“The Silence of Grace,” the 1st collaborative recording by Spotted Peccary founder/artist, Deborah Martin, and Jill was released April, 2021. Jill and Deborah spent 2 weeks exploring the Pacific Northwest and creating musical impressions in Deborah’s recording studio. This ambient recording is a combination of Jill’s acoustic voices on oboe and English horn combined with Deborah’s musical expressions on various electronic sounds. This is the 1st of 3 recordings that will be released on Spotted Peccary by Deborah and Jill.

An eloquent and timeless collaboration debut, The Silence of Grace
invites the listener into the depths of quiet beauty and graceful repose.


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Reviews

The Silence of Grace

DEBORAH MARTIN & JILL HALEY, The Silence of Grace

A work of extraordinary depth and rich, intricate texturing of spacey ambient dreamscapes and soul-stirring earthy tones, The Silence of Grace is a meditative reflection and celebration of the natural beauty and wonders of the Pacific Northwest combining the expansive talents of ambient electronic artist Deborah Martin and oboe and English horn master Jill Haley. The eight track recording marks Deborah’s 30th Anniversary with Spotted Peccary Music – an inspiring run that began with her contribution to the label’s Tracks in Time compilation – and welcomes Jill into the fold after a decade of releases showcasing the majesty of America’s National Parks.

 

As stated on her dedicated artist page, Deborah’s passion is to visualize and create music that takes each listener on a journey through time and space. “I simply close my eyes and imagine what it would have been like to exist in another time, another place, and the music comes.” Her well-established musical aesthetic – and longstanding desire to combine live orchestral instrument recordings with electronics – perfectly complements that of Jill, whose immersion into the landscapes and music of Glacier, Zion, Bryce, Mesa Verde et al has inspired transcendent, landscape and natural element inspired works showcasing the sweeping majesty, fragile ecosystems and intricate details of these sacred lands.

 
 

As I wrote in my review of Jill’s The Winds of Badlands, “While Jill brings echoes of all those glorious paths of the past, her soul-conscious texturing of fresh, poetic whimsy and reflective grace takes us forward into this era where the battle for the soul of these places, and the earth itself, is a sociopolitical reality.”

 
 

Though thematically rooted in a passionate expression of love for the exquisite greenery and natural water movement of the Pacific Northwest – one of the regions Jill had yet to pay homage to in her solo career – The Silence of Grace is one of those lushly produced, expansive and atmospheric “wall of sound” works that can be appreciated by the mind and spirit for its sweet transportive dreaminess as a single through line over its nearly 50 minutes, the breaks between pieces – and the colorful titles given to each composition – helps the listener focus on the imagery that inspired Deborah and Jill to interweave their unique array of individual sounds.

 

Rather than build a specific narrative or story arc, the titles serve as impressionistic locales to set the scenes for each musical adventure/excursion. Intriguingly, the lone exception to this is the title track which through its melodic and harmonic shifts from soaring highs to murky lows, sets a mood that inspires the listener to be the silent one contemplating nature and – if so inclined – the divine grace that made such sweeping and enduring beauty possible for humans to experience.

 
 

Jill’s Southwestern inspired works have certainly found her expounding on the ancient, mystical powers of Native American lands, and unique tones of her instruments alternately take us soaring and keep us grounded as Deborah’s mystical electronic energies surround us on a tour of “Indian Heaven.” As with so many of the tracks on The Silence of Grace, they quite literally lay the

 

groundwork and we can use our imaginations to engage with the enduring spirits of the ancestors who might inhabit such a place.

 
DEBORAH MARTIN

The next two tracks offer hypnotic entry points to the Pacific Northwest region’s deep and luxuriant forests, which aggregately form the Pacific temperate rainforests ecoregion, the largest on the planet as defined by the World Wildlife Fund. The playful chimes and lyrical oboe animating the mysterious moods of “Verdant Sanctuary” pay collective homage to the surreal shades of green, the ongoing (if silent) activity of nature working its free-flowing magic and the reverence it inspires the moment you walk into its doors and look up at the leafy branch created “steeples.” With its subtle harmonic mood swings, “The Stillness of Forest Bathing” immerses us even further from our day to day realities into the wild gathering of trees where rain, streams and waterfalls have the opportunity to refresh, restore and re-energize our souls weary from the battles outside.

