“Dawn Hour” by Ardley unveils a new moniker from the Oregon based composer. “Dawn Hour” pays homage to the artist’s street that they grew up on in Oakland, CA. Now based in Oregon, Ardley looks back at a childhood full of wonder and hope set against a backdrop of a troubled neighborhood. Ardley’s street was working through issues around AIDS, poverty and substance abuse. Likewise “Dawn Hour” finds tension in opposing ideas – calm restraint and hopeful searching. Peace and tension, organic sounds and heavily processed ones.
It’s quite beautiful. Especially in pre-dawn hours when the world is waking up. Ardley is quite adept at creating a sense of tension and holding it in between notes until a new passages tears through. It’s a process that draws in energy from extended reverb tails, and then expels them the next time a note hits. For this I am drawing positive comparisons to artists like Szymon Kaliski or Ruhe. I hear moments and flashes of Satie in this as well. There are aspects and elements of Japanese ambient artists such as Rhucle or Hakobune. Also, ambient overtones of Benoit Pioulard and Wayne Robert Thomas. Harold Budd is an obvious comparison with deep valleys and wells of tone between each note.
From Ardley, ““I’m releasing this music under the moniker ‘Ardley’ to distinguish it from the rest of my musical output. To pay homage to the street in Oakland where I lived as a kid. As with everyone, those years were the lens through which my vision of the world was shaped. My folks wanted my childhood to be great, and for the most part it was. Tons of fond memories; I can still feel the excitement of imagination, exploration, and growing awareness of the world around me.”
There are some deep pools of neo-classical and ambient beauty in “Dawn Hour” by Ardley.