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.

Ambient Turned Up to 11

A track from Maastricht-based Onar

There’s a sense with a lot of ambient music that if played loud it would change genres, that a simple alteration in amplitude would turn something meditative into something abrasive — which is to say, into something else entirely. That’s certainly true for some music that uses saw waves and white noise as a foundation. Hearing it at a high volume exaggerates the rough edges, brings out the harsh elements. But then there are tracks, like Onar’s “Let’s Try11,” that maintain a sense of calm, of peace, of gentleness, even as they’re turned up and up, which is a likely response when hearing this lovely piece. It’s built from swells, and swells upon swells, with an undercurrent of everyday ambience. The track’s title, purposefully or not, brings to mind Spinal Tap’s old joke about super-charged amplifiers. Turn this up to 11, and luxuriate in it.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/onar. Found via a repost by Dave Dorgan. Onar is based in Maastricht, Netherlands. More at onar.bandcamp.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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