On this week’s At Water’s Edge program, we’ll be featuring 2012 works by mystified, as well as Mystahr’s “Into the World Of” and lots more. Enter the mystery…
1. Celestial Aeon Project – Mystic River (1:54)
Hailing from Helsinki, Finland, Celestial Aeon Project is a pure soundtrack project that publishes instrumental, orchestral background soundscapes. The general atmosphere and visual feel lead to fantasy worlds and even into the realm of the role playing games.
2. Mystified/Mister Vapor (Thomas Park) Set — new material from 2012
- Dream Travel (edit)– Unreleased
This piece was commissioned to be released exclusively to help provide funds for hearing-impaired children in Poland. Thinking it sounded a little bit dreamy, he called it “Dream Travel”.
- Darkness Engaged (edit)– Unreleased
This is part of a 40-minute piece. The basis sounds were loops by Nigel Ayers of Nocturnal Emissions–sounds Ayers recorded in an abandoned prison in Europe. Much of the percussion was home recorded, and the drone backdrop is something that Mystified made himself, using a special technique he developed.
- Shangri-La (edit)– out 2013 on AOsmosis Records
Speaking of a special technique, this track uses that same unique method as the previous track, which involves making a 3-5 minute collage of sounds, then stretching them using Paulstretch, and processing the result. Mystified says, “I find this to be hit or miss, but when it works well, it can really be cool.”
- Rain 2 (edit) (Mister Vapor)– 2012 Webbed Hand Records
Here is another one using the sample stretching technique. The track is available for free on the Webbed Hand Records netlabel (http://www.webbedhandrecords.com), and there is a full-length video (all 67-plus-minutes) of shimmering blue cubes on Mystified’s YouTube station (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCXlDm1f08Q). A lot of people seem to like the video.
- The Longest Ocean (edit)– out 2012 on Eg0Cide Productions
Yet another sample stretched. Thomas admits that he tends to work in trends. This track was just released on Elizabeth Veldon’s label, Black Circle Records (http://blackcirclerecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-longest-ocean), from England.
- Yodel Drone 1– 2012 Treetrunk Records
Here is a piece made by stretching, processing and layering a phrase from an old, royalty-free recording of the classic song, “Blue Yodel”. Thomas tells us, “Some Stillstream folks basically dared me to create drones using yodels, so I made this and two other pieces.”
- The Ceasing Pool– 2012 Feral Fang Media
This song was made using only homemade and home-played woodwinds (such as the flute, nose-flute, kazoo, pan pipes, bottle, whistle, and so forth). He made several pieces this way. This one appears on a 3″ CDR out of California.
- Night Is A Velvet Canopy (edit)– Unreleased
Here is one more sample-stretching piece. This is an edited version; the full piece is about 30 minutes long.
- Short Meditation– 2012 Roil Noise Records (Music For Transit)
This last piece is from an album Mystified did with Robin Storey of Rapoon back in 2002. Composed by Thomas Park, it was called “Music For Transit”. By the way, it was recently remastered by Ben Cox of Lotuspike and the whole thing was released on Bandcamp and on Roil Noise Records as a CDR.All tracks by mystified except where noted. More on mystified at: http://www.mystifiedmusic.com
3. Argyle-E – Only To Find The Mystery of God Is (9:06)
(Lee of Trife, archive.org, 2006)
This project, which apparently never reached completion, is available on archive.org. The names of the tracks alone are worth reading, and certainly worth hearing; this track is at the end of the set. http://archive.org/details/argylee-lee_of_trife
4. Chad Kettering – Mystic Mountains (5:21)
(Into the Infinite, Chad Kettering, 2008)
Chad Kettering began his musical journey as a professional trumpet player. For many years he performed with various orchestras and small ensembles throughout Texas and Colorado. Along this path he discovered the unlimited power of pure sound as an art form through the use of electronic instruments, digital workstations and audio sound processors. Drawing upon techniques used in sound design and musique concrète (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musique_concrete) along with the inspiration of ambient electronic music pioneers, Chad patiently developed his sound and approach over several years to emerge with a deeply personal and accomplished musical statement. Today he continues to push these influences into new directions.
