words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Posts tagged “Ambient Music

Music For Backgrounds 01: Dr. Atmo – Samarra (Sad World II)

Music For Backgrounds is my 2012 music reviewer which will explore new music in the electronic / ambient genre. I hope to continue what I began with last year’s 30-Day Song Challenge; introducing my readers to the music of artists from around the world. I am calling this series “Music For Backgrounds” because I want to bring a musical sensibility that supports participation from a distance. This is background music. Music for creating art, working around the house, reading, anything where your attention is needed elsewhere. It is music for repeated listening throughout the day. Most of the tracks will be slightly long in length (up to an hour will be the average), therefore I suggest that you make a copy of the URL and paste it in a folder or on your desktop. Because of the length of the music, I realize that it may be difficult to devote listening time while posting.

First up in the series is Dr. Atmo. In the 1990’s I was very much influenced by the FAX label out of Germany. The label, founded by Pete Namlook, brings together various musicians in the electronic sphere for collaboration and solo projects. Dr. Atmo produced the 2-cd masterpiece entitled Samarra (Sad World) in 1993. The track featured here is just over 40 minutes long. It is a long-flowing, mind-blowing excursion into a wall of sound. It begins with a wash of ocean surf and synths with a vocalization depicting a rather strange, surreal story of Jesus in the upper room. As the piece progresses, the cyclical synths are joined by drums and sequencing beats. Sad World is a beautiful and mysterious work of art. A true masterpiece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=AVGxdCwVVULXeYKfxr26ARzrKpWOZHMPaB&v=1vFb8LyYz_4&feature=player_detailpage

Advertisements

The Silence of Liberation

Toward the love within….

Silence

Silence 02

It is after 12 a.m. and I have just read a wonderful post by
fellow blogger Elizabeth—the author of the blog Mirth and Motivation on
Wordpress.com. I was so inspired by her thoughts and comments on the recent
tragedies in Norway, China and the death of Amy Winehouse, that I felt compelled
to create a post on her theme i.e. the need for silence, for understanding,
compassion and healing.

Silence 03

Silence 04

I am not going to say much about the events that occurred here
in this post, (the struggles of mankind as a community and we as individuals
speak for themselves) however, I would like to express my feelings, my
compassion, and the love of healing through
silence
via my art.

Silence 05

Silence 06

Silence is a powerful tool. When we cultivate our inward
journey through meditation, contemplative thought and positive action, we
harness the energy to change ourselves and the world around us. For me, these
moments tonight of creative insight and sharing, in connection with my art and
the desire to send forth compassionate energy is liberating in of itself.  I can feel the hurt that so many in our
communities are experiencing and my desire for their liberation and the end of
suffering goes out to a world in need.

In Buddhism we learn the need for Nirvana: the cessation of
unsatisfactory conditions and their causes.

Silence 07

Silence 08

I hope the images I have created and the music I selected
for this post help to bring some peace and positive recollection to our hearts
and minds.

http://youtu.be/K8-iTakhFrs  — The Disintegration Loops III — William Basinski — Video by Bodyheaven

We are of one Source Energy, and one Spirit.

The Silence of Liberation and the Silence Within


30-Day Song Challenge: Day 11

Day 11 of the 30-Day Song Challenge asks the question what is “a song from your favorite band”?

http://youtu.be/7I3rV4uq-rE    Stars of the Lid – The Evil that Never Arrives

I guess the answer to the question what is “a song from your
favorite band” is significant in a sense that it makes me ponder what band for
me stands apart. I could perhaps go back in time to many possibilities (The Smiths in the 80’s,
Tangerine Dream in the 70’s, or the Miles Davis’ quartets of the 60’s). But recently
over the past 3 years no band has consistently produced astonishing music with
such harmonic beauty as Stars of the Lid.

The Austin, Texas duo of Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie are Stars of the Lid. In 2007 they
produced the phenomenal double CD entitled “And the Refinement after the
Decline”. The song “The Evil that Never Arrives” is my selection for this Day
11 challenge.

This is micro-minimalism at its best. There is an obsession here
with drones fading in and out from strings sections, solo cello, harp, trumpet
and even a children’s choir. Acoustic instruments and electronics are
manipulated and sustained to create at times, single notes that float endlessly
in an ether of dreams and imagination.
This is music of great quiet, yet produces a devastating power of momentous
silence that can invade any space.

