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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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.
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“Oceans of Illusion” music video
“There are Oceans, Endless Oceans, Oceans of Illusion. Do not believe in illusion, remember the truth, I am here.”
About video: This video is a dynamic slideshow consists of a series of oceanic landscapes projecting illusive visual atmospheres based on the concept of the track. The above mentioned track’s slogan along with a couple of Rixa White’s poems such as “Drowned in Illusion“, “Everlasting Wander” and “A Slight Change” are displayed in some scenes in this video.
Check out more videos in Silentaria’s Youtube Channel.
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.
“There are Oceans, Endless Oceans, Oceans of Illusion.”
For detailed information about “Oceans of Illusion” click here .
“Oceans of Illusion” has been produced in Electronic New Age genre with elements of ambience. The first four parts of this instrumental track are low-beat, containing mellow and soft Classic instruments and Strings harmonized with Electronic Synths, while the final part starting from 04:32 mark is an up-beat piece and fades out in Guitar and Flute with drums in background.
Following the album pattern, “Oceans of Illusion” points to the blind beliefs in unreal man-made concepts. The illusive atmosphere of the track demonstrates an awakening moment to explore the depth of illusion that widely surrounds us.
The track position in album storyline emphasizes the fact that only by constant questioning “What’s Real?” (second track in album), we may see the well-kept truth.
A descriptive meaning for the word “Illusion” is a distortion in reality, shared by most people (Wikipedia). However, from a point of view, illusion can be interpreted as a belief about a person, a thing or a concept that is blind and different from reality.
Media frequently injects blind beliefs about people and things into our mind. So, the new beliefs implant themselves in our mind particularly when it is hard or impossible to test or experience them.
Gradually, we consider these beliefs as truth and never challenge them. And the more essential they are, the more unreal decisions we make during shaping our lives, our relationships and our characters and this ends up in an unreal life.
Another type of illusions is general belief in man-made concepts. Concepts like perfection, wealth, power, success, social position, possession, becoming someone, safety and security, … are too popular to doubt them. In spite of the necessity of these man-made concepts for a social life, they cannot help us in developing an inner-relationship with ourselves and we remain alien to our true-self.
Initially, our parents and later schools, teachers, friends and media multiply the list of illusions. Even we ourselves extend it by implanting some new illusions to our unconscious belief system.
We have breathed and believed in these illusions for so long that questioning them becomes a challenge of a life time. They control our decisions, interests, relationships and even our last will and testament. We are the slaves of our own illusions and they actually rule our lives.
“A fish cannot be aware of the ocean, before jumping up out of water.“
Only few people are aware of the illusions that shape their lives, as its trace cannot be easily found. But we all will face the choice between what is right and what is easy. Although drowning in illusion is inevitable, when the time comes, we can at least jump up out of the ocean, even for a moment to become aware of it.
“Oceans of Illusion” is a sad story but not a disappointing or pessimistic one.
It is an invitation to observe the illusion, even for a moment.
Listen to the music, share the experience.
by Marian White
For more information, please visit “Oceans of Illusion” page.
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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An intense, solo electronic music extravaganza
by: Andrew H. Lee
Date: July 18, 2012
Dear Music Appreciators,
(At first I found myself giggling a bit at some of the 80’s-movie-friendly, synth-heavy arrangements, but after repeated listening this music seemed to begin to burrow into my mind a bit, as if trying to push its way past my consciousness and into that part of me that does not think, but simply exists…)
Silentaria’s latest offering WHAT’S REAL? is an intense, solo electronic music extravaganza that probes the nature of reality and the relationship between the inner and outer world of the human experience. A deep subject to be sure, but that is one of the benefits of the virtually wordless approach employed here by Rixa White. Mostly unconstrained from the limited meanings of words, White takes flight with his synthesizer and a host of other instruments and brings us along for the journey. And it does feel like a journey. The music is very cinematic – the tracks all seeming both different and the same in a way – much like a movie score, where one or two recurring themes is woven into a number of other variations on those themes that both advance the story from scene to scene and remind us of the big picture.
Notice the eerie sounds of the opening track, the lapping water, the synthesizer refrain that gradually fades in, reproduces itself, and evolves, the short and simple bass notes spaced out like hopscotch footprints in the sand – the spacing and layering of different sounds here is effective and interesting and holds the listener’s attention, waiting for what’s next.
“Curtains Over Eyes” is a stunner, and ironically sounds a lot like an Enya song at the beginning – bird sounds, eerie choir, bell tolling, synth-electric guitar flourishes, but things darken and intensify at the 1:25 mark with the addition of a slow, fuzzed out, industrial heartbeat – as if to remind listeners that this is not your grandmother’s top forty new age music.
You might be interested to know that Silentaria’s Rixa White wears a white mask – “One mask to hide them all” (check the autobiography on his website) – and while this is effective at giving him a mysterious air (possibly making his music and philosophy seem more fascinating than it is) does it have the intended effect of wiping away the listener’s preconceived notions or judgments? Well, yes and no – “yes” because we can’t judge him for what he looks like if we can’t see his face – “no” because less high-minded people will judge him for the very fact that they can’t see his face – and invite the inevitable comparisons to other famous mask wearers such as Zorro, The Phantom of the Oprah, Jason in the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies, and maybe even Tom Cruise’s character in VANILLA SKY…and perhaps that’s fitting after all for a composer who attempts to express in musical form WHAT’S REAL? – it’s a bit of a heroic gesture, and needs a strong character for the task.
Mask or no mask, with such a deep idea explored through distinctive electronic tracks this intense and varied, WHAT’S REAL? deserves a large and devoted audience.
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