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

Lofi Trombone Loops

Courtesy of Quiet Horn

The abundance of reverberating droning heard in this video is the result of layer upon layer of loops accumulating, all soured from live trombone playing, and then treated live in an iOS app that doesn’t merely simulate but also sensualizes the effect of old reel-to-reel tape. The result, especially when the octave leaps and glitches kick in, sounds inspired by Jon Hassell: futuristic atmospheres hinting at tribal ceremonies, high technology mined for its textures, its inaccuracies, its shortcomings. This is the music of Quiet Horn. The YouTube account only has 150 subscribers as of this writing, but that’s sure to increase soon, based on the beauty of this piece.

This is the latest video I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live performance of ambient music. Video originally posted at Quiet Horn’s YouTube account.

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Pure Sonic Foam

From the London-based musician who goes by Ambalek

The pure sonic foam of this Ambalek video, “The Hidden Path,” can, like much great quiet music, appear unassuming at first. Dispense, please, with the sense as a listener that something this quiet must be played quiet, as if there is some cultural balance to be maintained, to be adhered to. Turn it up. Turn it up, and immerse yourself in the shifting strata of sound, the cloud formations and serene textures that play atop, alongside, and against each other. And if you’re interested in the process, be sure to scroll down on the video’s page, where Ambalek goes into detail on the tools and techniques employed.

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

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Live Cassette Loop Jam

From the YouTube account of the British/Italian duo Sonars

This rough-textured live ambient cassette loop jam noted the Sonars account on YouTube hitting the 1,000-follower milestone. It’s lush, with echoes of Gavin Bryars’ work, suggesting a sepia-toned version of a damaged old document, the aural equivalent of a photograph altered by time and the elements, changes both cultural and elemental. While listening, get lost in the nostalgia-tinged atmosphere. Also keep an eye (and ear) out the moment, just after the two-minute point, when the pitch, and attendant pace, are slowed markedly.

This is the latest video I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live performance of ambient music. Video originally posted on YouTube. Sonars is a self-described electro-psych duo from the United Kingdom and Italy. More from them at sonars.bandcamp.com and instagram.com/sonarsmusic.

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Emma Hendrix x Julie Gendron x W.A.C. Bennett

Hydroelectric minimal techno

Julie Gendron and Emma Hendrix are Manufacturing Entertainment, a Canadian art duo with a decade and a half of collaboration (audio, video, installation, performance) to their credit. “When Once There Was” is a trance-inducing, ever-evolving, minimal-techno transition state, nearly a quarter of an hour during which rapid pulses gain hypnotic powers. What begins as mechanized pitter-patter escalates to something consuming and palpable, engrossing and enthralling. It might be difficult at any given moment to comprehend how what you recall from minutes, even moments, ago even became what you are currently hearing.

As it turns out, the transformation began before the track did. The audio is sourced from site recordings of the W.A.C Bennett Dam, a hydroelectric buttress against the Williston Reservoir in British Columbia, Canada. The 50th anniversary of the dam’s construction was celebrated two years ago, in 2018. The audio is a live performance, broacast on CiTR, the University of British Columbia’s radio station.

Track originally posted to soundcloud.com/emmahendrix. More on Manufacturing Entertainment at manufacturingentertainment.com and instagram.com/manufacturing_entertainment. Maps via Google.

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Grid Across Generations

A live video from Sudden Language

The Tenori-on is almost 15 years old, but it still looks like an instrument from the future. It was an early progenitor of the grid-based instruments that blanket the music-making world these days. Here it is heard sequencing sedate exotica beats, as filtered by an offshoot of another matrix instrument. That’s a Norns Shield on the left, a little music computer from the makers of the Monome Grid. The video is from a musician who goes by Sudden Language.

The Tenori-on was developed by Toshio Iwai and Yu Nishibori. Video originally posted at YouTube. More from Sudden Language at suddenlanguage.bandcamp.com.

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