Discouraging Intruders (Mix)

The main theme for this mix (as well as the title “Discouraging Intruders” ) came from the spoken word track by the Dwindlers: “What the Wolves Said”:

“No two of us on the same note, we sound bigger…our harmony discouraging intruders…”

Although generally not sounding like a pack of howling wolves, sometimes the purpose of ‘ambient’ music also is also is to ‘discourage intruders’ (such as unwanted sounds) to invade your environment..

From the opening, this mix slowly dwells into long drone soundscapes – some discouraging, others comforting – only to be interrupted by a climactic eruption from Siddhartha Barnhoorn‘s cinematic ‘Artifacts‘ directly following the enchanting vocals of Fovea Hex, a choir arrangement that seems to be coming directly from heaven by Franz Liszt (from ‘Via Crucis‘, 1879!), followed by a Sibil’La Catalana string theme from the 15th century – and finally to be concluded by the acquiescent vocals from the Terje Isungset track.   

Whether you prefer to be on the inside or the outside is up to your imagination…

Image with kind permission from the Panopticons project.

Amnesia (Mix)


Photo: 'Misty Park' by Michel Banabila

Although it was created in March, this mix shows little signs of “Spring”.

There was no intentional relation, but inevitably the devastating Japan Earthquake, and the frightening nuclear disaster following it, somehow found its way into this mix.
The result: a rather dark overall atmosphere, which seems to leave little room for hope.
But at the same time, in Europe, winter retreats and daylight returns.
Nature shows that it can destroy as well as recuperate.

Fovea Hex – Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent (Mix)


Fovea Hex

When I read that a new Fovea Hex album will be released in the “Very-Imminent-Future”, this revived fond memories of their 2007 box set called “Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent”.

Two quotes may introduce this fascinating collection: Brian Eno thought these were “Some of the Most Extraordinary  Songs I’ve heard in Years”, and The WIRE aptly summarized it this way: “If Emily Dickinson had ever been allowed to make a record, this is probably what it would have sounded like”.

These comments are all about the songs, but I was also impressed by the way Fovea Hex combined the (unmistakable English) “folk” tradition, their sweet sounding but very strange and mysterious vocal poetry, with a daringly experimental sound backing – even to the most extreme on the stretched minimalist remixes of the Hafler Trio (Andrew McKenzie) on the bonus versions  included in the original limited special edition.

Dawn Secrets (Mix)

What exactly happens at the moment night changes back into day again, when darkness slowly retreats and light comes back in? 
Are we aware of what happens outside, at that time of day most of us are still sleeping? 
What sort of animals or creatures are hiding from the light, and what sort finally dare to come out again? 
Would we discover “Dawn Secrets” when we’d leave our own safe and familiar surroundings?

To be honest, I did not start this mix with this theme in mind…it just ‘dawned’ on me when listening to it when it was almost finished…But from the start, I wanted this mix to have a strong ‘environmental’ feel (but not only include field recordings).

Secret Chords and Apparitions (Mix)

Imagine yourself in deep sleep. Very deep sleep.
Unaware of your surroundings, unable to control images built from memories, unable to distinguish your dreams from impressions originating from the outside world. 

At times, following a gentle sleep cycle, your consciousness slowly raises – almost up to the point of waking up. At these moments, the outside world is more perceptible, you’re vaguely aware of what’s happening around you.

But not for long, because you gradually sink back to the realm of subconscious deep sleep.  

This mix was created in november, 2010. It was ‘premiered’ on Fluid Radio Mixcloud

Invisible Ink (Mix)

Though the title of Arve Henriksen’s opening track (Stille Veg, Quiet Road) was the working title for this mix, I finally decided to call it “Invisible Ink” – referring to the quote from Laurie Anderson’s track from “Homeland”, which may describe the confused global state (and – if you wish –  the political state of Holland in particular):

Was the Constitution written in visible ink?
Has everybody here forgotten how to think? 
Is this great big boat starting to … sink?”

But apart from this, this journey along the ‘Stille Veg’ may present some interesting encounters – some dark and mysterious, others enchanting and optimistic…

[R]ecyclopedia [R]emix

Let me begin with a warning: this mix is quite unlike the previous ones!
Though there are quite a lot ‘ambient moments’ to enjoy, it cannot be qualified as ‘ambient music mix’ because it contains a lot of other musical elements too.

This mix was created especially for Frans Friederich – a dutch musician currently working on a megalomaniac project he started in 1997: Recyclopedia.
One single full CD for each letter in the alphabet.
26 CD’s recycling and rewriting musical history associatively…!

Frans Friederich’s musical history shows a variety of styles: he played in jazz-, ska-, and big-bands, but also in experimental acts like Dull Schicksal and Trespassers W.  This musical diversity is also heard on the Recyclopedia albums: it’s a musical roller coaster ride with Friederich himself joining the musical extremes in his own personal style.

In 2009, Friederich completed the Recyclopedia Qalbum – which contains beautiful ambient music created together with soundscape artist Robert Kroos. 
(So, by now, about 65% of this project is finished – with this average output the entire Recyclopedia will be completed around 2017!)

When I started this Recyclopedia mix, I originally wanted to focus on the many ambient music pieces throughout the series, creating an ambient mix and leaving out all other music. But the nature of the project decided otherwise.

Miserere (Mix)

First, let me give my best wishes for 2010 to all of you!!

What better way to start the new year than with a brand new mix ánd a brand new design (thanks Ingmar from Planet KL!)?

The design change is symbolic, in a way: after publishing a lot of mixes in 2009, all of wich were created for radio broadcast, it is now time to take a further step and start publishing new mixes.
Miserere” is the first of these brand new mixes to be published. 

Miserere” has taken its name from the concluding piece: Gregoria Allegri’s Miserere, as performed by the Tallis Scholars.