May 05/27/23, 2023
Deborah Martin’s passion is to visualize and create music that takes each listener on a journey through time and space, exploring the depths of thematic composition through the process of creative layering of structured studio recorded compositions and live recordings of instruments, blending them into a world of ambient electronic expression.

The synergy and depth of the sounds and the “stillness” in the layers that you can hear in her collaboration with Jill Haley combines the electronic music with woodwind instruments. There is something very magical about the serenity of nature, and Jill has connected her music with the spirit of the wilderness. Jill observes, “To hear the music that dwells in all of us, one must go into the quiet for the sound to emerge. Only when we have space and silence, can the music be heard.”

Treat your ears to the wonder of nature expressed with these musical instruments. The balanced woodwind dimension, Oboe, English horn, concert flute, infused with Taos drums and various percussion, is so smooth and delicate. I love woodwind instrumental atmospherics, but the electronica (Yamaha Motif; Roland V-synth GT; Roland Integra; Spectrasonics Omnisphere) is what makes this soaring expression complete.

Into the Quiet is the second album from Deborah Martin and Jill Haley, to me the sound builds upon and expands their natural combination of intricate, gentle and vivid listening soundcraft. In places, it feels like visiting a different time, hence my earlier reference to medieval futurism.

This is a very rewarding experience for listeners, full of sparkling details and tiny interesting places with sounds that say more than words can capture. All of the best things of classical music and the fine arts are present here, the aesthetics and creative expression, ample beauty and meaningfulness, evoking great imaginative intellect, while always demonstrating great skill and accomplishment.

In reviewing their first album, The Silence of Grace, my thoughts were immediately guided into the wonderment of the wilderness. Being outdoors and connecting with Mother Nature is probably as close to heaven as you can possibly get on this Earth. 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. Into The Quiet delves deeply into the vastness of empty spaces filled with sounds of 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.

Reflective, harmonious, evoking a feeling of graceful repose, this music is about the time of the sacred, visiting places we all desire in our minds or our souls to seek stillness and revel in the contemplative movements of such. This is when we can receive revelations of self, when we enter into the quiet repose of our very being. I may have discovered a world of medieval futurism, combining dry colorful woodwinds and deep intricate synth atmospherics.

I find that this music feels like visiting a different era, full of sparkling details and tiny interesting places with some sounds that say something more than I can convey in words. In my imagination there is a foreshadowing, maybe I will one day find an opera that is set in the wilderness? What I hear is the sound of intuitive understanding, ability, awareness, expertise, grasp, familiarity, knowledge, understanding, experience, discipline, a certain mystical wisdom to the elusive existential question of our very existence. Into the Quiet is a gentle pleasure to listen to.

Deborah reflects that compared to the first album, The Silence of Grace, “These musical compositions and arrangements, while somewhat similar with the use of the English horn, Oboe, synth keyboards, electronics and varied percussion, are actually quite different in scope with the subtleties in the arrangements and the use of “space” between the sounds; diving much deeper into the layering and structure with simple “tactile” use of audio.”

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. I love the way she can combine scenic melodies, rich symphonic sounds and rhythmic structures to recreate the delicate balance of life in its many surroundings.

“This is such a fantastic time in our history to explore and experience new technology, books, ideas, and the music will be vital in stimulating the mind to open to all realms of possibilities… Our individual sensitivities to the world around us and respect of nature and the outdoors supports that creative sensibility — I think we work very well together and am excited about this project.”

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. She is an accomplished symphonic orchestra player, teacher, and church musician. Some of the parks she has created music in and about 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 listening 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.

The cover art of Into the Quiet has a bold anachronistic look, a hole in the tree canopy exposes a forest behind the curtain, and the sunshine is gloriously pouring down into a place where light is rare. We are somewhere below the surface looking up into the sky through a tear in the fabric of classicism.

The opening track is “Sleeping Giants” (4:35). Emerging from the caves down below, I hear the musical breathing of the gargantuan ones, and the voice of nature. Tumult and chaos stop and a reprieve is granted. I remember strange stories of knights, riding through the mists of time, on a quest. Now I hear rustling water sounds, a distant windy beach? The feeling is sad and wonderful at the same time. The resting giants moan softly but since they are so big for a moment the floor almost vibrates.

Swirling, twirling, weightless, we recognize it’s fine to be powerless. With a clear sharp sustained ting, perhaps signaling the breaking dawn amongst the spheres, the next track evokes in me the thought of a vertiginous ride. “Falling Away From the Earth” (6:22), exiting the planetary orbit proves to be a smooth ride, the restful harmonious mood sustains and gently advances the peaceful and easy feeling, bringing deeper medieval colors and embellishments. Perhaps time is sustained, or suspended, or that time is open, think of flowing water, slow and calm, forming into columns and large shapes.

Silence the daily noise to gain awareness of what exists in the quiet.

