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.

On the Far Side of Whether

Neo-classical ambient from Houston, Texas–based Slow Meadow

Much non-label work on SoundCloud can, thankfully, have the feel of a sketch to it. That’s sketch, not sketchy. There is a lot of work on SoundCloud that is posted mid-state, when it is truly a work in progress, when what is heard is a snapshot of a piece between when it was begun and whether it will be finished. Which is why a track that feels fully complete can carry such momentum, such weight, even when it is itself light as a feather.

“A Magnificent Gray” by Slow Meadow is a slow, neo-classical composition of graceful, gently evolving scope. It begins in a semi-mechanical state, drones and gears and gadget-like clicking, joined at the half-minute mark by the sort of piano that, in the hands of Nils Frahm and others, has brought minimalism, and classical, and ambient into a single spot in many listeners’ imagination.

From there it builds, so slowly you don’t realize it until you listen through again. Strings expand its depth and its sensibility, but what really changes is the number of voices. What began solo becomes a conversation among parts. And then it fades in a slightly backward-masked tonal collapse. The piece is fully considered, fully composed, entirely self-contained. Gorgeous stuff.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/slow-meadow. Slow Meadow is Matt Kidd of Houston, Texas. Found via a SoundCloud repost by ivan87-4. More from Kidd at slowmeadow.com and twitter.com/slowmeadow.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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