Sonic Immersion (Holland):
"Between Worlds" is a collaboration album of American musician Deborah Martin and the
multi-instrumentalist Erik Wøllo, which let us hear the voices of
the American past.
Inspired by Native American music and its culture (with special focus on the South
West area), the ambient
reaches out to the core of the world of spirit and
the world of form in which American Indians believe.
Assisted by the ambient expertise and musicianship of Steve Roach, the twelve tracks
of the duo form a sonic
magic and healing, celebrating the lives and times
of the ancient, which was very much in tune with the rhythm
spirit of the earth.
The outcome are modern electronic sounds blended with the sound of various authentic
Native chants, on site location recordings and Steve’s impeccable
Space and time indeed get a different meaning as this tribal-oriented and highly
atmospheric sonic exploration goes by,
creating a ceremonial space of emotive music
which fully respects and honours the profound and lasting meaning of the
American Indian heritage.
Chapeau, Erik and Deborah!
- Bernt Strolenberg
MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS (USA):
Between Worlds is a gentle album of subtle melodic music fusing contemporary synths and
programming techniques with
organic field recordings and performance material.
The voices and instrumental sounds of American Indian musicians are
involved so that they form a central thread without dominating the compositions.
Often placed deep within the
mix, the approach here is not to form synthetic backdrops
to catchy indigenous samples or to deliver original songs with a
bit of digital
enhancement. Here modern sounds and forms are of equal import: electro grooves with
distant, scratchy chants
and flutes; atmospheric drones with hand drumming and shaker
percussion; ambient soundscapes and rhythmic mouth bow; drifting melodic themes haunted
by intriguing fragments now well over a hundred years old. Between Worlds is surely one
of the most sensitive projects to convey these instantly familiar iconic sound forms in
an electronic context to date.
Montaged imagery in earthy tones hints at a fading culture and pattern of belief.
The front cover image overlays shadows
of trees upon pots and bowls and the top of a
tee pee. This piece runs across to the back of the folded insert where similar
centre around an ethereal figure that initially is barely perceived - an American Indian
musician. The rear of the
package delivers a tracklist with times for each piece along
with Spotted Peccary logo and website address. Within is a set
of photographs showing
historical locations and musicians Credits are detailed and respectfully presented
the artists' debt to the communities that they have sought to sonically
The latest 2009 release from the Spotted Peccary label delivers a collaborative project
from two well respected electronic
recording artists Deborah Martin and Erik Wøllo.
This collection of twelve pieces features partial segments of cylinder
the late 1800s - Omaha and Kiowa Indian voices thick with time. Current onsite recordings
of Apache drums
and songs as well as other genuine performance elements maintain
the musical balance, with Deborah Martin providing
vocals, synths, Taos drums and
percussion and Erik Wøllo bringing further synths and programming.
Steve Roach is credited
with having provided additional synths and atmospheres for a
number of tracks. This sound bridge between worlds seeks to
illustrate something of
American Indian belief whilst deftly presenting a rich heritage that made a connection
with the earth
strikingly different from that of much of today's society.
The sound of "Americana" is really a new development, and though it does reflect many
of our "roots" in this country,
it's not altogether accurate. On this series of
recordings, composers Martin and Wøllo pay tribute to the true Americana -
the music and spirit of the Native Americans. The worlds of healing, magic,
and ritual are reflected here in these
compositions, and with fellow ambient/ethno
sound sculptor Steve Roach assisting, the duo explores these ceremonial
with location recordings, native instruments, chants, and even old 1894 cylinder
recordings. "In Between Worlds" is
just that -- an audio travelogue examining
the spaces between the inner and outer planes, life and death, and the natural
and spiritual worlds. It's a fairly relaxing, ambient sort of sound here,
and tracks like "Gathering At Sunrise" are simply
beautiful and uplifting collages
of chant, light percussion, and an irresistibly uplifting groove. These are songs
full of reverence, light, love, and peaceful oneness. Wonderful.
- Todd Zachritz
New CD combines 1894 native voices recording with 2009 ambience.
One of the big bonuses to being on the artist run label Spotted Peccary
(aside from the occasional royalty check Yay!)
is getting new discs in the mail from a
fellow label artist. Yesterday I received a copy of Deborah Martin’s “Between Worlds”
collaboration with Erik Wollo, and it’s really beautiful. When Deborah passed through
Redding a few months ago,
she stopped by and played me some preliminary tracks, and I
was really impressed. What was really fascinating about
the project was that she was
given permission and access to use extremely rare recordings of Native American songs
recorded in 1894 on metal cylinders! She and Erik used songs from those ancient
recordings along with their modern
instrumentation to make a really unique hybrid of
music that spans more than a century. You can link to her project HERE,
or listen to
a sample of the title track, which is my favorite track, “Between Worlds” HERE.
The ancient recordings of voices
and melody lend a ghostly quality to some more
modern and very spiritual music. Both from a technical and emotional
I found the music very moving. Highly recommended!
- Skip Murphy
Ultima Fronteira Radio (Spain):
Spotted Peccary Music presents the collaboration between Deborah Martin and Erik Wollo.
Deborah Martin is a songwriter
with a passion for exploring the deep sounds, the sounds of nature, and the spiritual songs of the Native Americans.
is a Norwegian guitarist and composer that is exceptional, with background in classical music and rock, but with
a approach for
experimentation and sound innovation.
