SONEILL
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SONEILL

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"When I Know You Will Too"

The disc opens with "Mter," and a drone that just skims the border of being abrasive rings back and forth while reverbed bells clang like windchimes sending a signal from across an empty bay. It's somewhat reminiscent of work by Angus Maclaurin on his haunting Glass Music release, and the track morphs over into the softer, more gentle chiming melodies of "No Further Than Whats In Front Of You," a nice little track that works quite well. The album hits a nice high point with "Stac&Rcd," a lovely little track that moves like flecks of sunlight off a slow-moving stream of water. At other points on the release, things just don't quite work as well, as on the overly digitally-manipulated pings of "Bel Fin" and the somewhat overlong "Yr3," but mostly the album is a gentle path of warm soundscapes for the hours closest to sleep (or during). Definitely more textural than melodic, the release treads somewhat similar ground as Stars Of The Lid (without sounding quite so "heavy") or even the beatless Selected Ambient Works Volume 2-era Aphex Twin. As with most drone music, I suspect I'll enjoy it more when the weather gets a little colder, but , it's a darn good little release from another small label you've most likely never heard of.

rating: 7 - Almost Cool


"When I Know You Will Too"

This is massively skilled ambient melancholia from a Mr. S. O'Neill, about whom I know basically nothing. I don't know who he is or where he's from, or even if he's a he, for that matter. For the sake of this review, let's assume for the hell of it that the artist's gender is male. I know that this is his first full length, and for it he's chosen one of the more impossible-to-remember names as his moniker. When I Know You Will Too is a pretty uninspired name for musical output, but the music itself is truly, unstoppably gorgeous. The utterly lonesome and elegiac mood on this modest album makes it one of the most beguiling and attractive debuts I've heard in quite a while.
O'Neill begins the album with a Eno-friendly track called "Mter". The sound is at once gentle and remarkable, and a steady drone carries the album along through tracks like "Yr3" and "Bel Fin". Each new song embraces a slightly varying sonic topography, from long drawn-out bells to deliquescent piano tones.

Those familiar with the Kranky roster might find themselves most eager to hear this work, and most fond of its sound. There's a lot of ground left uncovered in the minimal, super ambient style that When I Know You Will Too has chosen to muck around in. Stars of the Lid have given us some of the more narcoleptic elements of post-Eno ambience, and Labradford have kicked in the odd drum beat, while Doldrums have tried to give us their own freewheeling flying saucer attack of low-key guitar wash. I would desperately want to see When I Know You Will Too fit somewhere in the canon of aesthetic numbness that gives this style its contemporary feel. O'Neill's music has the coldness of a post-funeral party, where no one is quite sure whether to cry or sink into mute despair, or simply be done with it and kill themselves. His music, if you're looking for a laugh, is going to ruin your entire week. But on a rainy, chilly afternoon, the sympathy and seriousness will give you solace, to know that someone else out there feels almost as terrible as you.

Whether he continues to record under this awkward name, or goes the obvious route, following this excellent piece with a record under his (maybe her) own name, O'Neill is without question an artist to watch. He won't be unknown for long. - Splendid


"When I Know You Will Too"

Ambient Ambivalence

Austin’s Sean O’Neil makes beautiful, engaging ambient music as When I Know You Will Too, a moniker that, on first glance, seems to refute individual cognizance in favor of a pervading consciousness, a theory furthered by his nebulous sound environments. O’Neil’s debut album, Astoria, issued on the Detroit CD-R label Asaurus, is a collection of swirling, disorienting overtones that pulsate with interstellar exoticism and unrefined warmth. These sonic clouds of dust and dew depend upon the blurring of parameters, meshing not only Sound A with Sound B, but the aural with the tangible. Astoria, at its best, escapes a conscious audience and finds refuge in assimilation.

The bells, whistles and wind chimes of Astoria often reverberate like antithetical air sirens, signaling serenity rather than danger. On the opening track “mter”, O’Neil cycles a sequence of elongated chimes while drawing various ambient tones in and out of the mix. The chimes’ timbre is gradually morphed beyond recognition, with only the cycle’s endless footprints providing a clue as to what came before. Seconds lose their sovereignty as the piece stretches out past eight minutes.

