‘RÁS’ is derived from a Faroese word, which roughly translates to “a strong current in a narrow passage which links two seas”, mirroring the outcome of Thomas’ & Helsen’s independent arrangements, cultivating a strong bond or link between their compositions.
Wayne Robert Thomas:
'Cantus In Memoriam Mark David Hollis' is a very personal piece that mourns the loss of a very talented human being whose presence will be deeply missed in this world. He's had such a profound influence on me as well as many others and now I feel that his music carries any even greater weight than before when listening to it. This one is for Mark.
'A Grey Morning, Later Lovely Sunshine' was what Alexandra Fyodorovna described the day of July 16, 1918. Unbeknownst to her and the rest of the Russian royal family they were to be brutally murdered late into the night. I felt that this line described perfectly the month of February for me, a month that was full of loss and grief, as it had several overcast days and then sunlight would appear only for something tragic to happen.
It is often only in hindsight that we are able to fully conceive the spaces we have traversed, notably in those metamorphic shifts of the mind. In looking back, our vision widens and clarifies; the darkness—once so intrusive and internal—is recast. Held against the light, its burden lifts and takes a different shape. The melancholy remains but is buoyed by a new hopefulness, a landscape unfolding, a bright contentment with what is and has been.
released August 16, 2019
Track 1-2: Composed & recorded by Wayne Robert Thomas at the The Winter Dacha in Fairland, Indiana, February 26-27th of 2019
Track 3: Guitar, piano, tape, and electronics composed and performed by Isaac Helsen. Strings composed and performed by Jeffrey Niemeier. Arranged by Jeffrey Niemeier and Isaac Helsen. Recorded, arranged, and mixed at La Chambre de Rêve by Isaac Helsen in January and February of 2019.
Mastered at Black Knoll Studio (NY) by Rafael Anton Irisarri
Cover photography provided by Isaac Helsen
Layout & LP assemblage by zakè
© Past Inside the Present
This is PITP-V003 | MMXIX
“The latest on Past Inside The Present comes from the duo of Wayne Robert Thomas and Isaac Helsen. The trio of works on RÁS (a Faroese word, which roughly translates to “a strong current in a narrow passage which links two seas.” These ambient works of light are elongated, understated, elegant. The fluid and forlorn elegy to the loss of English notable (and underrated) musician Mark David Hollis floats towards the heavens. Their isolated harmonies meander, so ebullient and gentle. This is one melodic dronescape that seems unending, particularly on the eighteen minute stand-alone In Which We Hold Our Breath to Gather Light, a haunting closer that situates the listener somewhere in the woods at night, fire crackling, and much to contemplate in the surrounding wild. Perplexing + mystical.” —Toneshift.net