The union of these two composers, has led to this masterpiece titled "Between Worlds", an album where they explore the
roots of the culture of Native Americans. Using native instruments, with ancestral voices, with their ceremonies, their rituals,
all accompanied by ambient surrounding sounds they create a magical world, full of mystery. On five of the twelve tracks of
the album, Steve Roach conributes with his deep space soundworld. He is a composer that is well known for working in this
territory of deep sounds, the sounds of the land, of a magisterial form.
"Between World" is a work which, as its title says, is between two worlds. Between past represented by the ancient culture
of Native Americans and present, represented by these atmospheric sounds that surround us, music to remind us of our
past and to see the future with optimism.
- Roberto Vales
Guts Of Darkness (France):
Sometimes we want to hear something different. The kind of thing we are not used to hear. Here is a surprising work
with a mythical and a very tribal approach of the peoples of North Americas first nations. Between Worlds is a pleasant
surprise which inhales the autumnal legends of the Native Americans. An album that sonorities the amazing and surprising
world as a meeting place where two paradoxical universes meets. But indeed in parallels, coupled with instruments
of former days and current technology.
With Steve Roach collaborates with his electronic sounds. Deborah Martin and Erik Wøllo (two artists recognized to bring very
emotional nuances to their creations) have put together a fabulous epic music, made of ingenious sound effects which
as the wind sings towards plains, dunes and mountains. Some Indians stories told with a glittering sound dexterity.
A somber wind, hauled by tribal twinklings, open the first track. Clan percussions and beautiful bass espouse the
languishing rhythm which appears from it, seized by a beautiful flute which undulates with wandering on surprising singings
of disappeared nations, of which the reconstruction is completely surprising.
And it is the strength of Between Worlds. Throughout this temporal journey, Martin and Wøllo make a magnificent place
to tribal sound elements which we hear with delight in western movies and stories about the Amerindians people.
Titles as Between World and The Thunder and the Water feed these hypnotic paces which initiated spiritual dances and
trances of the Indian sorcerers. Deep from the woods strange voices rise where we believe guessing those are breaths of
spirits. Incantations are chanting on heavy biting reverberations, while hypnotic tom-tom sounds are charging Spirit Song
on a bewitching cadence, where spit vipers’ cymbals, somber spiritual winds and Amerindian singings abound around a
sweet ethereal guitar. A title with strong tribal essence, as we find it on A Healing Way and From Earth to the Sky.
The eclectic aspect is present throughout Between Worlds. Heterogeneous elements which become entangled to heavy
synthesized droning à la Roach on titles such as Anasazi and Canyonland which are close to a dark and tenebrous tribal
universe. Ancestral Whispers, Gathering At Sunrise, Distant Voices and Sunrise At Whiteriver are atonal musical pieces
where the duality between the elements of a gliding space, seized with sweet synthesized stratas, stumble on Indian
folkloric songs, incantations and stories of people to thousand legends.
Deborah Martin and Erik Wøllo’s Between Worlds is a beautiful musical surprise. An audacious opus which moulds pleasantly
the voices and the instruments of the Native Americans to synths, programming and synthetic tones of today’s gears,
not to say tomorrow. In harmonious, enchanting , and even cosmic contexts. I got to say it’s not pure EM, nor New
It’s simply wonderful Indian tribal music, marinated in an electronic broth.
For those who want to hear something different…
- Sylvain Lupari
DEBORAH MARTIN & ERIK WOLLO - BETWEEN WORLDS
In an interesting collaboration, Deborah Martin and Erik Wollo combine their respective artistic approaches to create daring,
fresh work. Clearly inspired on the culture of Native Americans, the music drinks from the sources of approaches typical of
Ambient and melodic contemporary music. Each one of the twelve themes in the CD has a different nature.
Some are mainly World Music, others flow through melodic Ambient, and there also are some in the in-between realm
between both. In the slowest parts of this work, there is an abundance of architectures based on synthesizers that evoke
the immensity of the great open spaces. Also remarkable is the skill that the artists have proved to possess by fusing
traditional elements with cosmic structures, such as for instance in "Sunrise at Whiteriver", a theme that brings to us the
echoes of a faraway past soaring in the solitude of natural landscapes that have witnessed History. Another impressive
theme is "Anasazi", with a peculiar rhythmic structure and the taste of adventure.
- Virginia Tamayo
EXPOSE MAGAZINE - (USA):
The worlds in this case are the spirit world and the physical world, the bridge between them according to
Native American beliefs are the ritual, the healing and the magic, and on the music presented here that bridge is the focus.
Composer and synthesist/percussionist Deborah Martin (recent works include the Deep Roots Hidden Water, Convergence,
Anno Domini, and others) and Norwegian composer/guitarist Erik Wøllo (recent releases include Wind Journey and Blue Sky, Red Guitars) have teamed up to create this hallowed cinematic soundscape using numerous field recordings of Native
American chanting and instrumentation blended into their twelve original compositions. Steve Roach is also on board for
about half of the cuts – this is definitely an area he understands well and has worked many times before –
as well as several additional percussionists, track depending.
Martin adds her lyrics and vocals to a couple of the cuts. Each of these pieces is presented in a sketch of sorts built up
using ideas that are integral to conveying the experience, some are more stark and percussive based, while others are
more melodic, blanketed in the warm synth tones that Spotted Peccary productions are best known for; these are balanced
and flow together nicely as the proceedings evolve, making for a dramatic listening experience that almost needs to be
taken as a whole. Recommended.
- Peter Thelen