O’Neil’s layering of sequences is reminiscent of Alex Paterson’s early Orb material, but only in an ethereal sense. O’Neil eschews traditional rhythm almost entirely on Astoria; his sonic rearrangements resemble weather patterns, where shifts are only discernible in hindsight. “yr3” is an ideal example. The 12-minute peace levitates in zero-gravity somewhere between the earth and moon, owing allegiance to neither, until the layers of minimal tone suddenly disappear to reveal a bell, ringing. It’s an incredibly lonely moment, and one that reinforces O’Neil’s ability to weave webs of equanimity out of the ether.

Which is not to say O’Neil abstains from dissonance. He counters the peaceful vibrations found earlier on Astoria with somewhat disturbing pieces like “bel fin” and “windw”, truly alien soundscapes that border on the obnoxious. Their temperamental motifs demand attention, maybe too much for their own good, but their inclusion does accentuate the bliss found elsewhere on the record.

On Astoria, O’Neil doesn’t play music so much as he presents it. The demarcation between atmosphere and autonomy is essentially the domain of the listener. These sounds have the power to thrive on their own, but it’s their ability to integrate and weld to the surrounding milieu that makes this album such an intriguing affair. - Dusted Review


"Sean O'Neill Sound Art"

Sean O’Neill (USA)
February 15th, 2007 | Category: • soundart, ••• USA

Sean O’Neill

Sean O’Neill is a sound artist who uses field recordings as a primary source material, layering elements of environmental/urban/found sound with processed acoustic and electronic instrumentation. His work focuses on perception of space and natural ambience. An avid sound recordist, O’Neill has collected recordings throughout Southeast Asia, Europe and the US. He has appeared on several compilations under the moniker When I Know You Will Too, and has releases with Detroit’s Asaurus Records and London’s Evelyn Records.

Sean O’Neill participates in

2008
the exhibition
“soundOBJECTS”
http://soundobject.newmediafest.org
curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
for SoundLAB in the framework of the exhibition of digital art
“Digital Media” at La Nau Valencia/Spain - 17 April - 10 May 2008

2006

SoundLAB
- Memoryscapes - SoundLAB


"Sound Installation"

Suite 310
Horse trouble
“..an eerily prophetic, contemporary Lasceux.
Species extinction via global warming is an underlying theme, especially pertinent as the Arctic is warm-ing at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the globe. The suite will serve as a kind of memento mori to this fatal process, using the horse as an archetypal symbol of the multifarious relationship of humans to ani-mals.”
Susannah Mira
Susannah Mira is a bone collector interested in anatomy, language, iconography, mythology, and scaf-folding. The poetry of connections between our delicate ecology, habitat and human relationships are ad-ditional concerns.

The importance of process and the idea that art must be lived with, are two simple, yet dominant themes in her work. She currently resides on the south face of a mesa, high in the Arizona desert, and is growing out her hair.

Sean O’Neill
Sean O’Neill is an experimental sound artist currently living and working in Austin, Texas. He uses field recordings as a primary source material, layering elements of environmental /urban/ found sound with processed acoustic and electronic instrumentation.

His work focuses on perception of space and natural ambience. An avid sound recordist, O’Neill has collected recordings throughout Southeast Asia, Europe and the US. Additionally, he has appeared on several compilations under the moniker When I Know You Will Too, and has releases with Detroit’s Asaurus Records and London’s Evelyn Records. - Ice Hotel


Discography

"Astoria" - When I Know You WIll Too on Asaurus Records
"Aca" - When I Know You Will Too on Evelyn Records

Photos

Bio

Experimental compositions that capture the more organic properties of texture-based music, Sean O'Neill builds on layers of environmental/urban found sounds existing all around us, creating emergent soundscapes that engage, rather than fall to the background.

The dynamics of his work reflects the nature of his processes, drawing from elements of ambient music, microsound, and shoegaze, while often incorporating live interactive electronics and media arts. O'Neill has had performances and presented installations at various venues and festivals including FAMexpo, Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art, 404 Electronic Arts Festival, and La Nau Digital Media Festival in Valencia.