Rhian Sheehan - Tiny Blue Biosphere (2004)

  • 12 Aug, 2005
  • Perreaux
  • Music

Rhian Sheehan - Tiny Blue Biosphere

With the follow up to his critically acclaimed "Paradigm Shift" album, Rhian returns with 'Tiny Blue Biosphere'. It is an expansion on what Rhian has already delivered, extending himself to a sixteen piece string section, collaborating with the likes of Gramsci and Anika Moa, and creating two vocal tracks with Jess Chambers, recently heard on "The Upbeats" album, and destined for even greater things. Her tracks 'Hiding Place' and 'Sunshine' mark two of the central moments on 'Tiny Blue Biosphere'.

Also contributing their musical skills are TrinityRoots bassist Rio Hemopo, London based Wellington electronic musician Hummel, Flute and koauau player Kirsten Johnstone and The Phoenix Foundation drummer Richard Singleton.

Between and around them Rhian creates pictures from sound, encouraging the listener to fill in their own visual accompaniment, evoking the sublime. From the opening moments of ‘traveller', utilizing location recordings Rhian has made in Germany, London and Hong Kong, the scope of this music soon becomes clear: it is a reaction to all that surrounds Rhian. A voice asks, "How did the universe arise?" and the response is a vast field of sound, breaking into oceanic sweeps of rhythm. High concept perhaps, but Rhian keeps his feet on the ground and blankets the listener in warm fields of tone, bleeps and pulses. Once again, as he did on "Paradigm Shift" Rhian blends the acoustic with the electronic to create a rich musical journey, except this time his vision has expanded, and the music is far more assured, able to create broad emotive sweeps of real strings, to marshal a world of sound from both machines and acoustic instruments, and create a unique sense of his own musical geography. Then come those fragments of location recordings, the birds and a stream in 'Phobos', anchoring the lush landscape of 'Tiny Blue Biosphere' in a place we can all recognize. For those from Aotearoa (New Zealand), it is the sound of our place on this planet, beaming to us before we follow Rhian into a pseudo organic hip-hop break.

Rhian introduces further collaborations in 'Miles Away' with Bevan Smith (Signer/Aspen) and Matthew Mitchell, adding the unique vocal of Gramsci's Paul McLaney to create a unique fusion of elements with the yearning warmth of McLaneys voice set against Signers techno dub textures. The best though, is saved for last with the stunning 'Te Karanga' building from a simple melody played by Rhians live flutist, Kirsten Johnstone on koauau (Maori flute). 'Te Karanga' then expands to encompass a delicate vocal from Anika Moa. 'Te Karanga' is also Rhian's latest contribution to the highly successful Café del Mar compilation series, appearing on the latest addition Volume 11. To conclude 'Tiny Blue Biosphere' Rhian offers a demonstration of how far he has traveled beyond his earlier "Paradigm Shift" in 'The Farthest Place', utilizing the musical palette available in a sixteen piece string orchestra, evoking the sublime in a conscious, deliberate musical expression. This track once again demonstrates a level of composition which exists well beyond mere programming of electronic beats. Rhian truly has a world of sound, both organic and digital at his disposal and has developed the compositional skills to articulate limitless musical possibilities.

These are the connections Rhian Sheehan has made on his musical journey in the studio and on his travels around this 'Tiny Blue Biosphere'.

“Possessing an innate ability to combine the sci-fi and the spiritual, the electronic and the organic, Rhian Sheehan is an up-and-coming international artist who is unafraid to push the envelope.”
Grade ‘A’ www.critic.co.nz

“…an exquisitely crafted album that works as a sum of its parts, from mystical mood pieces to hip-hopbased funk, brooding vocals to Maori-inspired themes.”
**** NZ Herald

“…the soundtrack to the mysteries of planet earth and its place in the universe…”
www.salient.org.nz

“Tiny Blue Biosphere has something special about it, the ability of Sheehan to mix the music around, yet still keep an 'organic' natural feel about it.”
www.thepackage.co.nz

Visit Rhian Sheehan on MySpace, read a review or buy the CD.

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