Recollections, Vol. 1
Rhian Sheehan has been releasing music under his own name for close to a quarter of a century now – and maybe it was the lockdown that forced a slow-down to take stock, though you could never say that Sheehan has rushed into anything with music. His albums, and individual tracks from them – whether on playlists or performed as part of his own multi-media live shows – have allowed me to feel like I’m floating in space. I mean, I know, literally, that’s what is happening. We all are. But Sheehan soundtracks the human condition with a mind’s eye towards the metaphysical plains. He also provides actual soundtracks to planetarium films, to art installations, to documentaries and short films and all of it has been designed not only with care, with heart, with integrity – but with a depth of commitment to the form and with a way of expressing deepest human connections and heartfelt honesty; all wordless. Floating. In space.
So to have some of the best of it assembled in once place is such a treat, particularly as this anthology includes live and studio pieces, some previously unheard or unissued in the recorded format – as well as the key musical cues from everything after is breakthrough Standing In Silence album which has formed the bedrock of his live shows and seems like the philosophical touchstone for almost everything he’s created across the last decade and a half; the reference point, place to return – a spiritual docking station for moods and modes of music.
I have Rhian – and his music – to thank not only for the gift of its unique sound but also for assisting me and prompting me towards the music of Hammock and Helios, the soundtrack offerings of Clint Mansell and Cliff Martinez. And many more besides.
Recollections, Vol. 1 is like Brian Eno’s initial run of ambient albums crossed with the uplifting power of Martinez and Mansell’s best score work. It is the type of soundtrack-to-the-house where you can leave it on for days and find the walls will start softly humming the tunes; the melodies pulse through the roof, the heart of the house emanates warmth directly from the music it is being fed.
I’m grateful for all that he has given of himself to – and through – music across the last two decades. I always look forward to more. But this collection is a great one-stop; the perfect introduction for the person in your life that is not already listening to the very best Rhian has offered. And a stopgap collection until the next new piece arrives. It is, in summary, a sublime snapshot of some of the best he has had to offer. A gift that keeps on giving.
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