Ambient music occupies a very unique piece of the musical world. We hear it all the time — films, online videos, in public — and yet it isn’t, and never really has been, considered popular music. It exists constantly, but only in the background of the average listener’s life.
That being said, select ambient songs, usually part of a larger film soundtrack, will occasionally cross into popular music and get a chance in the spotlight. A good example is Hans Zimmer’s “Time” from the Inception soundtrack. Being able to bridge the gap between ambience and accessibility is a difficult path to follow, but a fantastic example of a winning balance is the self-titled album from Olathe, Kansas artist, Aperire.
Formed in 2007, Aperire is the brainchild of David Lichtenauer, a multi-instrumentalist who also records, produces, and promotes his music. Although his discography as Aperire is limited to the self-titled 2011 release and an additional single, “Snowglow,” Lichtenauer proves his musical competence in pretty much every sense of the word.
The album is relatively short, with five songs that clock in at just over 20 minutes in total. The tracks work well individually, as none of them over-stay their welcome, and constantly keep the listener intrigued and invested.
Ultimately, however, it’s best to listen to the album as a whole. Each song feels connected in a great atmospheric sense, and would work well in a movie soundtrack for that reason. The entirety of the album has a beautiful and haunting feel, putting the listener into a comfortably melancholic mood.
The majority of the time, the music consists of a combination of piano, keyboard, and strings. Though this gives it a great surreal essence, the album really peaks during the reserved moments that include guitar and rhythm-section work, such as the guitars in “The Flippist,” or the instrumentation at the end of “Remaining.”
The debut (and only) album from Aperire is a beautiful collection of music, despite being largely unheard of. It can work as background music, but cannot be truly appreciated until it is artistically recognized and experienced.
Overall rating: 8/10