Lee Chapman lives in Latvia but he was born in the UK. He is a self-taught sound sculptor, using field recordings, minimal instrumentation and digital processing to create tender and fragile music. Although he claims to be influenced by dark subjects such as decay and death, his music doens't really have the typical dark ambient atmosphere. Instead, the music is rather bright but unpredictable, unpolished but elegant.
The tracks on The Common Silence do not drive on a rhythm and have little to none percussion. That, however, doesn't mean they are stale or boring, on the contrary. This is excellent background music for reading, relaxing or just staring at the squirrels in the trees outside. 'Believe In Something' has a hint of percussion where drones and soundscapes float over something that sounds like a deep, far away heart beat.
This heart beat perfectly illustrates the organic feel of this album. Chapman doesn't shun accidentality. Sounds that were recorded by accident are not thrown away. Instead they are used, changed, distorted and delayed, adding a sense of mystery to the whole. 'Let A Song Speak For Itself' uses a hint of a bassline, created by I don't know what, but it is mesmerizing. In 'Kyrie Eleison' some distant vocals give a dreamy song a deeply familiair and human feel.
Here and there you can hear processed travel recordings, as if the music is a soundtrack for an inner road trip. Chapman is no stranger to composing soundtracks, so it's no surprise that this music has a cinematic character. In fact, the entire album can be played to accompany dreams, meditation, relaxation and all sorts of calm activities. In its minimalistic approach, this is a beautiful and graceful album and highly recommended by a die-hard ambient lover like...