No Stars (Mix)

No Stars

“Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”

Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

I know, I know – it’s a bit risky to use a cheesy teenage love song as the title track of an otherwise fairly dark ambient mix. Even if the song is taken from the Twin Peaks 2017 soundtrack. Some listeners probably won’t get past it – and if they quit at that point, they’ll miss the 40 minutes of associative transitions in the rest of the mix.
But I personally really love the juxtaposition of this dreamy love song between the feverish mumbling of David Sylvian and Jóhann Jóhannsson’s track merging into the almost frightening climax of Stefan Wesolowski.
To quote Woody Brown (the ‘industry expert of mixing’): “use your ears, not your prejudices”!

But, jokes aside, this ís a serious mix. With the occasional exception, most of the music in this mix is heavily mutilated: the original tracks are cut-up, shortened, fragmented, edited – often using only a fragment from a track that originally is much longer. A collage like this takes the sound out of its original context to serve its own purpose. That is not meant disrespectful, please let me emphasize this again… (I hope you can hear that in the result!)
Be sure to check out the original sources if you enjoy the sounds – you can find the details it in the tracklist below.

Now, follow me into a movie that you might wanna see sometime… a movie that’s happening in the back of your own head…

Edit June 19, 2018:
I’m very happy that the wonderful Headphone Commute has now re-published No Stars which means it’ll get much more listeners now. Find it [HERE]

No Stars - Sequence

(first time is the start time, time in brackets is the sample length)

  • 00:00 (01:33)
    Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet – Dreams
    Landfall, 2018, Nonesuch 7559-79338-9
  • 01:21 (01:10)
    Tomoko Sauvage – Clepsydra
    Musique Hydromantique, 2017, Shelter Press SP087
  • 01:25 (01:36)
    Christina Vantzou & John Also Bennett – Alfred Hitchcock Haze
    Zin Taylor’s Thought Of A Dot As It Travels The Surface, 2018, Shelter Press SP092
  • 02:38 (01:14)
    Scott Worthington – Interlude
    Orbit, 2018, 2018, IIKKI IIKKI005
  • 03:17 (01:34)
    Anne Garner – Brink
    The Last Sense To Leave Us (A Tribute To Pauline Oliveiros), 2017, Rural Colours RC80
  • 04:23 (06:47)
    Swoop And Cross – St. No
    Stories Of Disintegration, 2018, Time Released Sound TRS074
  • 09:56 (05:03)
    Rhodri Davies, David Sylvian, Mark Wastell – There Is No Love
    There Is No Love, 2017, 2017, Confront Core 01
  • 14:07 (04:33)
    Rebekah Del Rio – No Stars
    Twin Peaks – Music From The Limited Event Series, 2017, Rhino Records 081227933982
  • 17:57 (02:47)
    Jóhann Jóhannsson – The Horse Latitudes
    The Mercy OST, 2018, Deutsche Grammophon 479 8303
  • 19:17 (03:45)
    Stefan Wesolowski – Prelude
    Rite OF The End, 2017, Ici D’Ailleurs
  • 22:03 (04:24 )
    Tonaliens – Pallas, Pt. 2

