August 11, 2016

Peter Michael Hamel - Organum, 1986

Supremely beautiful recording from German minimalist composer and author of the 1978 book Through Music to the Self: How to Appreciate and Experience Music Anew, which I swear I was reading in my town's library growing up when I was supposed to be doing readings about the Civil War.

The album looks and feels likes something that might have made its way into my library stack as well. Recorded at the Academy of Music in München with pipe organ, conch, and Tibetan cymbals, this is a pipe organ study, exploring a range of moods as well as Hamel's impressive knowledge of eastern and western scales and motifs. Much of the music comes on crescendoing waves of arpeggiation, from calmer melodies to dense, almost unbearable chaos--only to be sliced through by a return to peace.

For anyone interested in more of Hamel's, his 1977 release Nada is also very good.


  1. I just want to thank you for posting this album, it had me a little emotional while listening... utterly gorgeous

    1. I'm so happy it had such an effect on you, Ethan. I really love this one.