MUSIC FROM AROUND THE WORLD
WALTER HOLLAND AIR – EARTH – SPACE – WATER
FROM THE END OF PRE-HISTORY TO THE BEING & NOTHINGNESS
In 1983 I received a cosmic-space-rock album released by Amber Route titled SNAIL HEADED VICTROLAS. Amber Route was a duo comprised of Walter Holland and Richard Watson. Walter also created the Coriolis Records label to release and distribute his music independently.
At that time there were several other European bands making electronic music mostly in a similar vein to Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream. The music of Amber Route however was perhaps more like Pink Floyd fused with Arthur Brown and Hawkwind without all of the dramatics of hellfire, damnation and hippie dippy space tripping.
Amber Route released a second album titled GHOST TRACKS in 1983 followed by a single titled “Don’t Drink Lemonade Formaldehyde” in 1984 then broke up. After that Walter released 2 solo electronic albums RELATIVITY (1986), a soundtrack to a film titled TRANSCIENCE OF LOVE (1987) plus a stunning compilation album titled DALI THE ENDLESS ENIGMA (1990). The DALI… album featured several American electronic music luminaries such as Micheal Stearns, Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Djam Karet and himself, plus Michel Huygen of Neuronium (Spain) and Klaus Schulze (Germany).
In the mid 1990’s Walter and I lost touch until 2018 when he released a completely different sort of musical concept album titled STORYTELLER: PART 1. On that album he once again teamed up with musical partner Steve Leonard. It featured Walter and Steve performing folk-rock cover versions of classic Scottish Irish and English folk songs. When I heard it I was amazed! As it turned out, both Walter and I both have family roots that can be traced back to Scotland as well.
In 2022 Walter released a CD of a concert by Amber Route featuring Walter on Guitar/Keyboards, Richard Watson Keyboards/Clarinet and Mark Harris on Drums. They performed LIVE in 1982 at Rockwell International where the Space Shuttle was developed. At one point during the performance the band members actually climbed inside of the Apollo capsule that had been launched into space. Musically, and in terms of concert venues you can’t get any spacier than that.
Also in 2022 the duo of Walter & and Steve released STORYTELLER PART 2. The music on both STORYTELLER albums is absolutely mesmerizing. Walter’s baritone voice, along with his and Steve Leonard’s instrumental arrangements are a perfect fit for the Scottish folk/rock interpretations of the songs which are heartfelt and note perfect.
AIR – EARTH – SPACE – WATER
Walter Holland’s newest production on Blu-ray Disc is a revelation. It chronicles the elements that make life possible in the solar system we all inhabit. It also adds a new element that in some sense is an alien presence. All the images are produced using AI (“Artificial Intelligence”).
Technically, conceptually and sonically Walter and his collaborator Steve Leonard are aided by an incredible cast of field recorders, sound designers as well as an array of musical sources, instruments and effects. The creative result is an Evolutionary musical concept work featuring incredible imagery and provocative sounds, many of which offer a mind blowing vision of THE FUTURE and what life will be like then.
There are 9 Chapters that make up AIR – EARTH – SPACE – WATER: “Liquifaction” – “Sublimation” – “Air” – “Earth” – “Ablation” – Distillation” – “Space”, “Disintegration” & “Water”.
Each of these has both an ethereal presence as well as physical manifestation. All of them combined constitute the Earths Climate. The visuals created in the film evoke a very surreal vision of nature and life itself in the future. The musical score created by Walter Holland is a series of fascinating electronic environmental soundscapes.
Our story begins with the experiments of a Shamanistic Alchemist searching for solutions in an attempt to alleviate Climate Change. The opening chapter shows women reading in the English countryside, while wearing headphones in a storm listening to music.
The actual Atmosphere is suffering from a lack of Water, filled with small particulate bits of base metals. Humanity is becoming torn between Yin & Yang energy forces. The byproducts of this trilogy and humanities obsessive/compulsive apocalyptic tendencies lead to the consumption of powdery substances & other drugs. The World is becoming desiccated and powdery.
The Ethereal nature of Air conjures up an evolutionary vision of an infinite arid landscape of Deserts and windstorms that engulf the planet in a shroud of sand. Parts of the Planet are becoming uninhabitable.
Chronicles the rise of Factories manufacturing products that fill the air with Toxins and clouds filled with soot and ashes. The Air is becoming toxic and more polluted.
The era of Laboratory experiments and mans fascination with Fire and predatory behavior begins. The Military Industrial Complex and era of endless wars begin and ends in a cataclysm.
The era of the Eloi & Morlocks has become the New Reality on Terra Firma. The knowledge and history of modern civilization has been erased, left only in a few books that have been long forgotten.
A great leap forward for man is taken as they search for the possibilities of Life after the Earth has become uninhabitable for human kind.
Entropy, Systems Malfunction, Buildings Decay, Applications fail, Civilizations Collapse.
Water is the Essence of Life; up to 60% of the human adult body is water. The sound of the waves on the oceans & rivers help relax the mind & wash away greed, anger and ignorance.
I’ve watched the film several times now and each time I am even more amazed at what Walter, Steve and the whole team who worked on the project have accomplished. Technically, visually and sonically it surpasses virtually every other production be it LP, CD, or DVD I’ve ever heard in the 50+ years I’ve done EUROCK.
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of AIR – EARTH – SPACE – WATER is Walter’s use of AI to generate all of the images you see on the Blu-Ray disc. The images when combined with the music he & Steve created serves as a perfect visualization of what THE FUTURE may well look like… REIN NE VA PLUS…
In 2022, AIR – EARTH – SPACE – WATER won a “Global Music Award”. The GMA is like the Grammy’s, but with a few differences. The GMA’s tend towards classical music, but all genres are represented. The GMA’s are voted on by the academy, not the members. They are not as well known except by industry insiders and operate more like the way film and art festivals work.