To Evoke a Sense of Timelessness

A live performance by Copenhagen-based Fejld

Uploaded in 2010, this is something of an artifact, but it’s a beautiful performance, and with barely 5,000 views on YouTube it deserves a broader audience. What it depicts is Copenhagen-based musician Fejld performing three and a half minutes of almost entirely tonal ambient music. It’s the latest piece I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine “Ambient Performances.” Part of what makes this notion of ambient performance so interesting is ambient’s popular association with the idea of stasis, of music that is apart from time rather than something that evidences progression or change over time. Now, affect and action aren’t necessarily directly correlated. It can take effort to achieve a semblance of a lack of effort. In each of the live performances in this ever-growing YouTube playlist, various instruments and techniques are employed to evoke a sense of timelessness: to create an illusion of stasis. In this particular video, Fejld is working on the Monome, a grid instrument that’s the work of musicians Kelli Cain and Brian Crabtree. As in several other videos noted here recently, only part of the musician’s equipment, however, is on screen. Much as Midera’s work on a dance-oriented Korg gadget belied the essential presence of a reverb unit, and two different guitar pieces focused (literally) on roughly half of the guitar/pedal divide, Fejld’s video emphasizes the Monome but doesn’t feature the item the Monome is mediating, a keyboard synthesizer (the Nord Modular G2) whose sine waves are being adjusted live in the performance. In this case that makes sense, because the Monome is doing all the realtime work. The keyboard is simply sitting still somewhere off camera, receiving and emitting signals.

Video originally posted on YouTube. More from Fejld at Fejld’s home page is static and the hasn’t been updated since 2014. Fejld is/was Rasmus NyÃ¥ker of Copenhagen, Denmark.

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