On RUNE, renowned composer and instrumentalist David Helpling delivers another album of pure ambient electric guitar performances. Building on the sound of 2017’s 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.
Press release by Spotted Peccary
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.
For more information and music samples, see spottedpeccary.com
More about David
As a young teen, David Helpling pushed himself to learn guitar – experimenting with various effects and signal processors to create illusions with sound. Together with his passion for synthesizers and percussion, this guitar sound became centric to a complete vision and musical style that expresses sonic moods with a definite soundtrack feel.
“Music is always in my head. That’s how I write. I’m always dreaming.”
David’s debut release, Between Green and Blue, was a finalist for the INDIE Album-Of-The-Year award. On his second release, Sleeping On The Edge Of The World, the artist took his unmistakable style and dense sound sculptures to a deeper, more powerful and cinematic level.
As an accomplished and highly sought after composer of music scores for film, David is continually honing his compositional skills. “Creating music for film and video projects is wonderful and rewarding…but it also has its limitations. I think the emotional writing and technical experience of scoring certainly gets me closer to the core of what is important in my own music.”
Working side by side with Jon Jenkins, David’s driven pursuit to create the music of his dreams was fully realized with the release of their trilogy of albums Treasure, The Crossing, and Found. The international success of these collaborative albums proves that the combination of these two artists is explosive and limitless. Helpling and Jenkins are fearless in their pursuit of the lush and monumental sound that dominates their artistic vision, and their work together contains all the essentials for an epic musical journey: compelling and expansive multi-layered drum elements contrasted by alluring yet elusive textures, strong melodies appearing over powerful percussion, synths and guitars, all of which give way to vast spaces of deep and mystifying ambiance.
In 2017, David Helpling’s first-ever solo ambient guitar album A Sea Without Memory was released. The music, created live using only electric guitar and a series of custom programmed effects processors, is the culmination of the signature ambient guitar sound he has been refining throughout his entire career. A Sea Without Memory is a sharing, a story in watercolor told through the deep and textured hues of ambient guitar. Melancholy, shimmering and wondrous, this experience is not a journey, but rather an unfolding of events that approach, surround, then move beyond the listener, delivering a constant flow of dreamlike moments that slowly dissolve into the next wave of sound.