If one of the criteria for ‘ambient’ music is that you can comfortably fall asleep to it, I guess you’d better skip this particular mix. Although it starts quiet and reassuring with soothing vocal chords from Silvestrov’s “The Lord’s Prayer”, the mood disintegrates and sometimes can become rather unsettling – depending on your own personal ‘incidental memories’, of course.
For reasons I can’t really explain, this mix works better if you listen on speakers instead of headphones – just let the airwaves flow for maximum immersion.
This mix was created especially for Headphone Commute.
Thanks to H_C for publishing it, and for the beautiful introduction words:
Autumn is here. Darkness slowly creeps up just a little bit earlier. Clouds get grayer and swell up with rain. Trees shed their colors and tighten their belts. And people begin to prepare for winter. But among all the shadows there’s a small ray of light. And with that glow comes the music… For today’s exclusive podcast, Peter van Cooten weaves in layers of haunting soundscapes spanning the gray-scale of the ambient universe. It’s a gorgeous soundtrack to the season of tears… I hope you will enjoy!
“I’m not formed by things that are of myself alone”
This is the key quote (taken from Stoker) for this mix, which is also ‘not formed by things of itself alone’. Every detail, every short sample, has its origin in another context, another musical composition, from which it is taken to find a new place in a completely different context.
“My ears hear what others cannot hear.”
“Parallax“ is the visual effect that, when you are moving yourself, objects closer to you seem to move by faster than objects in the distance, which slowly seem to move with you in the same direction.
In sound, drones seem to create a somewhat similar effect.
In some way that is what this mix is about: the background sound slowly moving along with you while some other fragments pass by so quick you cannot even focus.
Just don’t try to focus.
“…Now I see things that were hidden from my eyes…”
When publishing the mixes for Ambientblog, I have always been looking for a way to ‘visualise’ the artist credits for the mix.
Most of the fragments and samples used in the mix-collages are almost indistinguishable, yet the interested listener might want to find out about the release details.
This is why most mixes on ambientblog also feature a ‘sequence scheme’ image which shows the building blocks of that particular mix.
For my most recent mix, “Rust”, I decided to try out a different feature: a video version, which is showing the track details at the very moment they are used in the mix.
The title of this mix is taken from the beautiful soundtrack it heavily leans on: Alexandre Desplat’s “Rust and Bone” (“De Rouille et D’Os”).
“Rust” usually refers to ‘decay’, but in dutch “Rust” simply also means ‘rest‘, (‘tranquil – or ‘repos’ in french).
But – as we say in Holland: “Rust Roest”
– or: “Too much rest will make you rusty…”
In other words: don’t expect just ‘tranquil’ sounds in this mix..
This is nót meant to be your average ‘healing session ambient’ soundtrack… so be prepared…
The sheer volume of the Headphone Commute’s ‘…And Darkness Came’ compilation – issued as a charity fundraising for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and boasting 87 tracks (over 6 hours) of music – was also a kind of invitation to create a mix from it.
Presenting a wide range of music from well (and lesser) known artists – covering most of the ambient/electronic/post-classical/improv spectre, the compilation is an overview and ‘who’s who’ of what’s happening at this very moment.
Its diversity of sounds and musical ideas will appeal to everyone with open ears.
If you have ever watched Stanley Kubrick‘s “2001 – Space Odyssey“, you will definitely remember the impressive scene in which the memory modules are slowly taken away from HAL, the ship’s main computer, because it started to disfunction and became a threat to the astronauts and their mission.
Just before his memory fades completely, HAL remembers being programmed to sing“Daisy”, one of his earliest digital ‘childhood memories’.
With this scene (as well as with HAL‘s name), Kubrick directly referred to the IBM 7094 computer (used to control the Mercury and Gemini space flights, as well as the Apollo missions) which was programmed to sing Daisy in 1961 – a remarkable accomplishment at that time!
Computer systems revolting, loss of memory, human utterings that seem to come from lost souls….
I guess you’d better be prepared for a dark and suspenseful listening hour …
If you have listened to this mix, I’m really curious to know what you think, so please let me know!
(and please let your friends know, also… just spread the word and make these mixes heard … thanks for your help!)
At the closing of 2012, I’m proud to present this new ‘dialogue mix’ (the only other collaboration on ambientblog is the “Division Dialogue“ mix created together with Muttley in 2010).
When Christophe Ywaska, creator of the weekly Klankschap radio shows on VillaBota webradio (whose mixes can also be found on Mixcloud, by the way) suggested working on a mix together, I knew we were in for a sonic treat.
Klankschap mixes are never “just” ambient – or “just” any other genre for that matter. Their tracklistings are a display of a deep knowledge of all kinds of experimental music, both new ánd old.
Due to their nature, they dó require some ‘active’ listening, though: they’re never meant to be ‘easy listening’ background music.
And the same is true for this mix, “Both Were Moving”: this is clearly no ‘ambient’ mix – it’s a sonic rollercoaster ride!
This must be one of the darkest mixes I have created until now.
I recommend headphone listening for this mix, but also recommend to avoid late night listening – unless, of course, you know what to expect.
The atmosphere is immediately set with the first notes, with a threatening (Boduf Songs) howl , and may even get downright frightening in the end climax.
Yet, not all is dark and gloomy.
In the middle section, there are also more optimistic sounds to enjoy, some more comfortable moments.
So: just let the Machinefabriek track (‘Stroomtoon Eén’- about 4 minutes from the start) guide you downward to a lower consciousness level – “Inception” style – and from there let your imagination do the rest….
image by Lidija Hauck
“We were playing Hide and Seek on a Cemetery Hill…
…quiet hiding in the flowers…among the Flowers and Bones…”
Atmospheric drones slowly unfold into childhood memories …
Peaceful melancholic romanticism, but gradually overshadowed by fear of something out of control?
Remember: all’s well that ends well….