Imagine a mountain forest spa for your ears, calm and refreshing, always curious, carefully exploring the peaceful mint shadows, discovering expanding vistas and the sound of distant calling cranes and the hidden woodpeckers, with whirling circles and swirling flights, weaving waves and drones, gently remembering to slow down. “Into the Quiet” (8:32). I hear two artists sounding like a large flock of musical birds with many voices, intricately weaving indigo and crimson and the tones of night, releasing the need to control and sink into the quiet. A perfect dawn soundtrack, warm pools in the forest and the perfect spice of electronica, new machines throbbing and glowing nicely, flowing warmth expanding and breathing, runs and relays realization relaxation rolling on flows.
The ambient can be a gentle place with healing powers, “Reaching the Ambient” (4:23) feels like we are all opening into new worlds, flowing like water and shadows, always uplifting with a sense of support and security. Now we have arrived, ringing and celebrating, joyful soaring and cello vibrations.

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. Now perhaps we are in a forest or maybe a jungle. The sound of “Refuge” (5:08) in nature, now is portrayed by woodwinds and darkly sparkling synthesizers. The feeling is lonely but constant. Freedom from danger can become somewhat empty, here the feeling is green and alive in the sunshine.

Water flows, air gently stirs, and emitted positive ions encompass one’s soul. Dry rustling, the soothing sounds of seeds shifting. I hear slowly coiling adventure songs establishing a foundation high in the mountains, an anthem of hope, “Elements” (4:11) basic stuff that everything is made of for making this life better in the future with layers of detailed hand percussion and harps and some rare ghostly choruses passing somewhere in the dark, here and back again for a moment, going to the moon to play music rather than mining or opening a station for visitors. I imagine that this music can inspire you to take action so that you gain experience and profit from it so that you may live your dreams. This happens all the time, you know.

Now melancholic melodies weave in and out, the ghostly chorus passes by chanting one syllable. Entering the realm of silence allows one to hear the echoes of whispers. The track “Hall of Whispers” (5:36) is deliciously ominous and dark, calm and interesting, sometimes ghostly. This feeling could fit easily into the gothic family of modern culture, dark, complex and breezy, there is no dangerous tension, plenty of mystery and darkness, always hints of a chorus, voices with no words. In my imagination, the ghostly chorus passes by chanting. There is no dangerous tension, there is plenty of mystery and darkness, and always hints of a somber hidden chorus of giants, haunting voices with no words. I hear a cave, a sad story, somehow finding a way out. You know the cave is big, so big that there is no end ahead, so the darkness tells a story weaving deep hidden voices, swaying and riding on the backs of large creatures in a caravan.

Sounds have color; calm, peace, stillness-these are violet. A feeling of calm emergence, chords and ringing metal opening into a rich palette of colors, cerulean calm, a spectral color constantly modulating blending ghostly with with a strengthening feeling, sparkling details, and lingering loveliness, extravagance, individualism, vanity and ambiguity. “Violet Night” (4:27). Maybe because late spring makes it so easy to imagine violets, rich dark thick night colors, calm and abundant flowers, and I imagine moonlight on blooming royal calm purplish blue petals. What if we were deep underwater moving slowly amidst huge submerged objects and beings, through wide open spaces going on forever?

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. Deborah Martin and Jill Haley are two multi-instrumentalists who are arriving at an immense new synergy, bounteous mystical wisdom, sharing their growth as artists while developing that musical connection and language. Their impact on ambient, electronic, and acoustic may not be recognized in our time, the music business being how it is, but it will surely be influential. Listening to the delicate and focused musical moments, keeping to the direction of our dreams, and always remembering to cast our eyes upon the stars from time to time.

“There are those that come into our lives, crossing pathways until they tread softly into the quiet, “ reflects Deborah. “We live in a world of sound which when oversaturated can affect thoughts and actions. When the noise is removed, one can hear in the silence.”

Martin shares some of her production methods used for the album, “I recorded Jill’s English Horn, Oboe, and Concert Flute parts for the live elements to be added to the percussion and keyboard parts; no reverb or effects were used during any of the recordings, all reverbs and any effects (hardly any) were used only during the mixing; I wanted to keep as pristine and virginal as possible the actual recorded tracks.”

The album was produced and recorded by Deborah Martin at her Dreaming Edge Studio in Vancouver, WA, and mastered by Howard Givens at Spotted Peccary Studio NW in Portland, OR. The album is available in physical CD with artful gatefold packaging designed by Daniel Pipitone, as well as in 24-BIT Audiophile, CD Quality Lossless Downloads in the shop and on Apple Music; MP3 streaming formats can be found worldwide, and on Bandcamp at

1 Sleeping Giants 4:35
2 Falling Away From the Earth 6:23
3 Into the Quiet 8:33
4 Reaching the Ambient 4:24
5 Refuge 5:09
6 Hall of Whispers 5:37
7 Elements 4:11
8 Violet Night 4:27

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