Peter Coccoma: A Place to Begin (Whatever’s Clever Records, 2022)

June 7, 2022 at 7:50 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Peter Coccoma: A Place to Begin

Ambient composer Peter Coccoma’s first album was inspired by a trip to a frozen island in the far north part of Lake Superior, following the near death of a loved one. Coccoma worked on music there as winter turned to spring and the lake gradually thawed away, and eventually the water burst forth into motion. His music seems to capture that seasonal awakening, from the rising of “Opening” onwards. Reverb stretches the keyboard notes and strings (by Clarice Jensen and Oliver Hill) outward, dissolving them into mist and regenerating. “A Connection to All Things” has a much deeper bass swerve than you would expect for an ambient piece (that one Stars of the Lid track notwithstanding), and “Towards Light” has some similar rumbling at the beginning, reminding me of Thomas Köner’s best work. “Clouds of Understanding” has richer strings, turning into more of a neo-classical meditation. The short but sweet album ends with the cloudy, slightly warbly tone poem “Begin”.

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