Ashley Owens (The Glass Pavilion)
Ashley Owens (The Glass Pavilion)
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In Memoriam: Ashley Owens and The Ethereal Journey of The Glass Pavilion

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We at IDIOTEQ are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of Ashley Owens, the incredibly talented English musician behind The Glass Pavilion. Ashley was not just an artist we admired; he was part of our IDIOTEQ family, having graced our pages with his insights and music. His journey from a near-fatal brain hemorrhage in 2017 to creating some of the most ethereal and moving music in the post-rock and shoegaze realms has been nothing short of inspirational.

Ashley’s story was a shining example of determination and creativity.

After losing his ability to play guitar as he once did, he sold all his instruments and recording gear. Yet, the call of music was too strong to ignore. In 2020, Ashley decided to give music one last shot, this time from a completely different angle. Using just a laptop and a tiny MIDI keyboard, he began to compose using sampled โ€˜rockโ€™ instruments, later combining these with synth elements. The result was an atmospheric, psych-tinged sound that defied easy categorization, sitting closer to post-rock and shoegaze than to any overtly electronic genre.

His debut album, “When the Blazing Sun is Gone,” released in January 2022, followed by “Consolation” in July 2022, were testaments to his innovative spirit and unique musical voice.

These albums were born out of dark times, with Ashley continuing to battle health issues. Yet, they never wallowed in despair. Instead, they reflected Ashley’s vivid awareness of the beauty and fragility of life.

Ashley shared with us last year in his guest article, “PERFECT ISOLATION: 10 ESSENTIAL POST-ROCK SOLO PROJECTS OF THE COVID ERA,” how the lockdowns prompted him to re-evaluate his relationship with music. This introspection led to the creation of The Glass Pavilion, an act that perfectly encapsulated the isolation and experimentation that the pandemic era fostered in many artists.

His work, especially “Consolation,” which he detailed track by track for us, was a journey into the depth of his creativity and personal struggles. Each piece he created was a window into his soul, from the introspective “Mirrors” to the haunting “Sleepless.”

On March 25, just days before his passing, Ashley shared his apprehension and hope as he faced brain surgery. His words, “Off we go again. Brain surgery today… I’m getting the full hole-in-head treatment this time… wish me luck folks,” were met with an outpouring of support from his fans and our readers. It’s a stark reminder of the fragility of life and the courage with which Ashley faced his challenges.

Today, we remember Ashley Owens not just for the music he created but for the spirit he embodied.

His ability to find an authentic musical voice amidst adversity, his refusal to let go of his passion for music, and his contributions to the post-rock and shoegaze genres will not be forgotten. As we mourn his loss, we also celebrate his life and the beautiful, complex, and profoundly moving music he leaves behind.

To Ashley’s family, friends, and fans, we extend our deepest condolences. May his music continue to inspire and touch lives, just as it has ours.

Farewell, Ashley. Your music and your story will live on, a consoling presence in the silence you’ve left behind.

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