What does Simon James sound like?
Sound installations for minimalist sound design and modular synths.
The review of Simon James – Electronic Breeze
I love wind chimes. I own Koshi Chimes and if I get stressed out and need a bit of a sound bath to relax, those four babies get whipped out and I place them around me and give them a good tinkle. Simon James must feel a similar way as his album “Electronic Breeze” takes this concept and runs with it.
Originally created as a sound installation in The Lowry Gallery in Salford, UK, the idea is to create an electronic breeze that then generates semi-random patterns from instruments. Wind chimes, looped kalimba and Buchla modular synths bustle in the gentlest of fashions. You can hear the breeze and the three instruments generate beautiful little patterns. These form two long compositions. “The Sound Has An Inside” is a 38-minute track that places the wind chimes and kalimba upfront and it feels analogue and real world. I could hear it in a zen spa treatment or a sound bath video online easily. “The Eyes Connect” is a 30-minute modular synth-focused piece. This has the bulcha reaching towards notes and then fading away as the breeze dies down. If it is a strong breeze it’ll glitch over several notes in a cute and popcorn-esque way (if you know the popcorn song). Both songs carry the same ephemeral mood but in very different ways.
Hearing this made me really want to experience Simon James’ sound installation. I’d have loved to have heard this in a 3D space but hearing it in album form is still intriguing. It’s one of those albums that sets a mood rather than captivates a listener but creates an oasis of calm and tranquillity with ease. If you need to chill out, this will absolutely do the trick and with headphones on, it is a wonderful sleep aid.
It’s also worth noting Simon James has a website with some other wonderful binaural field recordings for sleep and relaxation too.
Recommended track: A Sound Has An Inside
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