Since losing his hearing in one ear, New York musician Jon De Rosa has sought to interpret the new ways he processes sound by creating sublime, minimal, ambient guitar music under the alias of Aarktica.
Aarktica seeks the place where sound becomes music and music becomes sound. It's the project of Jon De Rosa, a former member of the bandsMore
Flare and Dead Leaves Rising, who lost the hearing in one of his ears in 1998. In an effort to recreate the muted, nebulous tones he heard through the deaf ear, he began composing unstructured droning lullabies. In time these compositions evolved into gorgeous ambient suites comprised of treated guitars, quiet effects, sometimes the subtlest hint of percussion or wispy vocals. De Rosa's mission now as an ambient soloist is to break through the wall between modern classical composition and experimental dronology. It's as easy to read meaning into abstract music as it is with abstract visual art, but still, De Rosa's music evokes the feeling of natural processes, of phenomena like tides and seasons and their slow but steady and eternal oscillation from one extreme to another. De Rosa issued his first two Aarktica releases, the 20-minute three-song EP Morning One and the beautiful hour-plus LP No Solace in Sleep, which is excerpted below, in 2000. In early 2002, De Rosa released Or You Could Just Go Through Your Whole Life and Be Happy Anyway as part of Darla's ongoing Bliss Out series.