Label: Isotopia RecordsA world-renowned classical singer, Constance Hauman, can shift gears at an alarming pace and entertain music listeners from the opera, funk, soul, pop, and rock audiences. Diversity and talent are the operative words here.
With The Quarantine Trilogy - The Third Wave the album is a series of improvisations that originated with her on piano and drummer and longtime collaborator Ross Pederson on midi drums and synth.
This is another instrumental venture into the ambient and atmospheric sounds that have helped so many of us deal with the restrictions and unrest of the pandemic this year. I have heard several that have assisted in calming and healing from my listening perspective.
Piano and synths are the main instruments that take you on this ride through the ether or possibly the unknowing parts of your brain, memories, or something that has been locked away inside that needs release. There is something to be said regarding not just the overall power music holds but the certain instruments that are being used to grab that source of energy and convert it into sounds.
Constance and Ross are gifted partners. They present different types of listening within each track. Every track has the room to grow and move around. That approach works very well. For instance, “The Quarantine Trilogy 3rd Wave": I. Solar Eclipse Symphony,” clocking in at 13:49, offers solo acoustic piano and some synths come in to add to the layers and colors of the music. This long stretch of improvisation takes you into successive changes as it builds and builds. At times this kind of progression reminded me of legendary performers such as Vangelis. The track takes you to a crescendo of sounds then back down to earth for a safe landing however you still have that feeling of floating on a soft cloud through the ambient and acoustic mixture of sound, especially with the way the song closes.
Then to switch things up you move on to starting things off with some very futuristic and space sounds. “The Quarantine Trilogy "3rd Wave": II. The Last Century,” gets you back in flight, back to that mindfulness state to leave your earthly surroundings behind, unattached and free. What a beautiful thing how music can change your entire frame of reference. The synths get thicker and more pronounced as the track progresses through all its changes. Along the way, the acoustic piano of Constance holds firm and serves as an equal response to the synths. The mixture is brilliant and I also appreciated the pauses where there was just the solitude of that acoustic piano, which are brief but recognized for their poignancy and beauty. Things get even more interesting at around the nine-minute mark and take an entirely different direction. It reminded me of the way progressive jazz and fusion can be within one song. When you have more than 13 minutes to stretch out musically a lot can be accomplished. In one track it goes from cool spacey ambient sounds to more pensive interludes bordering on cacophony. That part of the track may surprise you and the way it abruptly ends with the sound of a scratchy radio frequency that you would hear going between stations. I thought the entire thing was innovative, risky, and satisfying.
The trilogy closes out with “The Quarantine Trilogy "3rd Wave": III. Solemn Feels Good Right Now.” The continuation of that progressive nature gets things off to an interesting start. The synths sound like they are holding down the rhythms being created by the synth drums and at times oddly timed piano notes. It is a challenging listen for any audience, albeit interesting, filled with the color and embodiment of testing the boundaries of keyboards and their extraordinary reach when combined acoustically and electronically. By the time that track ended the only way I could put a name on this music was to dub it Experimental instrumental-ambient-electronica-acoustic. Then again, why does it need a tag or label? It is music both unique and complicated yet very entertaining.
The Quarantine Trilogy - The Third Wave is a superb diverse instrumental album that will awaken your senses and make you think. The thought process will be different for each listener and I believe pleasant and rewarding at the same time. I am not surprised that I enjoyed this group of tracks. I do hope to hear more in the future from Constance Hauman and Ross Pederson.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
November 27, 2020
1. The Quarantine Trilogy "3rd Wave": I. Solar Eclipse Symphony 13:49
2. The Quarantine Trilogy "3rd Wave": II. The Last Century-13:03
3. The Quarantine Trilogy "3rd Wave": III. Solemn Feels Good Right Now 12:53