Aukai is a Hawaiian word meaning seafarer or traveler. It’s also used as a proper name, and people who are called “Aukai” tend to have a mystical, philosophical, introspective nature. All of which makes Aukai the perfect name for the new album and project by multi-instrumentalist and composer Markus Sieber. It’s a collection of ambient acoustic soundscapes that take the listener on an inward journey to a place of stillness and tranquil beauty. His debut album “Aukai” is set for a June 3rd release.
“Aukai” was born of his desire to create a new kind of music that could work in tandem with film, video, theater and the visual arts. The compositions on the album also grew out of Sieber’s love affair with the ronrocco, a plucked string instrument from Argentina that Sieber first discovered through the music of film composer Gustavo Santaolalla (Babel, Brokeback Mountain). “Aukai” began coming together in the quiet solitude of a winter spent in an isolated mountain cabin in La Plata Canyon, Colorado. From there, the project shifted to Berlin, where Sieber recorded the basic tracks for Aukai at Martyn Heyne’s recording studio with a variety of analog gear, pairing the ronrocco’s sonorous tone with his evocative guitar, piano and harmonium playing. “The vintage equipment gives the music a real physical quality,” Sieber explains. “You feel like you could almost touch it.”