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Ariel Kalma, Jeremiah Chiu, Marta Sofia Honer

The Closest Thing to Silence (LP)


In August 2022 the Australia-based, French born new age musician and electronic music composer Ariel Kalma was invited to participate in BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction series of special collaborations. The program pairs artists who have not previously worked together to create new music cooperatively. Kalma was quick to suggest working with two musicians whom he had never met – International Anthem recording artists Jeremiah Chiu & Marta Sofia Honer, whose critically-acclaimed duo debut Recordings from the Åland Islands had been released just a few months earlier. His invitation was received with enthusiasm, as Chiu had long been a fan of Kalma’s work, even citing him as a major influence on his approach to electronic music composition. Their initial work was broadcasted on Late Junction in September of 2022; but simultaneously, Kalma, Chiu and Honer began expanding their collaboration.

The three artists’ collective approach was born in improvisation and realized via collage-based editing. There are snippets of improvised playing from each musician, edited together with recordings that Kalma had made in the 70s at GRM, and even moments of audio notes — like Kalma explaining his ideas — that would make it into the final mixes.

Ultimately, the collection of music they created highlights the work of all three musicians, intertwining the kind of contextual immersion heard on Chiu & Honer’s duo work with an intergenerational reverence for (and the undeniable presence of) Kalma’s decades-spanning body of work. It is work that has definitively enshrined him as one of the true, transcendent pioneers and sages of new age and fourth-world music. That reverence is affirmed by the album title chosen by the group, which is taken from a quote by Kalma included in a documentary released by RVNG Intl, as part of the 2014 compendium/retrospective An Evolutionary Music. Perhaps coincidental, Kalma’s quote was a slight modulation of a legendary ECM Records motto, as he said: “Music is the closest thing to silence.”

Cat. number: IARC0077
Year: 2024