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Ethan Matthews of Echo Us; Photo Credit: Ariel Patterson
Multi-platform artist Ethan Matthews, the composer, producer, and creator of Echo Us, made his name in the music sphere in the 1990s with the progressive metal act Greyhaven. That group pioneered the combination of New Age/ambient music with progressive metal to great acclaim.
Matthews has also been releasing material as Echo Us and today he unveils his 5th studio album To Wake a Dream in Moving Water, which takes from Echo Us’ past and spins it into a whole new direction, one that is closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before. The Big Takeover premieres a track from the album, the reflective, yet still spirited “Begin To Remember”, and its accompanying video that showcases Matthews performing in the natural environment.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic-influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. The new LP is a natural progression from A Priori Memoriae, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical Echo Us play-on-words in which one can find their own meaning. Matthews adds, “It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception – which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty-gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way. Matthews explains, ““Come With Me Over the Mountain” in a capella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior.”
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew”, also reworked for guitar on the new album.
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