 
JILL HALEY

Far from the red rocks of some of the other geographic spots Jill has taken her fans before, her dreamy sounds flow naturally with the water vibes that inhabit, narratively and musically, the final four tracks of the album. First, she and Deborah guide our gentle and graceful journey to experience the baptism/rebirth available in the forest’s “Fountains.” Then Deborah engages in her trademark deep space ambience energy on a haunting exploration of all the present elements on “Earth Stone Water Sky,” which converge slowly with occasional chimes, a softly swaying oboe melody and breathy gusts of wind.

Perhaps the most percussive piece on The Silence of Grace is the next fusion of natural elements, “From Fire to Water,” which begins with chaotic, otherworldly drone sounds and an exotic rhythm pattern that lay a quick-bubbling foundation for some of Jill’s most powerful and melodic oboe expressions. Not surprisingly, as the fire recedes and water takes over, the piece mellows out and flows into something like a dream state. Which naturally leads us the duo to their (and our) final destination, a place where “Water Flows of Clouds and Thunder,” and peaceful dreamy and optimistic streams of life emerge after nature does its scariest work with colliding clouds and intense, ominous rainstorms.

THE JW VIBE

Jonathan Widran

Being outdoors and connecting with Mother Nature is probably as close to heaven as you can possibly get on this Earth. Find the place where you are surrounded, the place which makes you feel most alive. Treat yourself to a musical nature walk. The views for your ears are spectacular! Experience the surreal musical tranquility of The Silence of Grace. Just sit and take it in with your headphones and observe the beauty.

1. ABOUT THE ALBUM THE SILENCE OF GRACE

ELECTRONIC AND ACOUSTIC INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC OF…

…inspirational calm and great beauty. The Silence of Grace combines the electronic music of Deborah Martin with Jill Haley’s oboe and English horn. There is something very magical about the serenity of nature, and Jill has connected her music with the spirit of the wilderness. Deborah Martin’s passion is to visualize and create music that takes each listener on a journey through time and space. Each track contains the synergy of the woodwinds and electronics, interpreting the peace that can be experienced in natural settings, such as forests, parks and by waterways.

This flowing and beautiful soundscape is filled with opportunities for adventure. The music I hear on this album represents to me the adoration of the Earth, seeking an understanding of natural phenomena, and finding commonalities between all living things, things that are best studied as a whole. Seeking to understand how the world and universe around us works. This laboratory is alive. Jill brings the light while Deborah brings the love of mystery, and the combination of these two amazing musicians (stargazers, ambassadors from another time) is magical to behold.

2. THE TRACKS

GRACE HAS CONFIDENCE. NATURE SOMETIMES HAS…

…a way of slowing life down, presenting a complicated system of causes, allowing the inquisitive to discover common patterns. Mother Earth has her own agenda, perhaps seen in the beautiful nighttime and early morning light. “The Silence of Grace” (6:54) is filled with passion, dreams, and magic, recalling spacious skies and mountain majesties, expressing theories of divine natural forms, there is almost nothing to compare to it.

Hues change by time of day and season, wrinkles in the earth’s crust are actually mountains that wear the dawn like “Indian Heaven” (6:52), revealing an immensely intense feeling of a state of love, peace and joy, celestial electronics and deep confident cadences, hand percussion and a quiet reverence for the mysteries of life and death.

Rugged and remote, “Verdant Sanctuary” (5:01) invites the listener to meander further into the wilderness, to discover ancient trees and dramatic cave formations which appear with mirage-like effects. I hear chimes and swirling electronics joined with an oboe to create a tone poem, describing a forest filled with life, a vast roadless wilderness. Hidden seeds contain future forms, which are responsible for the reproduction and growth of succeeding life forms, listen to the tiny DNA ribbons of color. Our sacred earth sometimes begets butterflies!

THE WILD CHARACTER OF THESE…

…sound regions is due, in part, to their sheer size. The water continues to flow, solitude is one of the many assets held in the woodlands. Allow yourself to be mesmerized by the greenest mountains, and the flora and fauna found in the ground and the water, a gaunt beauty and place of profound quiet. “The Stillness of Forest Bathing” (6:20) is expressed with the sound of cosmic radiation that gives way to the calm glory of solitary interaction with nature, providing the spirits of the land a chance to shine their light directly on you.

Fog lies like a soft white blanket on the indescribable ghostliness, hundreds of miles of pure snow-covered rocks and virgin lakes and high timber. Find yourself in a stunning place, a place buffered from change, and give yourself a reminder that you are a part of this magical world. “Fountains” (6:06) bring tingling droplets of water in motion lifted by complex layers of weaving instruments and air, filled with cascading melodic breezes.

