Category Archives: Reviews
A Story of Love And Loss
by: BT Fasmer
Date: October 04, 2013
Sabine is a new single from Silentaria, a music project by Rixa White. Sabine is named after a character in Romain Rolland’s masterful 10 volume novel Jean-Christophe (1904 -1912). And like Sabine in Rolland’s novels, the song by Silentaria leaves an unforgettable impression. Sabine is simply not to miss.
Music inspired by literature is rare these days. In New Age music we have quite a few albums released each year inspired by ancient myths and tales (Atlantis is always popular, so is also Greek myths), but few albums are composed in tribute to books and literary characters. But with Sabine, Silentaria shows the way and can be an inspiration for other artists.
Silentaria gives us this description:
“Sabine is a pretty small-boned woman who charms by her grace, her youth and her gentleness. With light brown hair, pale blue eyes and well marked arched eyebrows, she looks like an expression of the Madonna in Filippo Lippi’s paintings.
Jean-Christophe, a German musician, never dreamed that a small crack in the closed shutters is enough for love to peep out. With magic of indefinite silences and trivial words, their love grows. But they hold in their love and their emotional moments are prevented either by an intruder or their own hesitation.
Finally their relationship cuts off by unexpected Sabine’s death, while Jean-Christophe is away on a concert tour.”
This is the dramatic background for Silentaria’s single. It is always a joy to hear artists who master the sound of analogue synths. While new synths, like Sylenth1 and Omnisphere, have clarity, the 1980s synths have depth, warmth and atmosphere. Silentaria uses the synth choir and strings to perfection. It is like listening to Constance Demby’s classic Novus Magnificat (1986), with a modern twist.
Inspired by the book Jean-Christophe and the early 1900s, the light piano melody tells the story of love and loss, and the value of cherishing good memories.
Is it possible for a song to tell as much as a 10 volume book? Perhaps not. But Silentaria’s Sabine is a marvelous song that makes you want to read the book and hear more releases by this fine artist. It shows too that text and notes can tell the same story. That is a big accomplishment.
Watch this poem video of “An Untold Love” using Sabine single:
An album from the Enigmatic “Man in White”
by: James Hunter
Date: June 01, 2013
Rixa White and his music project “Silentaria” have been very busy indeed, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have “The Beginning of the End” to review. So before moving on to discuss the music, a few brief thoughts on the first question. Who is Rixa White? My thoughts on that are as follows: I don’t want to know. You see, anyone who goes to such lengths to protect their identity must have some very good reasons in doing so. Bands like Crimson Glory, Kiss, GWAR, Lordi and Slipknot have done similar and I can certainly see the appeal of having a horde of fans at your shows, and then when it’s all done, taking the mask off and walking down to the shops and being left in peace. In essence, the best of both worlds. The focus should be the music.
Now at this point I should admit to being a fan of Vangelis (who ironically first started out in prog rock with Demis Roussos) and I can most definitely blame that on the film Blade Runner. Some comparisons have been made between the two which I think is a little unfair. Vangelis is more “symphonic electronica”, more grandiose, whereas Silentaria has more of the ambient new age electronica feel to it, and has resisted the urge to throw in oddities for the sake of it.
Opening track “Emerge” gives an immediate insight into what to expect, ethereal synthesizers, chilled out ambience, and is a little “Sacred Spirit” but without the Native American chants. “The Beginning of the End” is a confirmation of the direction the album is headed in. It’s somewhat reminiscent of Mark Snow and Sylvester Levay’s work, but here there’s a very solitary feel to the music. In fact, if you cast your mind back to the old days you could easily place this music with the “3DMark” tech demos portraying very surreal scenes such as the statue in the rain (2001).
Electronica, “New Age” ambient chill music is unapologetically what it is. Silentaria / Rixa White has thankfully resisted the urge to draft in elements of dubstep, or whatever else happens to be fashionable at the time, and has remained true to his musical vision. And while I’ve mentioned his musical vision I wonder if perhaps he may pair up his music with his poetry in future works.
You can find out more from his website here: http://silentaria.com
Check out all reviews about “The Beginning of the End” album.
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Every Friday, a band or artist is featured in Musical-Things music blog and this week it was Rixa White, Silentaria. Here is the article about Silentaria on Friday May 25, 2013. Read the full article here.
