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Marvin Ayres / Press

“With the release of Harmogram Suite, Marvin Ayres establishes his name among the top avant gard neoclassical composers of the early 21st century. Taking a cue from the late ‘70s neoclassical / New Age instrumental works from Brian Eno and his Discreet Music era, music conceptualist Marvin Ayres steps out in style with the 2012 CD release of Harmogram Suite. A six movement sound collage composition for cello, string orchestra and choir, the CD blends classical and ambient music to great effect, drawing the listener in with its complex web of sonic intrigue. A multilayered instrumental masterpiece, the six part work features 140 layers of sound. Beautifully packaged and well recorded, the CD is accompanied by a DVD featuring 5.1 surround sound. (Harmogram Suite 2012)”

"Harmogram Suite powerfully argues that Marvin Ayres' string playing is one of the loveliest things one might possibly hear, and it's especially ravishing when presented in multi-layered form. And multi-layered it definitely is, as this six-movement classical work involved the overdubbing of 140 layers, with every instrument and part played by Ayres except for a choir that appears during the fifth movement. The title isn't arbitrarily chosen, either: as one might expect, Harmogram Suite is a hybrid term that merges harmonics and harmony with hologram. The orchestral work very much embodies the multi-dimensional character of the standard hologram, albeit in sonic form. Presented in a two-disc CD-and-DVD package, the work was recorded in a 5.1 surround-sound format that's consistent with the holographic concept. Rather than hearing the material as if it's coming towards the listener, one instead feels enveloped by it, especially when Ayres' playing is heard in its fullest orchestral form

“Gorgeous minimalism takes on a 3D shape and gains gravity. Marvin Ayres' solo work is all about elegant understatement which here, on the English composer's sixth album, pushes the grandeur envelop infinitely. this six-part suite adds a third sonic dimension, an important feature of today's musical landscape, to the maestro's oeuvre but sees him for the most part alone: the virtual orchestra is Ayres piling up 140 layers of overdubs and bringing a small choir that includes his regular collaborator Sonja Kristina of CURVED AIR for the penultimate movement. "Harmogram Suite" gets much deeper than its predecessor, "Eccentric Deliquescence", as the album's cello-driven soundscapes unfurl many a processed layers into an otherworldly symphony to wrap the deceptively plaintive enchantment around the listener's very psyche.(Harmogram Suite 2012) ”

"Harmogram Suite is potent, moving stuff. Many albums this year were beautiful without any sort of genius behind the sweetness; Harmogram Suite, however, has flickers of brilliance backing every note"

“This music is deeply rooted in classical music, but it is in the modern variant. The very symphonic and full sound of the fifth part, is complemented by the use of a choir. But not as a usual choir sings, the texts, but rather the voices swell with the strings a full sound and produce a subtle crystalline freshness. This again is fascinating and holds me captive with the beauty and clarity, as would open up a wintry landscape, it sounds very Scandinavian. Ever continuously produces images for all imaginative people this music is a source of pictorial inspiration.(Harmogram Suite 2012) ”

“the cello has such a way to reach down into your heart and make it weep, and Ayres holds nothing back with gorgeous waves of sound that roll over you like a hundred years worth of unrequited love and wistful longing (Sensory)”

“beautiful, warmly crafted,... brilliantly crafted harmonic moments that just take you to another place. Pure genius on the part of Ayres ... A new force in Ambient music has arrived and his name is Marvin Ayres (Cellosphere).”

“.. speaks to the heart, the feelings. A real masterpiece! (Eccentric Deliquescence)”

“Ayres has been a musical force for many years now, with his Cellosphere first appearing on Ritornell in 1999 and then reappearing on Burning Shed years later. Other full-lengths have appeared, including Eccentric Deliquescence (2004) and Neptune (2006), but arguably Ayres' crowning glory is his just-released Harmogram. (feature and Interview)”

“symphonic and very evocative and beautiful (Harmogram Suite) ”

“'beautiful midnight ambience" Verity Sharp -Late Junction - Harmogram Suite”

“Ayres' music is transcendent, evoking images and emotions ultimately unique to each listener. This is not about melody, although there are short motifs that Ayres uses as a basis for his more textural explorations; this is not about rhythm, although Ayres, with the aid of looping, creates gentle pulses that ebb and flow. This is about utilizing music to evoke a mood, to provoke a gentle response. (Neptune)”

“Marvin Ayres establishes here a series of gossamer densities where vaporous tonalities swirl like the currents of airy streams, rivulets and brooks (Scape)”

“Chilled album of the month.... a subsonic world created by Ayres, which continues to amaze (Neptune)”

“a soothing, almost spiritual experience ....(Eccentric Deliquescence)”

“highly creative ... crosses-over between the worlds of classical music, electro-acoustic and ambient sounds (Cellosphere).”

“like some of [Brian] Eno's best work, the atmospheres Ayres creates ....are also compelling pieces of music that can dominate and transport.”

“swimming through the endless depths of the stars, deftly making slow motion ballet between the distended radio transmissions from faraway civilizations, whose only contact with you will be the disintegrating, stray broadcast you now hear. (Cellosphere)”

“violin, viola, and cello strains undulate out and over one another while plucked cello notes provide the slightest of backbone (Neptune)”

“Floating on a sea of shimmering washed out strings, Cellosphere is a lovely ambient excursion.”

“a spectacular tapestry that is both sonically interesting and emotionally moving. ...at once lush, beautiful, sad, and captivating; rich and textured yet lonely and stark (Neptune)”

“Cellosphere and Neptune provide two different views of Ayres' artistry. Inextricably linked despite their differences, ...an "out-of-the-box" philosophy to making music that manages to be both compelling and absorbable ..”

“Marvin Ayres is the newest wonder producer coming out of the UK (Sensory)”

“the clear rhythmic grids thrown over the nebulous soundscapes create a more contrasted terrain where melodies appear at once more fascinating and more impalpable.........The rich soundscapes are superbly evocative and delicate”

“Subtle meandering minimal ambience with whispering, echoing tones drifting across soft drones that swell and descend restfully like a calm sea. (Cellosphere)”

“Ayres is a master of subtle variation of intensity and dynamics; (Neptune)”

“music that expands the mind through gentle persuasion rather than brute force (Scape)”

“Ayres' violin and electronic textures create an almost ethereal feeling of traveling amongst the heavens (Scape).”

“string-based experimental-minded soundscapes created through Marvin’s fabulous violins performance.....new kind and never-heard before of sound (Scape)”

“resonant overtones and subtle quartertones – a real psycho acoustic experiment (Cycle)”

“un trip senza droghe dove mente, sensi, corpo ed anima possono lasciarsi andare, dove ogni minima variazione di suono o tonalità è come un piccolo granello di sabbia che si posta nel deserto. Microscopico ma importante.”

“Effects distort and reshape the basic tones, sometimes softly like gentle waves on water, at other times wildly - swaying like the top of a ship's mast on a stormy sea. (Cycle)”

“a dark ambient with the feeling of SPK's best ambient works. somehow erotic”

“a complete range of beat less tones and textures, continuously discovering rich combinations that morph and transform from one to another.”