Birthday News: FREE GIVEAWAYS!

On tuesday, October 21, it is exactly NINE years since the very first blog post.
And exactly five years since its name was changed to Ambientblog.net.
It is also the day this weblog (and all of its content) will be migrated to a new software platform.
To celebrate this, I have 30 FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD CODES to give away!

Restive – Generative 2

Ever since Brian Eno himself introduced the SSeyo Koan Generative Music software (way back in 1996!!) I have been interested in the Generative Music concept: music that is ever-changing, evolving from a single “seed”, consistent through musical parameters defined by the ‘artist’, the creator that has to refrain from influencing the ‘path’ of the music once it has left off.  

For his release Generative Music I, Brian Eno chose the most radical medium possible: a diskette containing the software, only reproducable when using the correct hardware (the SoundBlaster AWE32 soundcard: I actually bought one of those just to be able to reproduce Eno’s Generative Music!!).
Which sadly means you’ll have a hard time now to reproduce this music as it was intended then. 

This represents the dilemma for musicians creating Generative music. Apart from using it in sound installations, there is no way to distribute the music in its generative form, since every recorded medium stops it from being generative (= different with every new performance).

Which does not mean that a recorded ‘instance’ of generative music is not interesting to listen to….on the contrary. But, like a photograph compared to movement, it is a ‘frozen’ capture of an ongoing (musical) process.

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.

Mark Tamea Mix

A special mix to conclude 2009.
This also is the last upload of the mixes that were created for radio. 
2010 will start off with new mixes exclusively created for this weblog.


tessellation cover

Like “Sounds of Spellborn” (published last week) this mix is different from most previous mixes, in that it does not include many different artists, but concentrates on the music of one single artist: Mark Tamea.

Tamea is a composer from England, currently living in Nijmegen (Holland).
His music is a fascinating combination of electronics, environmental sounds, musique concrête, acoustical and modern classical music.

When I hear the music he creates, I can imagine the wondrous feelings Alice must have had when exploring Wonderland: landscapes vaguely familiar yet alienating, a new surprise at every corner…

Sounds of Spellborn – Alternate (mix)

The Chronicles of Spellborn‘ came with so much interesting soundscapes, that I decided to create a second mix, an alternate version to the first one published last week.

Basically, the ingredients and the atmosphere are the same, but different tracks and samples are chosen.
In fact, both of these mixes can be played together and be listened to as one (two-hour) mix.

Read the information in the previous podcast entry for more details about this mix and about the Chronicles of Spellborn game.

Sounds of Spellborn (mix)

If you have listened to previous mixes on this weblog, you may have grown accustomed to the kind of format that they share. This one has a different approach.

I noticed that a lot of people are unfamiliar with ambient music, but still get exposed to it more than ever: in movie soundtracks, and even more: when playing games. It may not be recognised as ‘music’ at all, but more as sounds to create/enhance an environment – but still: that’s what ambient music is about, isn’t it?

When The Chronicles of Spellborn was released early 2009, I decided to create a special mix from a selection of the sound and music that comes with it.

Dream Calibration (mix)

Nonstop Ambient Montage: from Alva Noto to Arvo Pärt, via Arve Henriksen and Jacaszek, with short stops at Christopher Bissonnette, Entia Non, Kraken, Goldmund, and many, many others.

This mix was created may/june 2009.
Image by Weirena

This is the last of the ‘ambient montages’ that were created for radiobroadcast. 
Until now, 24 mixes are published on this weblog, counting 26 hours of continuous ambient/electronic/experimental music.  

In the remaining weeks of this year some ‘different approach’ mixes will be published additionally: one focussing on game music and another focussing on the work of one composer. 

Then, in 2010, on to the next phase….

Utsura – Utsura (mix)

Lichtspel

Utsura-Utsura” is a japanese expression indicating the ‘fluctuation between alert wakefulness and a state of half-sleep’. Or at least: I was told that it means something like that…can anyone confirm this?

True or not, this is exactly what this hour-long mix is about: between being awake and half asleep. Sigur Rós, Arve Henriksen and Helios may be your grip to reality in this somewhat abstract, sometimes hallucinatory sound.

Strange Birds (mix)

The central thematic piece in this mix is Christina Kubisch‘ “Tea Time (Autumn Leaves Mix)“, from Gruenrecorder’s “Autumn Leaves” – male singers communicating as if they were birds, twittering words like “Who’s awake?“, “Me Too!” and “Who cooks for you?“.

This spring-like chatter evokes a strange and hypnotic landscape sometimes unnerving, sometimes comforting.

This mix was created february – march 2008, together with “True“.  It was definitely an early spring that year!

Allegaar (mix)

According to my dictionary, ‘Allegaar‘ translates to ‘Hotchenpotch‘ – but I can imagine there may be a better word for that!?

Just like the previous mix (“Leftover Mix“), this 2008 mix has no special theme, it’s just a collection of tracks mixed together fairly randomly. But in their new context the tracks seem to start to tell their own new story!

The Leftover Mix (mix)


Leftovers (Photo by Muffet)

Though the title may give the impression that this mix consists of ‘second choice music’, that is definitely nót the case!

These tracks did not find their way to a 2007 Folio radio show, but were too good to stay unnoticed. So I used them in this ‘2007 end-of-year’ mix. It serves these tasty ‘leftovers’ as one uninterrupted delicate stew.

Ring (mix)


style4

“Ring” is the second part of the  two part auditive “guided fantasy” from 2006 (“Wave” being the first part). A mix of ambient music, soundscapes and other musical surprises, created in 2006.

The first of these four programs was a compilation of the (magnificent) album ‘Spellewauerynsherde‘ by Akira Rabelais, the fourth part was a compilation of music from Iceland. (Since these programs are not ‘ambient mixes’ they are not included in this collection).

The four parts were called “Spelle”, “Wave”, “Ring” and “Sharde”, which together is also the full title of Akira Rabelais’ “Spellewauerynsherde” album. Tracks and fragments of this album are present throughout all four programs. I’m very grateful to Akira for sharing some of the unreleased shardes from his magnificient Spellewauerynsherde project!

BTW – the pictures shown above are from Helga Kvam.
No one ever captured the mysterious Icelandic nature better than she does.

Dub Jay: AMFM

Ambient musician Warren Sulcs, known to some under the name Dub Jay, created this album about a year ago. But finding a record label for his music proved increasingly difficult, as most ambient musicians can probably confirm.

So after a while he decided to just share the album to those interested.
And I really think this album is interesting enough to be heard – so you may grab your chance and listen to it too!

Wave (mix)


Frozen

“Wave” is the first of a two part an auditive “guided fantasy” (“Ring” being the second part).
A mix of ambient music, soundscapes and other musical surprises, created in 2006.
No track is played completely, but the interaction of the fragments creates a completely new structure…. Which, in fact, is true for all ambient mixes of course…

These two mixes were part of a 4-hour radio broadcast that were thematically related to Icelandic music. At least: the first and the last were mostly. The first of these four programs was a compilation of the (magnificent) album ‘Spellewauerynsherde‘ by Akira Rabelais, the fourth part was a compilation of music from Iceland.

I guess it’s safe to assume that this also probably is the first (and possibly single) ambient music collage containing Venetian Snares music!
(read more for complete paylist)