This week’s special guest is multi-talented Rixa White. Read on…
Rixa proves that the art of creating beautiful melodies in music is still alive by effortlessly producing them throughout his music. His style, largely instrumental, seamlessly blends classic electronic sounds such as synthesizers and drum machines with more acoustic elements. Rixa’s pieces, which are each accompanied with a poem (on his YouTube channel), takes the form of contemporary program music with the music representing the narrative of Rixa’s poetry. This makes it particularly powerful both musically and emotionally.
This is particularly the case in ‘Sabine’, where the piano holds the main melody whilst a string countermelody weaves in and out, binding the piece together. The harmony is simple and so is the rhythm, leaving the melody somewhat exposed but totally in its element. As the texture grows, the intensity increases as the additional sound effects add a magic to ‘Sabine’ that reflects the romantic description Rixa himself attributes to the piece.
There is an old school electronic vibe to Rixa’s music; the instrumental quality reminiscent of movie soundtracks from the 80s. But it is this quality of mixing the old with the new that makes Rixa music so interesting to listen to. His music touches people’s souls and with tens of thousands of YouTube listeners attesting to this, we also agree that Rixa make beautiful music.
Here’s an excerpt of ‘Sabine’ for your musical enjoyment…
Are you a fan of Rixa White’s music? Drop us a comment and share your thoughts.
Mystery and plenty of imagination
by: Bruce Gall
Date: May 21, 2013
Taking on the persona of something between Jason from Friday the 13th films and the phantom of the opera with the white Venetian-style mask, Silentaria (aka Rixa White) has developed a style that carries enough mystery and threat and yet creates a style of 21st century instrumental and synthpop that i have very fond memories of from the 80’s but it would be a mistake to think he is merely resurrecting a past sound. Back then the music was in its infancy and had quite of bit of developing to go through and now “the man in white” has created a very accessible, catchy and rhythmic series of tracks that retain the originals feel but with modern technology and brings us a much smoother sound.
So, with elements of UK 80’s synth mixed with influences of the likes of Vangelis, Jarre and Kitaro, the albums “The Beginning of the End” (2011) and “What’s Real?” (2012) give the listener a clean and crisp new take with excellent synth sounds, drum machines and, above all, great melodies. There’s also a subtle diversity in the tracks so i found i was always intrigued to find out what was coming next possibly due to the composers experiences of different cultures.
I listen to plenty of electronic music and it’s quite refreshing to listen to relatively short pieces that don’t really come into the space, ambient, Berlin-school, therapeutic categories. Some will obviously pigeon-hole certain tracks but for me after hearing both albums there’s a beautiful simplicity to them. Maybe i’m getting the meaning of the wholeness and emptiness philosophy.
The music and the mysterious character have all the makings of a great live act, too.
Two excellent albums worth checking out.
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“What’s Real?” and “Eastward” tracks will be featured by Bruce Gall at “Atmospheres” program on One World Radio on May 28, 2013 at 10:00 PM GMT.
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Remembering the forgotten promises
by: Jim Chambers
Date: January 10, 2013
From Silentaria: “Rixa White had composed a draft version of the ‘Forgotten Promises’ melody in 1992. After 20 years, on December 2012, being emotionally touched by tragedies like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he completed the initial melody and released it as a single track in honoring Sandy Hook Elementary School victims.”
However the song came into being, it was worth waiting for. It’s not the somber funeral dirge you might expect in the aftermath of such a tragedy of young lives suddenly taken away. Instead it’s a more upbeat melody remembering and honoring the children of Sandy Hook Elementary, a celebration of their lives, in my interpretation.
Unlike the ethereal synthesized music of Rixa White in more recent compositions, “Forgotten Promises” has a more conventional sound of piano and strings, but it’s just as mesmerizing.
Click to DOWNLOAD “Forgotten Promises” for FREE.
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A sensitive response to tragedy
by: Grady Harp
Date: January 10, 2013
For the growing audience to Silentaria no introduction is necessary . . .