Find more about Chad and his music at http://www.chadkettering.com/
5. David Schombert – Mystères (6:36)
(Quiet Life Volume 3, Jamendo, 2006)
Born in Paris, David Schombert expressed an early interest in music, entering the Conservatoire de Musique de Vitry, but leaving at age 15, finding conservatory teaching too restrictive. In the late 1980s he built his first home studio, and in 1990 completed his first major composition. His music is inspired by outdoors, nature and silence, the magic of synthesizers and electronic sounds. He names as his influences: Vangelis, Kitaro, Brian Eno, JM Jarre, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Ennio Morricone, Erik Satie, Debussy, Mozart, Pierre Boulez, and especially ‘the Californian school space / ambient’ Steve Roach Robert Rich, Michael Stearns, Kevin Braheny.
You can read more about David Schombert (especially if you read French) at http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/332/david-schombert .
6. Fabio Anile – Mysterious Power (4:16)
(Great Speeches, Chain Tape Collective, 2006)
Fabio Anile is a member of the Chain Tape Collective, an environmental lawyer and musician. Trained as a classical pianist, Fabio has played in many bands and worked in many different musical contexts, developing a unique sound over the years. He says of his music that it’s not a “focused listening”, nor is it a pure “wallpaper” type of music; rather it bridges this gap neatly, allowing the listener the choice to be either transported or remain grounded depending on the mood of the day.
The source sound for this is Mahatma Gandhi speaking on God in 1931.
7. Giles Reaves – Great Mystery (8:17) (Sacred Space, 2001)
An accomplished high-tech engineer and multi-instrumentalist, Giles Reaves’ musical career has been built on chance encounters, so much so that he now considers fate his friend. In addition to his successful releases as an ambient/space music composer, he’s also a sound engineer in Nashville for a number of rock and grunge bands.
8. IXOHOXI – Mysterious Visitor (10:00)
(The Future of the Future, IXOHOXI Music, 2001)
IXOHOXI is the artist project name of the late Dan Russo.
There is a mathematical magic square known as the IXOHOXI magic square. It looks the same in all four rotations. It is pan- diagonal so that the 4 rows, 4 columns, 2 main diagonals, 6 complementary diagonal pairs and 16 2 x 2 squares all sum to 19998. In a mirror, all of the numbers in the reflection will read the same because both the one and the eight are symmetric about both the horizontal and the vertical axis. The name IXOHOXI has the same characteristics.
8818 1111 8188 1881
1181 1888 8811 1118
1811 8118 1181 8888
1188 8881 1818 8111
1881 8818 1111 8188
8111 1188 8881 1818
8888 1811 8118 1181
1118 8181 1888 8811
1188 8881 1818 8111
1811 8118 1181 8888
8181 1888 8811 1118
8818 1111 8188 1881
1118 8181 1888 8811
8888 1811 8118 1181
8111 1188 8881 1818
1881 8818 1111 8188
The first IXOHOXI atmospheric and ambient music CDs were released in 1999/8 and further added weight to the idea that the artist’s project name should be IXOHOXI. Read more at http://www.discogs.com/artist/IXOHOXI and http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=40865
9. Lucette Bourdin – Mystery of the Midnight Sun (9:27)
(Mystery of the Midnight Sun, Lucette Bourdin Music, 2006)
The late Lucette Bourdin, another French-born composer, was an artist as well. Her art gave her music a unique perspective: that of painting with sound. She maintained that the practice of art and music reinforced each other. Certainly her music represents some of the best of the ambient genre.
10. Mystahr – Into The World Of (66:24)
(Into the World Of, Earth Mantra, 2009)
Netherlands-based artist Mark Stolk has worked in the ambient genre for many years, developing a hardware-driven vision of continuous sound and creative instrumentation that he calls Mystahr. His broad variety of sound sources often seems to go wildly different directions, reflecting his viewpoint that nothing ever stays the same; the world around us, and indeed nature itself, erodes and evolves through chaos. That very chaos has become a fundamental element in Mystahr’s work, its sheer beauty always enticing the listener, its unpredictability always keeping the listener’s direct attention.
Into the World Of was Mark’s first release on Earth Mantra.