It is 2011 and my favorite band is Stars of the Lid.

day 01 – your favorite song – Stars of the Lid’s “Don’t Bother They’re Here”

day 02 – your least favorite song – Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”

day 03 – a song that makes you happy – Ivy’s – Edge of the Ocean

day 04 – a song that makes you sad – Trespassers Williams – Love You More

day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone – Trespassers Williams – Lie in the Sound

day 06 – a song that reminds you of somewhere – Isabelle Aubret – La Fanette

day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event – William Baskinski – The Disintegration Loops 1

day 08 – a song that you know all the words to – Philip Glass – Knee Play 1

day 09 – a song that you can dance to – Ror-Shak featuring Julee Cruise – Fate or Faith

day 10 – a song that makes you fall asleep – Brian Eno – Thursday Afternoon

day 11 – a song from your favorite band


30-Day Song Challenge: Day 10

Day 10 of the 30-Day Song Challenge asks the question what is “a song that makes you fall asleep?

http://youtu.be/swQAwnusJVQ

Brian Eno is considered to be the father of Ambient Music. I first discovered him in 1977 when I heard what I consider to be his best ambient album entitled Discreet Music. Most people are familiar with Music for Airports which is the album that set the standard for the genre. For this post and the challenge, what is a song that makes you fall asleep; I found it difficult to decide between 2 works. Both are slightly over an hour in length: Neroli and Thursday Afternoon. But in the end it is (drum roll!!) Thursday Afternoon. This is a 5 minute version of the song, which in my opinion does not convey the entire essence of the piece. As the song progresses there is an ever increasing simmering of sound in the latter minutes as if on a hot paved road in the desert sun. This is the perfect song for that afternoon nap on a beautiful day.

day 01 – your favorite song – Stars of the Lid’s “Don’t Bother They’re Here”

day 02 – your least favorite song – Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”

day 03 – a song that makes you happy – Ivy’s – Edge of the Ocean

day 04 – a song that makes you sad – Trespassers Williams – Love You More

day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone – Trespassers Williams – Lie in the Sound

day 06 – a song that reminds you of somewhere – Isabelle Aubret – La Fanette

day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event – William Baskinski – The Disintegration Loops 1

day 08 – a song that you know all the words to – Philip Glass – Knee Play 1

day 09 – a song that you can dance to – Ror-Shak featuring Julee Cruise – Fate or Faith

day 10 – a song that makes you fall asleep


30-Day Song Challenge: Day 01

My fellow blogger Amber introduced me to this challenge, she found on Facebook. Each day has a different theme. I am not sure if I will be able to keep the challenge going for the 30 days. I know at least one day challenge I will not be able to meet:
Day 08 – a song that you know all the words to.
Yes, I admit that I never tried to know all the words to any song. But there have certainly been some songs with words that I have come to love. I will make all my song choices from my current CD collection.
Anyway, I am listing the 30-day challenge below.
Thanks Amber.
First up my favorite song “Don’t Bother They’re Here”…. by Stars of the Lid.
stars of the lid

day 01 – your favorite song

day 02 – your least favorite song

day 03 – a song that makes you happy

day 04 – a song that makes you sad

day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone

day 06 – a song that reminds you of somewhere

day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event

day 08 – a song that you know all the words to

day 09 – a song that you can dance to

day 10 – a song that makes you fall asleep

day 11 – a song from your favorite band

day 12 – a song from a band you hate

day 13 – a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 – a song that no one would expect you to love

day 15 – a song that describes you

day 16 – a song that you used to love but now hate

day 17 – a song that you hear often on the radio

day 18 – a song that you wish you heard on the radio

day 19 – a song from your favorite album

day 20 – a song that you listen to when you’re angry

day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy

day 22 – a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 – a song that you want to play at your wedding

day 24 – a song that you want to play at your funeral

day 25 – a song that makes you laugh

day 26 – a song that you can play on an instrument

day 27 – a song that you wish you could play

day 28 – a song that makes you feel guilty

day 29 – a song from your childhood

day 30 – your favorite song at this time last year


Biking to a Place Inside and Out / 06

Sometimes on the bike the reality of life and the beautiful dream become one

I am very fortunate that were I live, I can immediately access miles of rural back roads to immerse myself on my road bike. I spoke earlier about the sense of transformation that is achieved while biking. Here on these winding roads and gently sloping hills, I pass by farm lands, historic areas, woods and beautiful estates.  What enhances a great ride is the right music. There is a distinct difference in the selection of music for road and mountain.  On the road there is a need to be able to hear your surroundings for safety measures. Hence, my selection is always, soft, slow dancing ambient. My favorite band for a ride is the neo-classical ambient band from Austin Texas, Stars of the Lid. In fact, this has been the most prolific band for me in the past two years. This is aural mastery of the highest order. In contrast, when mountain biking, there really is no need to be conscious of your surroundings.  Now your music can flow anyway you like. For the mountain, I prefer long flowing electronic sounds from bands like AES Dana, Bombay Dub Orchestra and Near the Parenthesis, or French Pop artists like Etienne Daho, France Gall, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Alizee to name a few. It is here on the mountain when you need that extra aural drive to push your rhythm to its fullest—to make that climb.

Music plays a significant part in creating the aural soundscape in which to find transformation in physical movement