    Tonaliens, 2018, Edition Telemark 785.02
  • 22:41 (02:36)
    Scanner – Cast To The Bottom
    The Great Crater, 2017, Glacial Movements Records GM 030
  • 24:38 (02:00)
    The Beacon Sound Choir – Drone 3 
    Sunday Songs, 2017, First Terrace Records, FTR002
  • 25:21 (03:33)
    OSA7029 – Osa 2 (feat. Debi Wong)
    A Sense Of Belonging, 2017, self-released (Bandcamp)
  • 27:53 (01:06)
    Ryuichi Sakamoto – Full Moon (intro)
    Async, 2017, Milan 399 903-2
  • 28:54 (03:18)
    Joana Gama & Luis Fernandez – Lucid Stillness
    At The Still Point Of The Turning World, 2018, Room40 RM492
  • 31:31 (01:54)
    Max Richter & London Voices – What Did They Die For
    Hostiles OST, 2018, Deutsche Grammophon 479 9865
  • 32:54 (04:00)
    Yann Novak – The Inertia Of Time
    The Future Is A Forward Escape Into The Past, 2018, Touch TO:105
  • 35:58 (01:17)
    Nanook Of The North – Qulingat
    Nanook Of The North, 2018, Denovali Records
  • 36:42 (01:32)
    Laurie Spiegel – Three Sonic Spaces I
    Unseen Worlds, 1994, Aesthetic Engineering 11001-2
  • 37:50 (03:31)
    Loscil – Azimuth
    Illuminations II – The New Year 2018 Charity Compilation, Dronarivm
  • 40:50 (01:56)
    Shall Remain Nameless – Untitled III
    Untitled, 2018, self-released
  • 42:22 (01:28)
    Koenraad Ecker – L’Incendio Genovese (In Memoriam Carlo Giuliani)
    A Biology Of Shadows, 2018, In Aulis AUL001
  • 43:26 (02:34)
    Lee Yi – Desecration
    An Instant For Momentary Desolation, 2017, Rottenman Editions
  • 44:45 (03:24)
    Haarvöl – Senescéncia
    Bombinate, 2017, Moving Furniture Records MFR042
  • 46:23 (04:15)
    Solo Collective – Ascension
    Part One, 2017, Nonostar NR02
  • 49:01 (06:40)
    Olan Mill – Molanret 
    Orient, 2017, Hidden Vibes HV044
  • 55:46 (02:10)
    Trio Mediaeval & Arve Henriksen – Gammelkjerringsvalsen
    Rimur, 2017, ECM Records ECM2520, 481 4742
Download No Stars Now 136Mb (57:59 min.)
[Alternative download from]
[Surround-version (DTS.Wav) here]

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  1. ModelCitizen (via

    Another fantastic mix by Peter Van Cooten. It’s been ten years since I last listened to Peter’s mixes (2005’s very wonderful ‘Mantra of Walls and Wiring’ and ‘The Hum in the Room’). What a wasted time that was! Very glad to have rediscovered the Ambient Blog mixes. To my mind this is one of the best but all the ones I’ve listed to in the last week or two have been fantastic and have introduced me to many brilliant artists

    Thank you very much Peter.

  2. John Reeves

    Absolutely love this mix, arrived here on your site via Mixcloud version for the playlist… it’s epic, and has already transported me into ‘inner space’ several times. I’ve attempted several deep / atmospheric mixes like this myself in the past, but I have a coupla questions I hope you find time to answer for me. 1) what source files do you use, and where do you source them? Do you start out with a clear idea of ‘what you want to say’ with these mixes? Finally, what tools do you use to edit, add EQ/effects and create your final mixdown? Many thanks, John

    1. Thanks for your kind words, John! Much appreciated!!
      About your questions:
      Sources: All tracks (or parts from tracks) come from my own collection that I have built throughout the years, most come from promos that kind artists or labels send me for recommendations on ambientblog, or especially for use in the mixes. They are stored on my harddrives.
      Idea: sometimes I do (for instance in the ‘Hum in the Room’ collection), but other times I look for a good opener and from there ‘let the tracks choose themselves’ (although that sounds easier that it is). Often the ‘theme’ or concept gets clearer when the mix gets more complete.
      Tools: I NEVER add any effects/EQ/Compression etc. All music is as it is. I just cut it up, use only parts of it, and level volumes where necessary (but NO compression).
      Hope you’ll keep enjoying the mixes, there are quite a lot of them by now and I don’t plan to stop 😉

  3. Arno Peeters

    Eindelijk tijd gevonden te luisteren: het wordt alsmaar meer eclectisch! Van speech-driven pieces zweef ik op duistere klanktapijten, langs (zowaar) een bijna popliedje naar een sacraal einde.
    Prachtig hoor: weer genoten!