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S.A.D. Sounds – 1 (mix)

Ambientblog


Arthus Bertrand - Auyan Tepui

The joys of springtime usually get the most attention, but the season has a dark side, too: “Spring Fatique”.
The need to eat and to sleep more than usual, inexplicable mood changes, the difficulty to be able to concentrate, etc.

These feelings are not strictly limited to the spring season, however. Comparable feelings are also known in Winter and Fall. About 60% of all people will probably recognise these symptoms. About 2% suffer from the more serious “Seasonal Affective Disorder’ (S.A.D.), also known as ‘Winter Depression’.

The symptoms described can almost be heard in the strange soundscapes of this mix: not only in the titles of the tracks, but also in the atmosphere. Dark sounds, mostly, especially in the beginning. Luckily, the keynote of the pieces used gets lighter when time progresses: it is as if you hear the sun struggling to break through the sky.. Besides being an auditive impression of the tiredness of spring, this program may hopefully also be a remedy against it.

This mix was created in 2004.

The classic Peter Hammill track ‘The Birds’ in the beginning of Part 1 defines the theme:

‘Spring came far too early this year: Mayflowers blooming in February.
Should I be sad for the months, or glad for the sky?
The birds don’t know which way to sing, and, my friends, neither do I.’

(Part 2 of this mix can be found here)

Peinzing – Part 2 (mix)

Ambientblog

 

Peinzing 2

Peinzing – Part 2 (2003) is of course the second part of Peinzing (Pondering; Muse-ing).

Since both parts are meant to be listened to as one, please download part 1 first and listen to them sequentially.

You can find the full comments with Peinzing – Part 1, so for this edition I’ll just stick to the playlist..

Peinzing – Part 1 (mix)

Ambientblog

Peinzing 1 

Peinzing” (pondering, muse-ing) (2003) is the name of the musical collage in which the difference between ‘music’ and ‘sound’ will not always be clear to the listener.

Over time, this has proven to be one of the most popular mix, especially with listeners that were not exactly familiar to ambient/electronic music.
It is indeed one of the more accessible – which does nót necessarily mean this is ‘easy listening’.

Do nót expect ‘New Age’ music, despite some whale-, cricket- and other sounds of nature. At times the layers of sounds are dark and threatening, maybe even confronting.
There’s always the dynamic range between tension and release. The quiet piano sounds of John Cage and Arvo Pärt surround a broad spectrum of auditive landscapes. Inbetween, sometimes ‘ordinary’ pop-songs define the theme, like Paul Simon‘s ‘Quiet’:”I am heading for a time of quiet / When my restlessness is past / And I can lie down on my blanket / And release my fists at last“.

This particular sequence (Arno Peeter‘s collage of hectic life’s answering machines, Paul Simon‘s detaching Zen-like song ‘Quiet’, and Jon Hassell seemingly rephrasing Paul Simon’s last vocal line) is one of my all time favourite sequences.
Because for me this part expresses what most mixes are about: TensionRelease…and then again: dark clouds gathering above strange landscapes…

Please note that this 2-part mix is meant to be listened as one.
Peinzing (Part 2) can be found here

Vergeten Tijd (Time Forgotten) (mix)

Ambientblog

Vergeten Tijd (‘Time Forgotten’) was not specifically created for the Polderlicht Project (Amsterdam, 2001), but the mix fits in seamlessly with KlankSluis and Eindpunt.

Because these three mixes were broadcast in one ‘go’ on dutch radio in 2002, I like to refer to them as the “Polderlicht Trilogy”.

To me, good drone/ambient music always has a feeling of timelessness. This mix (like most of my others) combines some of the deepest drones (Thomas Köner, Alio Die, Stars of the Lid) with music that is not even remotely considered ‘ambient’, yet has a similar feeling (Calexico, David Darling, Kimmo Pohjonen).

The sequence image (below) shows the way the tracks are superimposed and combined.

Eindpunt (End of the Line) (mix)

Polderlicht

One of the reactions on the earlier 4 hour non stop ambient collages broadcast by Supplement (…dutch radio program with a focus on modern/avant garde/experimental music…) in the past years, was an invitation to contribute two sound installations to the location project called Polderlicht (Amsterdam, november 2001).

This is the second one: “Eindpunt (End of the Line)”

The first one was “Klanksluis” (SoundLock, as in ‘Airlock’).

Klanksluis (SoundLock) (mix)

Polderlicht

One of the reactions on the earlier 4 hour non stop ambient collages broadcast by Supplement (…dutch radio program with a focus on modern/avant garde/experimental music…) in the past years, was an invitation to contribute two sound installations to the location project called Polderlicht (Amsterdam, november 2001).

This is the first one: “Klanksluis” (SoundLock, as in ‘Airlock’).
The other one is “Eindpunt (End of the Line)”, which will be published next.

DreamScenes – Part 1 (mix)

Ambientblog

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)