Guitar, Acoustic;Guitar, Electric;Percussion;Piano
Sep 7, 2022
David Helpling has been keeping a big secret for a number of years...
Long before the trilogy of Epic Ambient collaborations with Jon Jenkins and continuing behind his shimmering ambient guitar releases A SEA WITHOUT MEMORY and RUNE, David has been working on something very ambitious. What started out as a glowing handful of new and fantastic ideas has slowlv coalesced over passing years into something grand that has now finally emerged as one massive double album.
IN is a collection of dreams...
Many of these ideas were born shortly after Sleeping on the Edge of the World.
While crafting these songs, more and more new pieces were being born. Each new idea became a growing dream... a fantasy world all its own where images and colors swirled above and below. David got lost in these worlds - spending countless late nights and deep days of dreaming before coming to the understanding that this music was coming from the same place the others had long ago.
These are the melodies and sounds of a child still dreaming and of a man finding endless wonder in the tiniest of places. There are sites where one square inch of forest holds a world of color and life. And complex scenes laid out near the water's edge which inspire so much in David. Peering in to this macro world is at the heart of every piece on the record. The fullness of the concept takes us inward within ourselves and sitting in stillness with the beauty of the self.
"The worlds you hold in your heart and the love you have for your true self are things that can never be taken from you... they are yours to nurture and respect... to grow and to find endless solace in."
~ David Helpling
When this concept became clear, David sought out fine art Photographer Brandt Campbell in Portland Oregon for his stunning Macro work. Once Brandt was shown the concept and specific desires for the images of IN, he set out to capture these tiny worlds in brilliant light and stunning focus. The result is exactly what has driven this intricate music from the beginning... explosive and stunning beauty from the tiniest of places imaginable.
As huge and powerful as this music is, every piece starts with the most intricate initial spark of sound… a whisper from a tiny and wondrous place that grows to envelope the heart and engage the mind of the listener. At almost 90 minutes of music, this release comes not only as a long and immersive streaming experience, but also as a brilliant double CD and even more stunning Double Vinyl package. With David’s world of green and blue far behind, the artwork of IN comes to light in vibrant magentas, fuchsias and deep violet hues that encompass the heart-centered music in a fantastic show of light and texture that can only be experienced fully through the Vinyl and CD artwork.
The task of producing and mixing all of these ideas to sit together in one big release was a daunting one. Grand and complex, these small beginnings quickly grew to become larger than their creator. Years were added to the project as the whole of it was put away for months at a time. Sometimes great art must be set aside for a time and then revisited to be fully appreciated… only then can it be realized as a whole for what its true potential is to be.
It wasn’t until David reached out to the record label that things took a luminous turn. Howard Givens responded with enthusiasm to help David in elevating every element of this vast pool of music. Having worked side by side with Howard to create his seminal album Sleeping on the Edge of the World, this was a natural pairing and a welcome creative force for David. Howard immediately heard what each piece was asking for in order to be taken from something great to something simply amazing. As co-producer, Howard spent months helping David to craft and refine these complex mixes of intricate music into their final form.
“Even though I recorded and mixed this record myself, it was Howard that brought a priceless new set of experienced ears and a brilliant mind to the project… and I fell in love with the music all over again.”
Falling love with a 1981 Yamaha CP70 Electric Grand brought a new sound to many of the tracks, while taking his textural guitar work to highly detailed and complex new levels set vast scenes for others. Experiments in granular synthesis with his own guitar textures led to evolving and swelling sounds that have never been heard before. These ribbons of flowing tones build and flow with the progressions in the music, blurring the boundary between synthesizers and guitars. Equal weight to these new guitar textures are David’s Analog and Digital synthesizers - the living substance on which the music of IN is woven. David has been crafting banks of very special and expressive instruments on his favorite machines and a few exciting new ones just for this release.
Another facet of this new record is the intangible expression that unique and inspired artists bring to David’s world. This is pivotal to certain pieces within the larger collective of IN. Miriam Stockley brings her unmistakable vocal style to two tracks on the record… evoking sounds of her Adiemus series and solo work in a way that is truly enthralling. Matthew Schoening plays Electric Cello on a piece of music David created specifically to hold his performance in a special sonic treatment. David’s love for the sounds of India have found their way into the record as well. Esraj, an expressive bowed instrument was performed by award-winning multi-instrumentalist Benjy Wertheimer in such a way as to touch the heart, while vocalist Nidhi Bhatmuley gives a performance on the epic This Burning Sky that cries and soars all at once.
While the music of IN often explodes with the power of subsonic drums, pulsing synthesizers and searing new complex textures, the music at its core is simple and has clear phrasing and elements that connect directly to David’s Sleeping on the Edge of the World album. This is a powerful New Age Electronic release that represents a decade of an artist’s life… this story spills out into each piece as it builds and flows in dreams and thunder.
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