PRESS

Hedia is the music of multi-instrumentalist Bryce Hample, of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Beginning in the frosted winter of 2008, Hedia is spacial music, creating a place to inhabit, if only temporarily.  Musical spaces to encompass the listener,  unfolding organically and spaciously, in a blanket of drifting piano chords, viola da gamba, cello, brass, subdued guitar, and tape manipulations.  Strings cut effortlessly through an omnipresent mist of droning, floating notes, they seethe and swell poignantly without ever blundering into obvious melodies that would break the bittersweet reverie.  Meditations on time, need, silence.  It is at once fragile, yearning, brooding, and blissful, swaying from cold to warm.   
  

Hedia has completed two US tours.  Bryce Hample has studied Indian Classical music in Varanasi, India, has played/toured/recorded in bands including Yodas House, Elephant Paintings, The Fertile Crescent, and Reighnbeau.  

SONOMU.NET

The ”sedative lullabies” of New Mexican duo Bryce Hample and Brodie Johnson move through a thick, palpable fog. They are far warmer than the usual ambient sleep or drone musics as they are made with cello, piano, brass, guitar, bass and viola da gamba. Libra leans in toward orchestral music, but one in which the players seem to have been given instruments that have been improperly stored and have become slightly warped and almost out of tune.
The album is somber and serious but not maudlin. Longer, slowly building pieces like ”Ache” might lead thoughts to ”Fratres” by Arvo Pärt, but unlike that holiest of minimalists, Hedia´s titles, which include ”Trading Caresses” and ”Sight”, seem to indicate a strictly hedonistic source of inspiration, whether satified or unfulfilled. ”Contrary to Her” sweetly juxtaposes a lone piano and rolling vinyl crackle, perfectly capturing this physicality.
On the title track, the last of three roughtly fifteen-minutes pieces at the centre of the album, the viola da gamba is played inside some great, gray, empty space, listening to its own echo. If it weren´t for the sound of traffic outside rudely leaking in, you might think you were in a medieval castle hall.
As a proper name, ”Hedia” is originally Hebrew and feminine and means ”God´s Echo” – which, some would argue, is what we all are in a created and creative world.
Posted by Stephen Fruitman at 22:50, 20 Feb 2011

 

Foxy Digitalis 

Hedia are an Albuquerque-based duo that traffic in ambient drone, but make a very concerted effort to do it with both soul and beauty. The degree to which they succeed is remarkable, as “Libra” is quite simply a gorgeous album texturally, compositionally, and production-wise. Some of the credit certainly belongs to CIRQ, the cavernous art space where much of the album was recorded, but Bryce Hample and Brodie Johnson both display a deep intuitive understanding of how to best employ that all natural reverb. At its best, like during “Introduction” and the title track, the haunting strings seem to languidly billow, hang, and shimmer in the air. The omnipresent tape hiss helps a lot too- everything sounds ghostly and forlorn in a very natural and “real” way- this album breathes. I suspect that these guys probably spent an enormous amount of time trying to get everything to sound exactly how they wanted it, but they’ve managed to conceal any conspicuous evidence of studio artifice quite skillfully. “Libra” sounds unambiguously like actual people playing actual instruments in an actual giant space, but filtered through the haze of a very pleasant dream.

I suppose I should probably also note that I love cellos. If this album had just been a lengthy melancholy cello solo in a big room without anything else added, I would probably still love it. In fact, most added stuff would only serve to make it worse. Hedia, however, know exactly what they are doing: the strings (there’s also a viola de gamba) cut effortlessly through the omnipresent mist of droning, floating notes, and they seethe and swell poignantly without ever blundering into obvious melodies that would break the bittersweet reverie. I also very much admire the duo’s restraint, as the whole album unfolds organically and spaciously and nothing ever sounds wasted, overdone, or accidental. The only minor grievance that I have with “Libra” is that it errs a bit too much on the side of “oppressively sad” at times, but finding the perfect balance of light and dark can be a life’s work. Regardless, this is an enormously satisfying and assured effort (and one that already surpasses some of their influences). 8/10 -- Anthony D'Amico (24 June, 2010)


REVIEW BY IHRTN.COM
Throughout years, many suggested that electronic music lacks soul due to an absence of live instruments in the mix.And throughout years there was also a number of artists who fought that notion in various ways (Justin Broadrick’s project Final is one). Time to add another name to a growing list of bands that take a different approach to music creation than majority of their peers - Hedia.
Hedia is a duo of Bryce Hample and Brodie Johnson based in Albuqereque, New Mexico who create what they call “sedative lullabies” by using anything from cello to piano to trumpet. “Libra” is a good example of a record with a certain warmth that is often missing from other drone/ambient albums.
“Libra”, in an essence,, is 60 minutes of ambient/drone with a slight influence of classical music, which brings to mind the work of Harold Budd and Arvo Part. Its a somber and dark record, but its a certain complexity and the way that the sounds on the record draw you in that make it different from so many similar albums.
Right from the very start, it feels that the music on “Libra” doesn’t really come out of the speakers - rather it flows elegantly like light. The way that it surrounds you and the sonic spaces that this record is creating come together beautifully on this one.
@ihrtn