The extremes of electronic music are fully explored in this dreamlike song from Silentaria. Not only is there an obvious piano keyboard in the foreground, but also voices and full orchestra and even guitar modes are added gradually until the entire spectrum of music is reproduced with great beauty. Apparently Rixa White had composed a draft version of “Forgotten Promises” melody in 1992. After 20 years, on December 2012, getting emotionally touched by tragedies like Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he completed the initial melody and released it as a single track in honoring Sandy Hook Elementary School victims.
At a time when solace is much needed, the music by Rixa White in this `Forgotten Promises’ helps soothe away some of the pain we feel and helps us enter a better state of mind.
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Silentaria Delivers Deep Music and Deep Silence
by: Mike Borger
Date: October 7, 2012
“What’s Real?” album from Silentaria is a stunning collection of compelling music that cannot be ignored. The music is gentle, but has great momentum. While engaging the mind and spirit in silence, it moves you toward deep realms of thought, emotion and experience. Accomplished musician, poet, electronic keyboardist, and spiritual visionary Rixa White has assembled a collection of songs that succeeds on multiple levels.
As enjoyable music, these songs fill your room and mind with expansive electronica that is peaceful and yet pleasantly stimulating. The overall experience is one of infinitely enjoyable washes of sound that combine with elements of strings, percussion, and gently driven electronic rhythms. This artist knows how to paint with sound, and the result is a panoply of compositions that entertains the mind while soothing the spirit, yet also engages the emotions.
These songs also convey the message of beauty that is at once strong and fragile. Like our own inner being, this music has gross and subtle aspects. The moving chord progressions, melodies, and washes of electronic sound have the strong presence of solid matter and moving forces. But there is a more subtle underlying unity of sound and awareness that somehow pulls it all together. This is unity in diversity, diversity in unity – and it is most profound and beckons the listener to experience activity while feeling the silence that underlies everything.
Any music that creates the kind of wide-open sound of “Silentaria: the Voice of Emptiness” must be called Space Music. Music that pulls together the busy surface level of life and the deep silence that underlies everything is not only Space Music but profoundly spiritual as well. When music like this promotes a unity of mind and body, silence and sound, diversity and unity it is by definition Healing Music. I regard the music of this album profound and effective Healing Space Music.
You will enjoy this music, no matter what your musical background or listening preferences. This music is beautiful and harmonious, and those who like classical music will doubtless like “Silentaria.” Those who like the sounds of electronic artists like Vangelis (“Antarctica,” “Blade Runner Soundtrack”), Ray Lynch (“The Sky of Mind,” “Nothing Above My Head But the Evening”), and Suzanne Ciani (“Seven Waves,” “Hotel Luna”) will immediately like this music. If you are new to synthesizer oriented music, this album is an excellent introduction as you will hear fine musicianship with a broad range of style and sound. Those who like to work with beautiful and deep music as a companion will dearly love this music.
Rixa White has truly demonstrated great musicianship in composition, arrangement, recording and presentation of this album. He has succeeded in bridging the world of silence with the world of action. The resulting music is both profound and simple, and creates a positive, healing effect in our world. This is music you ought to explore, experience, and enjoy.
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Music From Another World
by: Dr. Howard Jones
Date: August 31, 2012
Electronic music can be very monotonous and irritating but I found this album completely different from any other electronic music I have listened to. The whole album is refreshing and exciting with a cohesive atmosphere that takes you into a different world. Every track is different so it keeps up your interest because you wonder what the next track is going to sound like.
The first track, Mirage, starts with what seem to be the sounds of whales which is a wonderful way of pulling you into the music and there are bird sounds in Curtains over Eye. The album is a fusion of rock and the sort of music you could use for relaxation, although whilst it is relaxing to listen to, the difference in the tracks throughout might make it difficult to use if you wanted to go into a meditative state. Nevertheless, some people might find this possible and feel the uplift it offers.
Whilst the rock tracks are exciting, there are also tracks like Sorrowful Truth that are evocative of the title with crying violin sounds that again create a particular atmosphere. This track also had a Japanese sound to it, as did Echoes from East – as you would expect from the title of the track.
Real Fantasia summed up my overall impression of the album – that there was great fun involved in creating it for all those who participated. The journey through the tracks is joyous and uninhibited. This album offers a clean and exciting sound with a specific atmosphere that cannot be described – you just have to listen.
