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Whiz-Bang Chamber Music

Live for modular synthesizer, by Brian Noll, aka Lightbath

I’ve been keeping a playlist of live ambient performances for awhile. Several things interest me about live ambient music. The main matter is the tension between action and stasis. Ambient music often aspires to a sense of time standing still, a time apart from time. Live performance to some degree or another, whether on stage or in a home-filmed video, aspires to some extent to express activity: something happened, and it is documented here. Two short segments comprise this elegant video by Bryan Noll. The switchover happens around the 1:40 mark of the 3:09-long clip. In both segments the same small number of synthesizer modules imparts a mix of artificially conceived plucked strings and shooting-star tones that fly through, making for whiz-bang chamber music. As Noll (who also goes by Lightbath) explains in the comments, there is some additional technology offscreen, in particular a keyboard on which he is playing the chords. At times throughout you see one or both hands enter the close-up shot to move a knob or a lever, a common activity in synthesizer performance that introduces adjustment as something between conducting and performing.

Video originally posted at Noll’s YouTube channel. More from Noll at fourhexagons.net, lightbath.com and twitter.com/lightbath.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , , / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. needles
    [ Posted February 19, 2017, at 5:37 pm ]

    Noll’s compositions and performances under all of his names are other-level.

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted February 23, 2017, at 8:46 am ]

      Very true.

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