Adam Pacione: With Wakened Eyes
Bee Eater

When I hear Adam Pacione's music, I'm reminded of Brian Eno's “Spirits Drifting”—not necessarily on account of any particular stylistic similarity (though devotees of Eno's ethereal ambient music-making will easily warm to Pacione's music too) but because the settings produced by the Fort Worth, Texas-based sound artist seem so much like, well, spirits drifting. Very little effort is required for one to visualize phantoms moving in slow motion through the empty hallways of some long-abandoned mansion while his music stretches out. This 2008 edition of his first full-length album, With Wakened Eyes, updates the original 2004 version by presenting the six tracks Pacione originally intended for the release before a hard drive collapse took three with it. After a friend managed to rescue the “lost” material, Pacione decided to re-master and re-configure the release in accordance with the album's original “space & sea” concept. But don't be fooled: though the “Silver Surfer”-styled cover illustration might suggest prog content, With Wakened Eyes is ambient drone material to its core.

Words such as peaceful, fluid, aquatic, immersive and submersive come to mind during the state of contemplative reverie induced by the pieces—something that happens often when all are in the double digits and offer the receptive listener ample opportunity to get lost in the lulling flow of their galaxial shimmer. They're hardly uniform in mood either: on the one hand, there's the quiet, deep space moan of “Ways of Telling” and the spectral howl of “Night So Bright” while, on the other, there's the shy and querulous glimmer of “Quiet Moon.” The album's nominal coup de grace is “Night So Deep” where softly whistling tones move through the air for a time-suspending seventeen minutes. Available in a limited edition of 100 signed and numbered copies (twice as many as the first release), the seventy-five-minute With Wakened Eyes is well worth the investment, something you already know if you had the good fortune to hear Pacione's 2007 Infraction outing From Stills To Motion.

January 2009