Olivier Alary * Selffish

On ‘Fiction – Non-Fiction’, Olivier Alary presents a multi-faceted overview of his recent soundtrack compositions – with a special unreleased track called ‘Discipline’ as additional bonus listening on Ambientblog.

Next to that, Selffish (yes: two ff’s) presents his new album on the Serein label, which is every bit as beautiful as you’ve come to expect from this label’s output.

Stephan Mathieu – Sacred Ground

The music of “Sacred Ground” is created for a documentary film (by Tim Grünewald and Ludwig Schmidtpeter) about the Wounded Knee and Mount Rushmore memorial sites in South Dakota:
“Two memorials in the heart of America. Two hours’ drive but worlds apart. Mount Rushmore is an icon of the United States, attracting millions of visitors each year. The Wounded Knee Massacre Site receives just a handful of visitors each day.”

It is also inspired by (and dedicated to) Florian Fricke, who created soundtracks with Popol Vuh for many Werner Herzog movies.

A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Atomos

A Winged Victory for the Sullen (AWVftS) is often referred to as a duo consisting of Adam Wiltzie (core member of the legendary Stars of the Lid – guess there’s no further introduction needed) and pianist/composer Dustin O’Halloran. But AWVftS would not be AWVftS without the (now 7-member) string section and the additional modular synth sounds created by Francesco Donadello. Together they present a full orchestral sound with a fascinating balance of string arrangements, melancholic piano melodies and (somewhat unsettling) synth embeddings.

Simon Fisher Turner – The Epic of Everest

“The Epic of Everest” is a classic documentary (from 1924!) about George Mallory and Sandy Irvine’s attempt that year to climb the Mount Everest. The fateful expedition was filmed by Captain John Noel in the harshest conditions:
“The pair were last seen when they were about 800 vertical feet (245m) from the summit. Mallory’s ultimate fate was unknown for 75 years, until his body was discovered on 1 May 1999 by an expedition that had set out to search for the climbers’ remains. Whether Mallory and Irvine reached the summit before they died remains a subject of speculation and continuing research.”
The film is also among the earliest filmed records of life in Tibet.

For the BFI restoration of this move, a completely new score was composed by Simon Fisher Turner.
And this score turns out to be an impressive sonic document by itself!

Dutch Harvest: Barnhoorn – Veldhuis – Tamea – Banabila

Here’s a batch of most interesting recent releases by dutch artists (that definitely should be heard outside Holland):


Antichamber

SIDDHARTHA BARNHOORN – ANTICHAMBER
Siddhartha Barnhoorn‘s relatively young biography (since 2004) already boasts a great number of soundtracks for movies and commercials. His latest release is the soundtrack for the “Antichamber” game (released through Steam) – a game that does quite well in the gaming community as far as I can tell by the ‘metacritic score’ of 82/100.
I cannot tell anything you about the game experience (if anyone reading this has played the game please share your experience in the comment section) – but as far as the music goes: this is spectacularly atmospheric, breathing a calm that seems to be the complete stylistic opposite of the preview images’ atmosphere.

Creating game music is quite different from creating soundtrack music, as games are mostly unlinear, and it’s never known how long a player will remain at a certain scene. So it’s all about creating an atmosphere, especially one that you would love to stay in longer … and this is what Barnhoorn does very, very well.