On RUNE, renowned composer and instrumentalist David Helpling delivers another album of pure ambient electric guitar performances. Building on the sound of his previous release A SEA WITHOUT MEMORY, RUNE represents the stunning evolution of Helpling’s ambient guitar explorations into a new realm of craft and production, shifting to a deeper focus on composition, phrasing, melody, and emotion. Shimmering textures, purposeful phrases, and expressive arrangements mingle together and flow freely from a wellspring of inspiration into a sea of beauty, resulting in what may very well be Helpling’s most colorful and textural recording to date.
The music of RUNE is directly influenced by the waters of the ocean and the Norse Rune Laguz that speaks of deep wisdom and respect for the sea, representing the universal ocean and the collective memory of all life. The album is inspired by the creative, destructive, and life-sustaining forces of water as depicted in the spiritual wisdom and poetry of this ancient Norse rune, and while creating the music, Helpling immersed himself in this monumental idea of an all-encompassing ocean.
David has a deep and lifelong connection to the power and allure of the sea. “I grew up a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean and spent all my time in and near it,” says Helpling. “It has always been my deepest healer and my biggest source of wonder, and whether I’m on the beach of a remote Pacific island or just relaxing at home, I spend time each day submerged in the stillness of water. So embracing this grand concept of the sea and the Rune as each piece was created felt very natural, and kept me calm and focused on achieving the sound of the ocean. I feel like every piece on this record deeply resonates with its spirit.”
David has an illustrious history of creating lush synth-laden music, but on RUNE he has turned to only guitars and a custom rig to directly and honestly explore a new level of ambient expression, and while the recognizable sound of Helpling’s classic whirlpooling guitar still swirls at the heart of RUNE, most listeners will forget that the entire album was created without the use of keyboards, synthesizers or computer-based sound generators once they are submerged in the lush organic soundscapes. The layers of detail, order, and space create an immersive, honest and meaningful music that results in so much more than just another ambient guitar offering. The compositions – emotional and cinematic in scale – stand on their own, rewarding the listener with music, melody, a powerful sound, and heartfelt performance that is truly wondrous and magical.