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.

tag: live performance

Harold Budd Live in 1989

And Laraaji, too

This space isn’t usually used for archival work, and even less often for grey-market recordings, but a YouTube video of a 1989 performance pairing musicians Laraaji and Harold Budd is an opportune way to reflect on the latter, a day after his death at the age 84. The video was posted yesterday, December 8, clearly to note the passing. It was reportedly recorded at the Lazarote Music Festival in volcanic caves by the name of Jameos Del Agua. The festival was organized by Brian Eno, who is closely associated with both Budd and with Laraaji, as a collaborator and for having released their music. The two are heard separately here, Laraaji with his electronically mediated mbira and zither as the centerpiece of the video, and Budd at the opening and close with slow, majestic combination of solo piano and an underlying synthesizer bed of ethereal tones.

Video originally posted to YouTube. Thanks to Patricia Wolf for having brought it to my attention.

Also tagged , / / Leave a comment ]

Current Listens: Recent Faves on Repeat

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them.

This week, some recent favorites to which I keep returning:

Awesome hour-long Loraine James laptop set of glitchy, club-borne IDM, even more intense, more shattered, than the session she recorded for Fact back in mid-August. (Thanks, Bradley Allen for the alert.)

Lloyd Cole recorded an economical little album of modular synthesizer music with one little noise source, from which the record takes its name, Dunst, as its focus:

Mike Weis translates grief into the beautiful, moving 49 Days (Music for a Transition), two quarter-hour tracks of bell field recordings pushed nearly beyond recognition. I’ve been returning to it daily.

The highly talented Jeannine Schulz has been releasing a steady stream of music at a pace in inverse proportion with how slow and placid is the music itself. Much of that has been on her own Bandcamp page, but the label Stereoscenic, of Cleveland, Ohio, released Ground . The Gentle, as a 10-track CD. Start with the aptly named “Heaven-Sent,” all cautious chords and dirty-windshield textures.

▰ In the interest of conversation, let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below. Just please don’t promote your own work (or that of your label/client). This isn’t the right venue. (Just use email.)

Also tagged , , / / Leave a comment ]

Cross-Device Ambient

From the London-based musician who goes by Ambalek

Beautiful cross-device ambient, featuring a standard modular synthesizer setup controlling the more esoteric Plumbutter from the Ciat Lonbarde line of instruments (that’s wooden gadget in the foreground at the start of the video). It sounds like an orchestra tuning up from down the hall in advance of performing an evening impressionist program. It sounds like those orchestral musicians have found a happy degree of ensemble, of near-telepathic collaboration, and decided, spur of the moment, to just go with it, to see where the sinuous sense of collaboration takes them. Lovely lines hint at melody but pass more like wafts of cloud formations in a gentle breeze. The track is titled “Tethered.”

Video originally posted at youtube.com. More from Ambalek, who is based in London, at soundcloud.com/ambalek and instagram.com/_ambalek. This is the latest video I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live performance of ambient music.

Also tagged / / Comment: 1 ]

Ana Roxanne, Back in 2019

A live set in a railway terminal

There’s a great new album out from Ana Roxanne, Because of a Flower, which I’ve mentioned once or twice in the run up to its November 13 release. Definitely check it out for its layers of looped vocals and other forms of lush, often semi-verbal playfulness.

And while you’re at it, (re)visit this video of a half-hour set that she performed at Union Station in Los Angeles back in mid-May 2019. It’s a great show, benefiting especially from the way the vast hall expands upon her already well-documented penchant for echoing spaciousness. And note the facial expressions each time the train announcements threaten to disturb the fragility and serenity that the music has worked so hard to achieve. Ooo, and it closes with a cover of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby” that would make Angelo Badalamenti cry for an encore.

Video originally posted at youtube.com. More from Roxanne, formerly of Los Angeles and currently of New York City, at instagram.com/frincess.

Also tagged , / / Leave a comment ]

Current Listens: Bisengalieva, Vogelsinger, half light

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them.

▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰
NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Live violin from the Kazakh-British composer Galya Bisengalieva, soaring like gulls above an accompaniment of strings, voices, and muted percussion.

Hélène Vogelsinger performs (in full video) a 10-minute live modular piece in an abandoned castle in her native France.

The Dallas/Nashville duo called half light released Permafrost, a beautiful box of musical curios. Long tones, cello and violin lines stretched to the horizon, gather beneath the sonic equivalent of textured cloth on one track (“Hiraeth”), while infrastructural moans meet panning drones on another (“Isolation”). A deep, rich recording.

▰ In the interest of conversation, let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below. Just please don’t promote your own work (or that of your label/client). This isn’t the right venue. (Just use email.)

Also tagged , / / Leave a comment ]