Typically, Mystahr’s work tends towards the noisy and harder-edged realms of experimentalism, but with this release the noise softly subsides to make room for a deeper flow, a more subtle and elegant immersion into an exotic sound world. Elements and fragments merge and separate like slowly moving flows of molten lava, revealing the chaotic nature of continual flux, but also providing a serene and beautiful view of the same. Heady stuff, indeed, music that will speak to lovers of pure ambience and lovers of experimentalism alike.
A single longform piece, this electronic music was improvised live and in one take on StillStream.com, back in 2009. It harbors a plethora of sound sources, from pulsing modulars to distressed tape recordings, from growling analog synths to vibrating spring reverbs and Buddha machines phasing to ring-modulated spheres.
11. Philippe Mangold – Oiseaux Mystiques (9:37)
(IGAPO, Jamendo, 2006)
The Igapo is part of the Amazon, is also called the “flooded forest”. In effect, the Igapo is an area made up of swamps, where unique trees and plants grow, inhabited by animals specific to this location.
Writer-director Andrew Lucas shot a documentary film on the wildlife of this region, and Philippe Mangold provided all the little pieces to accompany the images and animals that appear in this film. The bird sounds were from material Philippe had available at hand, so many of the sounds are of European birds. Nevertheless, the piece still conveys the mystery of the unique Amazon birds. The berimbau and percussion are played by Jean-Marc Martin, who was also part of the expedition which was filmed the documentary. Maurice Millettre also plays percussion and participated in the arrangements of the “snakes”. He also assured the organization of work, the choice of sequences, the timing, planning sequences of plans.
12. Phillip Wilkerson – Starmystic (6:07)
(Starjournal, Clinical Archives, 2008)
The Starjournal release is composed around a series of field recordings made from a radio telescope. What you hear on these tracks are actual radio signals from celestial objects in deep space, set to music, drones, glitches, and rhythmic patterns. Additional drones were produced with a handbuilt Renner synthesizer.
Phillip Wilkerson creates ambient, experimental, and minimal music, often blending elements from these various genres. Each release aims to be is a unique creative effort, but nearly all his projects are based on microtonal drones or very slowly evolving drones in some variation.
13. Susperia-Electrica – Mysterious World (5:16)
(This World, Susperia-Electrica, 2009)
Susperia-Electrica is an ambient electronic artist, composer and producer hailing from Sussex in the UK. Nick Fortune has been releasing music under the name of Susperia-Electrica since 2008.
Nick likes to take the listener on imaginative journeys through the universe with his lush ambient sounds. His atmospheric and sometimes minimalist approach to ambient music hopes to give the listener the feeling of actually being part of the universe itself.
Nick’s first encounter with electronic music was way back in 1962, when the British group The Tornados released Telstar. That instrumental track, with the sound of the Clavioline (forerunner to the analog synthesizer), hooked him immediately and led him to where he is today. His later encounters with Kraftwerk’s Autobahn in the 1970’s, along with Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno and Robert Fripp compelled him to spend his time listening to their music constantly, as a learning process for his own experiments with sound.
14. The Tunnel Singer – Mysterious Dance (7:16)
(Inner Runes, Tunnel Singer Records, 1995)
The Tunnel Singer is San Francisco-based Lee Ellen Shoemaker, who carries out an ancient tradition, searching out places with long reverberations, where she then sings and records her inner songs.
Born in Kokomo, Indiana, singing in spaces with long natural reverberation has been a passion since childhood.
Shoemaker’s mother and father taught her to harmonize with them. She enjoyed playing the family piano, but resisted learning to read music or practice scales, preferring to improvise.
She remembers listening to classical music on the floor-model Philco radio, but favored tuning in unusual sounds between stations on short-wave bands. Her mother reports that as a toddler she sang with the drone of the vacuum cleaner whenever it ran.
15. The Space Navigator – The Groom Lake Mystery (2:34)
(From Another World, The Space Navigator, 2003)
Inspired by the movie Contact from 1997 with Jodie Foster to call his music project “The Space Navigator”, Swedish composer Tomas Ekman is something of a modern Renaissance man: musician, painter, graphic designer and computer technician/teacher. He’s inspired by all kinds of science and speculative fiction, believing strongly that the universe is big enough for alien life, and that it does indeed travel among the stars.
With his music, he attempts to create the feeling one gets when looking at the stars and the universe at night somewhere in the wilderness, reaching for–and perhaps touching–the greatness and the mystery of the universe itself.