Of Mirrors

This album is a cooperation between AN MOKU and Virlyn. «Of Mirrors» has an organic element. The album is for explorers, while the sounds settle in being extremely meditative, surreal, and ambient. The Artists take old classical instruments and use them as acoustic drones while acquiring and manipulating specific elements of the sounds for each song. The phrase ‘Nature is beautiful’ is a purveying interpretation for the listener here. As they hear slow waves, and other ‘found’ sound samples, played alongside the dirgeful drones and scattered bits of solemn strings, «Of Mirrors» brings out the beauty in a natural progression. Quiet ambient soundscapes for electronics, piano, strings and field recordings. «Of Mirrors» has been recorded from November 2011 until March 2012. 

«After finishing it, we kept the album in our secret place until today. We hope you enjoy it. Thanks to all the participants, our families, friends and our great, great listeners!» :-) 

This album is released in cooperation with David Newman’s label Audibulb:  anmokuandvirlyn.bandcamp.com/album/of-mirrors

Electronics, instrumental and field recordings by AN MOKU 
Electronics by Virlyn 
Mixing by Virlyn 
Mastering by Weldroid 


All instrumental and field recordings captured in Switzerland and Iceland 
Ending of ‘Frost’ captured during an orchestral warm up session at Harpa, Reykjavik 

Swiss Performers: 
Piano by Cornellia Stromeyer 
Violin by Orina Zänerle 
Cello by Jacki Knöpfel 

Modified vocal sample taken from -The Seventh Seal- by Bergman, 1957 

Photography: Dominik Grenzler, Reykjavik, January 2012 


Making of…

Wilhelm Matthies explains his technical approach to «Passage»:

To record this album, I used an RME UCX as the audio interface with all pieces in general.

I used two AKG C 2000B microphones recording in stereo in pieces 1-3 and two Earthworks QTC30 microphones recorded in stereo for pieces 4 and 5.

The RME UCX was connected into my DAW, Logic Pro 9. I recorded in several ways.

In most pieces I recorded dry, but in some I recorded with a reverb turned on. In most pieces I played without adding EQ first. When using any EQ or reverb while recording, it was Logic Pro effects, not from the RME UXC.

Mostly I add EQ and reverb after recording. I only did slight imaging panning in some pieces, so no panning, only global panning to more or less locate the instrument in the center of the aural space. Some pieces are slightly to one side, I notice as I am hearing the passage (for X) 2.

For reverb I used two tracks consistently. I use a small room reverb at a higher volume level and a larger hall reverb at a much lower volume level. No two pieces have the same proportions, I mixed specifically for each one.

The two tracks are balanced to be as loud as possible at their peak level without clipping. I did not use any dynamic limiter, to maximize the dynamic range of all of the pieces. The quiet passages are equally important as quiet as the louder ones are played loud.

All the remaining magic is done during the mastering process by Weldroid.

Sorry about the heater clacking noises in some places, and I heard a train passing at the end of the 2nd piece, but then again, it is real! I will create some window barriers this summer. I have deep windows into which I could stuff sound absorbing material :-)

Day two.

The 2nd day was filled with very nice takes. Adrino adjusted his double bass to my recorded sounds and tuned the strings from EADG lower to EG#CG. He also played with different tools to verify the sound of his double bass. After the session Adriano told me about his festival plans for the next week. So we went to a grafic store to print flyers for it. Meanwhile Silvia was working on her painting preparations.

Day one.

Sardinia finally! I know Adriano Orrù since two years now and yesterday we meet personally. Today I have visited his house and we started with initial recording sessions for a really nice project for the next year. His great wife Silvia joined us during the session and played piano and toy piano. By the way the dog is called »Pippo« and he is my hero of the day :-)