My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

A Sweet Affectlessness

"Refound Theme" by Jonathan Brodsky of Seattle, Washington

The word “ambient” means different things to different people in different contexts. Even though the elegant “Refound Theme” by Jonathan Brodsky is built around rhythmic material, in particular a semi-randomly plucked thumb piano, those cycles of percussion become almost fog-like as they proceed. There’s no certain beat to the beat, as it were. It’s a slender constellation that’s ever shifting, albeit slightly, gently, never drawing attention to itself — a quality that is at the essence of ambient.

The metal and wood produce sounds that suggest bell tones and bicycles, caged birds and archaic gears. There’s the thumb piano, and glockenspiel, and as it makes its way Brodsky adds a through line of tremulous, ever so remote clarinet. The piece has a sweet affectlessness that makes it loopable, that softens the percussion, that suggests it as background music.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/jonbro. Brodsky is based in Seattle, Washington.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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