Mind Awake, Body Asleep (Mix)

The moment I heard Rami Malek whisper “Mind awake, body asleep” (Mr Robot, series 2) I knew this would be the inspiration for a new mix.
A mix about half-sleep, lucid dreaming impressions… ungraspable images… and about “letting go”.
After all, Mr. Robot’s tagline was “Control is an Illusion”.

This mix was created for – and is co-hosted on – Headphone Commute.

Solace (Mix)

“Life can only be remembered backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

The central piece provides the title for this mix: Solace – “Comfort in sorrow, misfortune. Consolation.”
This Fovea Hex track literally breathes consolation in every single note, so it seemed a good starting point for this mix.
It is also one of the few tracks in the mix that are included in its full length.

Even though there are quite some dark moments in this mix, I hope it may bring some ‘solace’ – if needed.
(If not needed: even better…! It still can be nice to feel a bit melancholic for a while, can’t it?)

Entropic (Mix)

…. slowly evolving to a state of inert uniformity …. retracing information that was lost from the message … searching for the uniformity in what seems to be randomly disordered …

This mix is published simultaneously on Headphone Commute:
“You’re in for a treat!”

Ghost Road Stroll (Mix)

This mix is made to be published in the excellent series of mixes on the “Sounds of a Tired City”, part of the larger website with the same name.
It is published exactly on its first year’s anniversary, so it’s in fact a birthday present too!

Inspired by the site name, I decided I wanted to try to create a sonic ‘walk’ through a ‘tired’ city.
A mix with a lot of scene changes… like walking through an unknown city on a (quiet sunday?) morning – finding hidden surprises and marvels around every corner..

Jam Karet (Elastic Time) (Mix)

“Jam Karet” is Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language) meaning “Elastic Time” (or “Rubber Hours”).
To me, this concept also applies to mixes that include ambient and drone fragments… where the listener gets immersed in sound in such a way that all notion of time is lost; where music could last for minutes, or for hours.

(Created for – and also published on – Headphone Commute)

Siren Song (Mix)

This mix is built around mysterious vocals. Vocals that may guide you, or lure you, into distances unknown.
Often, but not exclusively, female, and some of them not even human – like the beautiful flute-playing by Jean-Christophe Bonnafous, or the mysterious singing sound of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that was recently discovered during the Rosetta space missions.
With just a little fantasy you can imagine the Philae Space Lander being attracted by the comet’s song – ultimately leading it to an untimely death.

Mental Health Hotline (Mix)

“Mental Health Hotline” is the second ‘collaborative dialogue’ created together with Christophe ‘Klankschap’ Ywaska.
(The first was Both Were Moving, 2012).

Each selection a reaction to the previous addition means the story may have some unexpected turns and views… especially with over 50 samples crammed into this adventurous hour of sound!

Be prepared for a dazzling – and possibly somewhat disorienting – joyride…

Incidental Memories (Mix)

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.

Tristesse D’Automne (Mix)

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!

Parallax (Mix)

“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…”

Broken Lines (Mix)


HAL's eye

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!)

Gathering Clouds (mix)

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….