Interview with the ambient musician Parhleion. For more information check out: here
Don't forget to grab his debut full length album "Midnight Sun" from Cyclic Law!
Parhelion started around 2006/2007 as a solitary studio endeavor. It was a way for me to experiment sonically and to pursue more abstract sounds/music. Basically, it was a creative outlet for me to explore certain ideas and thematic concepts I had through the ambient medium.
What inspires you to make music? What draws you to the medium of ambient music?
Well without trying to sound too cryptic, making music (or any creative expression really) is just something I’m drawn to do without any real explanation for why. It’s simply something I have to do.
For me inspiration is always rooted in the natural world and the pursuit of and experience of truth, which should be the aim of any art really. And yes, I realize that this statement does sound incredibly pompous.
Ambient music is something I work with because I find that it is very open and allows for a lot of textural nuances and in many ways liberates one from certain restrictions found in other forms of composition. Especially when one writes pieces around concepts like the arctic landscape, ambient music tends to be one of the best ways to sonically reflect these environments.
Your track for the compilation is “Dark Star Origins”. Can you give us a bit of insight on what inspired the track, how you composed it, etc?
The theme for the compilation was “dark celestial atmospheres.” Reference is made to the Eridanus Supervoid, the largest known supervoid in the galaxy, and the questions of origins its existence presents. I used the idea of space/void/isolation and in particular the more significant question of universal origins as the inspiration for the track. In essence it is about trying to fathom the unfathomable.
My setup is fairly simple. I’m running Logic on my Macbook Pro and have a MOTU 828 audio interface for input. I use a few pedals and have a couple of rackmount effects (delays & reverbs). I also run my guitar through the Sans Amp rack-effect which functions like an amp without actually having to use an amp.
The latest addition to my setup is Omnisphere by Spectrasonics which is an amazing collection of pads and sounds that I’ve started using heavily. I also use WAVES plugins and tons of reverbs and delays within Logic. In a nutshell that’s my studio.
Regarding techniques, it’s mainly just lathering everything in reverb. Over the years you learn to sculpt the sound and mix in such a way to get the desired sonic result.
The concept behind “Midnight Sun” was to write an album inspired by the arctic and man’s relationship to the landscape. Ice and water are of course prevalent themes running throughout. And yes, both of those elements will continue to be recurring themes in future works.
What can we expect in the future from Parhelion?
My goal is to make 2012 a productive year. I have a completed collaborative album which I did with Zac Keiller. We are still working on the visual aspect of the project so we’re not quite ready to release. We want to get it out there as a comprehensive package. In addition I have another collaborative record in the works and am hoping to either complete an EP or another full length within the next year. We’ll see how everything turns out.