Why ambient ? (and album update)
Sometimes I think it’s a good idea to recollect why you got into something in the first place. Creating ambient music is almost second-nature to me now, but I’d never heard any ambient music until I was about 20. Here’s some musings on why I got into ambient at the time:
I grew up with heavy rock music, but being a sensitive soul I liked ‘quiet music’ as well (in particular Gregorian chant and plainsong), so I was always open to new musical forms.
Regarding my introduction to ambient, one particular memory I have is of living in house in a ‘funky’ (well pretty dodgy) area of Leeds in the 80’s with some buddhist fellers. There wasn’t a television in the house so we listend to a lot of music on an old record player. One chap’s favourite record was ‘The pearl’ by Harold Budd and Brian Eno.
At first, I found it too minimal, but over time I became drawn into it – it seemed to fill the room with it’s graceful melancholy. I became aware that this ‘background music’ was actually more ‘powerful’ than that description belies. It took time for ambient to become part of my musical world, but that’s the nature of this kind of music – it takes time.
I’ve always preferred music on headphones and at the time, my Walkman was a precious thing to me. I remember one day, listening to Brian Eno’s ‘Apollo’ in a really dismal supermarket and it removed me from the tedious banality of the surroundings and created a far better ‘soundtrack’ to the mundane sights around me. I thought at the time, that I’d like to try to create this aural experience with my own music at some point. Now as an ambient artist myself, the music I make has become something of a therapy for me – an internal retreat from an all too noisy world into somewhere stiller and calmer.
My preference for ambient is for the tonal, continuous work of Eno, Harold Budd and David Sylvian’s instrumental work (to refer to some well known artists). I find the distractions of the glitchy end of the spectrum to be at odds with what I require from listening to a music that (to me) is primarily reflective. I’m a fan of ‘electronic’ music (in the broadest sense of the term), but I make a distinction in this case. I suppose this is all a bit rich for someone who’s favourite band is Killing Joke !, but I feel different types of music are appropriate for different times and I listen to the noisy stuff far less than I do the quiet musics.
IRIS album update:
‘IRIS’ is currently being worked on, it’s an increasingly large project which I hope to have finished by early 2015. In the meantime, I released a ‘single’ yesterday from the work-in-progress material from the album. The track’s title is ‘Supernature‘ and is somewhat more experimental than the rest of the material which will comprise the album, so I thought I’d release it separately.