An approximation to twenty-first century moods
Date: July 30, 2012
If a collection of music in this century is a reflection of its moods, this one is a close approximation. “Mirage” in particular exemplifies how difficult it is becoming to discern what is real from what is imagined. The skillful and yet unfettered imagination brings about real things with a speed that is unmatched, and usually what is impossible today becomes a stark-deafening reality tomorrow.
“Oceans of Illusion” seems to delight in unreality but one could easily form bodily patterns that match or succumb to its rhythms, as modern dance can be both resonant with and antagonistic to musical themes.
“Vital Doubts” celebrates doubt as a fundamental emotion of the twenty-first century: it picks up the tempo as if to pay homage to it.
“Curtains Over Eyes”: if modern experience is like a drape, to look behind it is not only necessary but inevitable. The temptation cannot be overcome. The background includes a bouncing ball rhythm, which drops with metronomic uniformity and then ends abruptly. This piece is proclaiming loud and clear that there is nothing periodic in this century: one will always be fooled by any seeming regularities.
“Sorrowful Truth”: Here the music is seduced by gravity. It is pulled down to earth just like the truth always is: raw, naked, and difficult to accept at times, but always beautiful just like the melodies in this piece.
Much more malevolent is “Deceived”: the music twists the psyche just like lies always do, however they are crafted and whatever their magnitude.
“Real Fantasia” is a temporary diversion from the superposition of monotony and exhilaration that so characterizes modern existence.
Whispers wake the listener in “Consciousness” and stay steady throughout. They are gentle nudges that however signal the burden/joy of decision-making and its consequences for the conscious being.
“Diversion” from chosen paths is the rule rather than the exception today: this piece pushes the listener to accepting this stark realization.
“Echoes From East” again is a reminder that repetitiveness is an anathema and an impossibility in the twenty-first century. There is so much activity, so much work and play, that they become indistinguishable.
Intricate and Detailed:
Doesn’t Matter if You Like New Age or Not
by: T. A. Daniel
Date: July 19, 2012
I don’t often listen to new age or electronica, but Silentaria’s WHAT’S REAL? has really grown on me. It might not be super accessible to begin with; it’s a (largely) wordless concept album that focuses on a lost being’s birth and subsequent questioning of the fabric of the world around it. The self-taught Rixa White has composed 11 dense tracks of electronic new age goodness.
The opening track “Mirage” begins with the wail of a synthesizer — it sounds like a cry, not unlike a whale’s croon. From the get-go WHAT’S REAL? sounds somewhat alien, but there’s something about it that still feels human about it all. The album does a great job of combining conventional chord shifts and scales with exotic-sounding flourishes. “Mirage” sets a good tone for the album — it lets the listener know exactly what they are in for with WHAT’S REAL? The music here is really intricate, repeated listening will uncover hidden details that audiences may have missed out on the first (or fourth) time around. Silentaria’s compositions work really well in two important dimensions: the music is nice to have in the background. If listeners just want an album to work, study, or exercise to, WHAT’S REAL? works nicely. BUT, if listeners want an album they can pore over, pay close attention to, and navigate, the album works nicely on that front as well. It’s a balancing act that pays off well. The closing track, “Echoes from East,” provides a bit of a disappointing ending for the album — it does indeed sound foreign, but it ends by slowly fading out. I was expecting a grand exercise in catharsis, but it never quite came.
Rixa White set a lofty goal: the concept behind this album is one that is hard to convey. Perhaps too hard to convey in words, which may explain their absence. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like the story played out necessarily through the music. There are a few moments when the listener is treated to words (the title track, and “Consciousness” for example), and these songs serve as good points of focus, but overall, I didn’t get much out of it. In addition to the dense concept, some of the instrumentation here might be hard to ignore — the mix and engineering is good, but some of the instruments sound a bit dated. The music works well, but I think some people might have issues with the 80’s style synthesizers.
Silentaria’s 2012 release is a solid piece of art: it straddles a fine line between alien and human, exotic and familiar. Standout tracks to sample: “Curtains Over Eyes,” and “What’s Real?” I would advise against downloading these tracks piecemeal — the album works best as a whole, and listening to only one track would seem to hamper the experience. If you love New Age music, WHAT’S REAL? is a must-listen. If, however, you have shied away from the genre, this album is a great place to start. WHAT’S REAL? is definitely worth your time.
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