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Hermetic Science

Popular

  1. 1.
    Esau's Burden (Live 02-04-2000)
    5:270:30
  2. 2.
    De Profundis
    10:080:30
  3. 3.
    Esau's Burden
    5:110:30
  4. 4.
    Fire Over Thule
    9:330:30
  5. 5.
    Fanfare for the Common Man (Live 02-04-2000)
    9:350:30
When mallet percussionist, keyboardist, and composer Ed Macan founded Hermetic Science in 1996, he had three modest goals.
First, to use the trio as a forum to spotlight mallet percussion instruments (vibes, marimba), which he felt had been much underused in progressive rock. Second, to serve a guild-like role for young musicians at the College of the Redwoods, where he taught music, and nearby Humboldt State University, acquainting them with all aspects of putting an album together from the earliest conceptual stages to the challenges of marketing and publicity at the end, even as they received academic credit for their work with the band. While this master craftsman-apprentice model is common in many academic music programs today, it was virtually unheard of in 1996. And finally, to create truly progressive music that did not merely copy the licks of the progressive rock masters of the 1970s, but explored new directions and acknowledged new musical currents, even while retaining a foundation in classic progressive rock. Over time, Hermetic Science utterly transcended its original goals, and when Macan finally deactivated the band some 12 years and four albums later, Hermetic Science had definitively emerged as one of the most exciting, innovate, and unique bands of the 1990s prog rock revival.
Their first album, "Hermetic Science" (1997), features the band in their most unique configuration, as a vibes-bass-drums power trio; elements of keyboard-dominated prog rock, ECM-style spatial jazz, and Eastern music, cohere into a distinctive sound that is alternately shadowy and luminous. "Prophesies" (1999), dominated by the six movement, 41 minute “Prophesies” suite, shows a subtle shift in direction; while the mallet instruments are still prominent, acoustic piano, Hammond organ, and ARP string ensemble play an increasingly important role, and the music develops in the direction of sophisticated, edgy chamber rock. "En Route" (2001) features a more massive and dramatic sound than either previous album: mallet percussion shifts to a textural role, while Hammond, Moog, ARP, and piano seize the limelight. "These Fragments I Have Shored Against My Ruins" (2008) draws together all the stylistic strands of earlier Hermetic Science even as it introduces a new post-rock sensibility, creating a masterful summing up of everything the band stood for both aesthetically and philosophically.

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