Upaya is the ambient instrumental project of composer David Howard, who has releases under his own name and with his rock band, The Shamey Jays. Upaya music is atmospheric, environmental and evocative. Fans of Eno, Deuter, Steve Roach, Liquid Mind and Phil Thornton will find familiar lush textures, bright melodies and darker, mysterious machine music. For more Upaya, visit www.upaya.bandcamp.com
"The Remains" shows a progression in Upaya's sonic vocabulary. Once again simple melodies bounce and glide over dense pads and electronic thickets. The title track evokes the quiet almost serene aftermath of a disaster or the discovery of a crime scene. Soft questioning arpeggios drift over a bed of synthesized leaves and earth along with digital birds and insects. There are also bolder pairings of sounds, diverging themes and anthemic crescendos as in "Milarepa and the Storm" a musical rendering of a story about the great Buddhist teacher's moment of doubt, desperation and struggle against the elements and his own self-grasping. "Joyride" is playful and string-laden while "Khuntai" and "Cloud Cities" revisit the same paradoxes that defined "i come from clouds." Deep atmospheres and textures provide the shadow under melodic short runs that draw you in without taking over your space. Weirdness abounds in "What My Phone Thinks of Me" an aural painting of the smart phone's view from the coffee shop table.