelphia. Admission: Free! No reservation neccesary. Donations Gratefully Accepted!
CIMA of PA - The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of Pennsylvania
Jeff Pearce plus Eyes Cast Down at The Gatherings Concert Series on 7 October 2017 is funded by CIMA of PA(The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of Pennsylvania), the all-volunteer, non-profit organization responsible for organizing and producing The Gatherings Concert Series. The basic mission of CIMA of PA is to bring innovative music concerts to the public and further the advancement of this form of art.
Continuing to further the cultivation of innovative music by exciting the efforts of musicians, and to gradually unfold, enlighten, and invigorate the talents of our community, in 2017 The Gatherings Concert Series marks the 25th anniversary of its first event.