DreamScenes – Part 1 (mix)

DreamScenes 

DreamScenes was originally created in 2001 for dutch radio. It consists of four one-hour parts that were broadcasted uninterrupted.
To my surprise it led to quite a few reactions, some people even listened to the the full 4 hours in one radio session.

This mix actually was the second in the series: in april 2001 the first one, called ‘Ambient Mix’ was broadcast (also 4 hours).
That one was in fact more of a ‘live mix’ (I had no good setup to pre-listen to the tracks), so I find this mix a bit too messy to publish here.

Quite a few of these mixes would follow in later years. I will gradually publish them all on this podcast weblog
I will of course publish full playlist details here too. Hope you’ll enjoy them and hope to find you here again in the future…

(Read more for Playlist Details and download link)

Richart Lainhart: ‘Oraison’ (Messiaen)

richard lainhart plays

Oraison, written in 1937 by Olivier Messiaen for an ensemble of Ondes Martenots (an early electronic keyboard instrument using a ribbon and a ring to change pitch), was one of the first compositions written for electronic instruments exclusively.
But that historical fact is not the only thing that makes this music so special.
There’s a very special timeless, otherworldly, alienating feeling in this composition… even after 70+ year of technological advances.
It’s the perfect blend of a strange, previously unheard instrument, and the composition especially written to use it. 

Recently, Richard Lainhart transcribed Oraison for his Buchla 200e synthesizer and Haken Continuum Fingerboard controller, and has shared this performance on YouTube and Vimeo. Because of the ‘tactile’ way of playing the Haken Continuum Fingerboard, the piece retains its original, almost human voice-like feeling.

Biosphere – Wireless

 

Biosphere - Wireless

There are not too may live-recordings in ambient music. With obvious reason: most of it is recorded in (home) studios and is optimized for use in private spaces and/or exhibition rooms.
The noisy live club environment is not the best place to consume ambient music.
Apart from that, ambient gigs and laptop concerts are not noted for their intense live experience. At most gigs, the performing musician might as well be checking his mail after starting the pre-recorded sequence.…the public wouldn’t really notice.

I remember watching a Biosphere live gig in Amsterdam Paradiso, way back in 2002.
Paradiso, like any club in Holland, is noted for it’s noisy crowd, chatting and twittering all through the concert. That’s the effect of having a bar INSIDE the concert hall (and of people coming to a Festival instead of devotees coming to a single concert).

Consemble Project

Consemble 

Quite some time ago, I wrote some entries about the fascinating concept of Generative Music: music that is different every time you play it – the missing link between recorded and live music.
SSeyo Music introduced their fascinating concept as KOAN software – a brilliant package that was released about fifteen years ahead of it’s time.
Brian Eno was on of the first to pick up on this concepts, because it fitted perfectly to his multi-CD installations.
Read more about this here and here, but be sure to get back to read on.

(Side Note: this software still exists: it’s called Noatikl now. )

So the concept of Generative Music is as fascinating as ever. Enter Parallel Music, or PMusic – (as opposed to RMusic: Recorded Music).

The Sounds of Spellborn

Logo

There are quite a few ways to listen to ambient / environmental sounds. Apart from buying CD’s and finding new musical releases, you can listen to the sound of your own environment. Take a walk and open your ears to the sounds you don’t normally hear.
Or: play a computer game.

A few years ago, the creators of Myst were praised for the use of sound in their game. They hád to pay attention to detail, because the game was a sequence of beautiful but non-moving images (can you imagine that nowadays?).
Currently, games tend to be almost lifelike experiences. Not only in graphic detail, but also in sound.

There may be quite a lot more people listening to ‘ambient music’ on daily bases, maybe even without realising it.

The MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) The Chronicles of Spellborn comes with almost 20 hours of sound.
About one hour of that is ‘composed’ soundtrack music (written by Jesper Kyd), the rest is environmental sound enhanced with ambient musical effects (created by Matthew Florianz).

Wixel’s 2009 Project

clouds cover

Wixel sometimes refers to the small group of musicians surrounding the Belgian artist Wim Maesschalk. When I recently saw them performing at a dutch festival (CrossLinx), I felt they sounded like Sigur Rós but without the vocals. Which is meant as a compliment, because when listening to most of Sigur Rós’s music I always wonder if I would like it better without the odd vocals. 

‘Wixel’ is also used as Wim Maesschalk’s artist nickname.
Wim ‘Wixel’ Maesschalk is a prolific artist, working very hard to find ways to get his music exposed to the world. (not unlike Rutger ‘Machinefabriek‘ Zuydervelt, though their musical angles are different).

Slowly, the world starts to find Wixel’s music too.

Mark Tamea – Tessellation

Mark Tamea, an english composer/sound artist living in Nijmegen, Holland, has released some quite adventurous work in the past (of which a lot of information and some free downloads can be found on his website: www.tamea.org).
His latest work, Tessellation, is one of the most intriguing recordings I have heard in the past year.

It combines a lot of different styles: ambient electronic soundscapes, field recordings, musique concrête, post-classical – but still feels organic and complete.

Ambrose Field & John Potter – Being Dufay

Being Dufay

Celebrating their 25th birthday, ECM Records released a recording of the unusual musical combination of saxophone player Jan Garbarek with the Hilliard Ensemble performing ancient vocal music (‘Officium‘, 1994).
An album so stunning it proved to be one of ECM’s biggest “hits”.
I was lucky enough to attend a live performance of this album in a church in my hometown that year, and amidst all of the concerts I have seen in my life this one especially is one I will never forget.
In 2009, ECM celebrates it’s 40th birthday. Could this be the reason they have searched for a musical combination as unusual and maybe even as unheard as on Officium? Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. But to me, ‘Being Dufay’ has about the same effect ‘Officium’ had.

Hilary Jeffery & Lysn – Katendrecht Spaceport

Katendrecht is a typical area in Rotterdam where you can expect to find a lot of things.
But the last thing to expect to find there is a spaceport where you can take a direct flight to Jupiter.

Still, a small venue called De Player created the exciting opportunity to embark on a spectacular journey to outer (inner) space on march 22, 2008. The journey was guided by Lysn, consisting of Hilary Jeffery (on trombone and tromboscillator), Chris Long (accordion and electronics), and Anne Wellmer (analogue electronics and harmonium).

This evening was presented as part # 3 in a series called Com.Post (‘Prancing around on the post-digital compost heap of contemporary music’).

I wasn’t there, that evening. And hearing the recording of this event that was recently released, that’s something to regret!