The beauty that surrounds the Earth is both grand and subtle, come to the edge and look outward, explore with your ears a different walking path today, seek out that rugged vista, the river and its tributaries, and the wind calling, feeling as if you have found the very edge of the world, embarking on adventures that no one has before. “Earth Stone Water Sky” (4:06) evokes the beauty of the calm water, the light on the mountains, and mysterious elements containing light, whispers, and time.

THE WHOLE VALLEY, AS FAR AS THE…

…eye can reach, is full of trails of smoke, curling up from its fissured floor. What I hear is a hot pulsing didgeridoo, a primitive dancing engine, joined by hand percussion as the woodwind breezes swirl overhead, electronics flow throughout until they transform into ascending spirits that trickle down as gentle droplets, almost like rain. It seems as if time has dropped away a million years and we are back in a primordial world, in the pouring rain, “From Fire Into Water” (6:36).

Time is a river flowing beyond the reach of the quietus, preserving the wild beauty and deep history that extends over the reach of humans, with perpetual cycles of precipitation, evaporation, run off, and infiltration. Water is like many mobile beings, bodies in motion, rising into the air to peacefully soar on the wind in a frolic. “Water Flows of Clouds and Thunder” (7:32) depicts dark winds gathering power, and then becomes a sparkling celebration of motion, as a delicate harp emerges to join the airborne dance.

What I hear gives me an indescribable sense of a mysterious elsewhere, a vivid glow that illuminates the clouds and its plume, revealing a cloud-cloaked landscape, hanging pinnacled in midheaven, sometimes you cannot really see it clearly while you are there. The beauty is, in its starkness, something that seems worlds away. Humans and nature have lived together for thousands and thousands of years. Each natural object was carefully placed as if Mother Nature had a specific outcome in mind. A safe place is where someone can feel relaxed and find peace.

3. ABOUT DEBORAH MARTIN & JILL HALEY

Deborah Martin is known for her mastery of subtlety and the essence of understatement, creating richly textured and highly emotive musical sojourns that always takes the listener on a journey. Some of her recent works include Hemispherica Portalis (a collaboration with Dean De Benedictis); Eye Of The Wizard; Under The Moon; Deep Roots, Hidden Water; Between Worlds (a collaboration with Erik Wøllo); Anno Domini (a collaboration with J. Arif Verner); Tibet (a collaboration with Madhavi Devi); and Ancient Power (a collaboration with Steve Gordon).

Jill Haley is an oboist, English horn player, pianist and composer who visits National Parks in the United States, often as an Artist in Residence, and composes music about the Park while living there. Some of these parks include Montana’s Glacier National Park; Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado; Badlands National Park, South Dakota; Wrangell/St. Elias National Park, Alaska; Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico; and Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida. Her catalog includes The Canyons and Mesas of Bandelier, The Winds of Badlands, Zion and Bryce Canyon Soundscapes, Glacier Soundscapes, The Waters of Glacier, Mesa Verde Soundscapes, and National Park Soundscapes.

– Brainvoyager written by Robin James, April 25th, 2021

Electronic and acoustic instrumental music of inspirational calm and great beauty. The Silence of Grace combines the electronic music of Deborah Martin with Jill Haley’s oboe and English horn. There’s something very magical about the serenity of nature, and Jill has connected her music with the spirit of the wilderness. Deborah Martin’s passion is to visualize and create music that takes each listener on a journey through time and space. Each track contains the synergy of the woodwinds and electronics, interpreting the peace that can be experienced in natural settings, such as forests, parks and by waterways. 

This flowing and beautiful soundscape is filled with opportunities for adventure. The music I hear on this album represents to me the adoration of the Earth, seeking an  understanding of natural phenomena, and finding commonalities between all living things, things that are best studied as a whole. Seeking to understand how the world and universe around us works. This laboratory is alive. Jill brings the light while Deborah brings the love of mystery, and the combination of these two amazing musicians (stargazers, ambassadors from another time) is magical to behold.

Grace has confidence. Nature sometimes has a way of slowing life down, presenting a complicated system of causes, allowing the inquisitive to discover common patterns. Mother Earth has her own agenda, perhaps seen in the beautiful nighttime and early morning light. “The Silence of Grace” (6:54) is filled with passion, dreams, and magic, recalling spacious skies and mountain majesties, expressing theories of divine natural forms, there is almost nothing to compare to it.

Hues change by time of day and season, wrinkles in the earth’s crust are actually mountains that wear the dawn like “Indian Heaven” (6:52), revealing an immensely intense feeling of a state of love, peace and joy, celestial electronics and deep confident cadences, hand percussion and a quiet reverence for the mysteries of life and death.

