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Glaciation

Patrick O'Hearn

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Customer Reviews

If you liked Slow Time...

I have often cringed at the “New Age” classification of Patrick O’Hearn’s work. His definitive sound defies definition, as the term “New Age” conjures up images of yoga devotees on mats overlooking the ocean (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), but PO’s work has always defied definition and Glaciation is no exception – it is clearly a progression of his Beautiful World and Slow Time releases. Minimalistic in a musical sense, more so than any other PO release. Mostly acoustic with very little electronic accompaniment – and if it is, its mixed into the background to create mood. Exceptions to this are Resourceful adaptation, and beneath the Celestial Sphere which are completely without PO’s trademark instrumentation but explore his aural aesthetic in a purely electronic sense. Some tracks take on the feel of a soundtrack and I wish they would go on a bit longer, but overall most tracks showcase Patrick’s refined melodic sensibilities and ability to create mood. Glaciation is a good example of a self-produced release by an artist that is a true innovator. I feel like PO’s sound is evolving but with the assistance (or nuisance) of a producer in the studio some tracks could have benefited from that extra “umph” of depth or additional arrangement to build the emotional response to a greater crescendo. The kind of crescendo I remember in older tracks like “Beauty In Darkness”, and more recently in “So Flows The Current” and “Beautiful World”. PO’s last release, Slow Time was noted for it’s abstract ambience and I think Glaciation has followed closely in its predecessor’s footsteps. On his website PO explains that Glaciation is “a simple 13 composition music-told narrative” and that he was pursuing an “under adorned openness” that he feels turned out pretty well. In those respects I have to agree it is a strong representation of the ambient narrative but long-time PO fans may find it a bit of a departure. -BK

Stark. Simple. Serene. Sparkling.

Since Beautiful World, Patrick has been actively pursuing more ambient and atmospheric textures in his music. Glaciation, as a follow-up to Slow Time, is another step further from his trademark multi-instrumentational style and closer to his newfound method of creating more minimalistic aural landscapes. We've seen Patrick's introspective side before on tracks like Farewell, Chance and Cloudland. But Glaciation is different still in that it doesn't so much as tell a story (with a beginning, middle and end) so much as it paints a picture, one with many layers and subtle shades and textures…one that offers something slightly new with each listen. The resulting sound has elements of Isham and Eno, but in the end it’s pure O’Hearn. Fans of Patrick’s earlier albums may have a harder time adjusting to his new style but I urge you to dive in anyway. Glaciation, as its name implies, may move more slowly than past albums, but there is a crystalline beauty and calming effect in every track…and like an iceberg adrift, I discover much more weight to this music than is immediately apparent. I applaud Patrick for being the true independent artist that he is, for breaking out of the mold and growing and experimenting, at his own pace and on his own terms.

Another masterpiece

Patrick O'Hearn's newest album, Glaciation, is just as amazing as his previous efforts. I think that calling his work "new age" isn't quite appropriate as it combines elements of new age, jazz, electronic, and world music. Each of his albums is something to experience. My 4yo has fallen to sleep every night to his Beautiful World and So Flows the Current albums and I find my work day is less stressful with his entire CD catalog playing in my iTunes as I work. So don't be put off by the new age label...give this or any of his albums available here on ITMS a shot.

Biography

Born: September 6, 1954 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

In the early '80s, this bassist and synthesist was mired in the glitz and grind of pop music as a member of the group Missing Persons. Then friend Peter Baumann, best known for his work with Tangerine Dream, made O'Hearn an offer he couldn't refuse. Baumann had visions of starting a record label catering to his first love, contemporary electronic music, and he wanted O'Hearn to become a charter member of the new company. Nearly a decade and a half-dozen albums later, O'Hearn is still amazed at the...
Full Bio
Glaciation, Patrick O'Hearn
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