Rugged and remote, “Verdant Sanctuary” (5:01) invites the listener to meander further into the wilderness, to discover ancient trees and dramatic cave formations which appear with mirage-like effects. I hear chimes and swirling electronics joined with an oboe to create a tone poem, describing a forest filled with life, a vast roadless wilderness. Hidden seeds contain future forms, which are responsible for the reproduction and growth of succeeding life forms, listen to the tiny DNA ribbons of color. Our sacred earth sometimes begets butterflies!

The wild character of these sound regions is due, in part, to their sheer size. The water continues to flow, solitude is one of the many assets held in the woodlands. Allow yourself to be mesmerized by the greenest mountains, and the flora and fauna found in the ground and the water, a gaunt beauty and place of profound quiet. “The Stillness of Forest Bathing” (6:20) is expressed with the sound of cosmic radiation that gives way to the calm glory of solitary interaction with nature, providing the spirits of the land a chance to shine their light directly on you.

Fog lies like a soft white blanket on the indescribable ghostliness, hundreds of miles of pure snow-covered rocks and virgin lakes and high timber. Find yourself in a stunning place, a place buffered from change, and give yourself a reminder that you are a part of this magical world. “Fountains” (6:06) bring tingling droplets of water in motion lifted by complex layers of weaving instruments and air, filled with cascading melodic breezes.

The beauty that surrounds the Earth is both grand and subtle, come to the edge and look outward, explore with your ears a different walking path today, seek out that rugged vista, the river and its tributaries, and the wind calling, feeling as if you have found the very edge of the world, embarking on adventures that no one has before. “Earth Stone Water Sky” (4:06) evokes the beauty of the calm water, the light on the mountains, and mysterious elements containing light, whispers, and time.

The whole valley, as far as the eye can reach, is full of trails of smoke, curling up from its fissured floor. What I hear is a hot pulsing didgeridoo, a primitive dancing engine, joined by hand percussion as the woodwind breezes swirl overhead, electronics flow throughout until they transform into ascending spirits that trickle down as gentle droplets, almost like rain. It seems as if time has dropped away a million years and we are back in a primordial world, in the pouring rain, “From Fire Into Water” (6:36).

Time is a river flowing beyond the reach of the quietus, preserving the wild beauty and deep history that extends over the reach of humans, with perpetual cycles of precipitation, evaporation, run off, and infiltration. Water is like many mobile beings, bodies in motion, rising into the air to peacefully soar on the wind in a frolic. “Water Flows of Clouds and Thunder” (7:32) depicts dark winds gathering power, and then becomes a sparkling celebration of motion, as a delicate harp emerges to join the airborne dance. What I hear gives me an indescribable sense of a mysterious elsewhere, a vivid glow that illuminates the clouds and its plume, revealing a cloud-cloaked landscape, hanging pinnacled in midheaven, sometimes you can’t really see it clearly while you are there. The beauty is, in its starkness, something that seems worlds away. Humans and nature have lived together for thousands and thousands of years. Each natural object was carefully placed as if Mother Nature had a specific outcome in mind. A safe place is where someone can feel relaxed and find peace. 

Deborah Martin is known for her mastery of subtlety and the essence of understatement, creating richly textured and highly emotive musical sojourns that always takes the listener on a journey. Some of her recent works include Hemispherica Portalis (a collaboration with Dean De Benedictis); Eye Of The WizardUnder The MoonDeep Roots, Hidden WaterBetween Worlds (a collaboration with Erik Wøllo); Anno Domini (a collaboration with J. Arif Verner); Tibet (a collaboration with Madhavi Devi); and Ancient Power (a collaboration with Steve Gordon).

Jill Haley is an oboist, English horn player, pianist and composer who visits National Parks in the United States, often as an Artist in Residence, and composes music about the Park while living there. Some of these parks include Montana’s Glacier National Park; Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado; Badlands National Park, South Dakota; Wrangell/St. Elias National Park, Alaska; Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico; and Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida. Her catalog includes The Canyons and Mesas of BandelierThe Winds of BadlandsZion and Bryce Canyon SoundscapesGlacier SoundscapesThe Waters of GlacierMesa Verde Soundscapes, and National Park Soundscapes

Being outdoors and connecting with Mother Nature is probably as close to heaven as you can possibly get on this Earth. Find the place that you are surrounded by, the place which makes you feel most alive. Treat yourself to a musical nature walk. The views for your ears are spectacular! Experience the surreal musical tranquility of The Silence of Grace. Just sit and take it in with your headphones and observe the beauty.  
 
– BEING