On today’s edition of At Water’s Edge, we’ll be playing in shafts of light… light of all kinds, actually, as we feature music of Cheer, Distrubed Earth, Avana Method and many more. In the northern hemisphere, it is the first day of autumn, and the light this time of year is unique: that golden glow that only happens when the light is at a certain angle and the leaves are wearing their late-season finery.
Ambient music is particularly well suited to this time of year. The subject is so rich with possibility, and as we’ve explored the topic of autumn over the last couple of weeks, “Light” seems an obvious subject during this golden season.
1. FutureMusicCorp – A Glimpse of the Light (1:04)
(unreleased, FutureMusicCorp, 2006)
2. Avana Method – Light (22:27)
(Journey of Spiritual Evolution, Avana Method, 2009)
3. Color by Numbers – Lights Like Windows (6:39)
(The Transitions, Autoplate, 2004)
Through the two year long production span of “The Transitions”, Jason underwent a shifting period in his music and life. Through this phase he embraced his roots, solidified a musical philosophy, and began collaborating closely with a community of artists and musicians. So the album is themed around his personal transition into a new paradigm of production coupled with his move out to the California coast.
4. Asphodela – Moonlights Flows at the Snow (9:00)
(Asphodela EP, Qulture Productino, 2008)
5. Altus – Light Traveller (12:18)
(The Grand Expanse, Altus Music, 2007)
Mike Carss is Altus, a prolific, talented and incredibly generous musician who shares nearly all of his work via Creative Commons. Based in Ottawa, in Ontario, Canada, Altus’ music falls into several major categories: light, dark, spacemusic, symphonic, long-form, and even some that has a beat! You can find his music at http://altusmusic.ca/
6. Barnacle – Sunlight From The Sea Floor (11:10)
(Sea of Sorrow EP, Rope Swing Cities, 2006)
Barnacle is the ambient/experimental project of Thomas Kamholz. Barnacle focuses on the use of manipulated field recordings and soft synths to get his sound. The Barnacle sound is a mixture of traditional linear electronic music composition and improvised soundscapes. The name Barnacle came to Thomas after the creation of the first few pieces of music. These pieces were eventually released on the net label Rope Swing Cities. Emotional and aquatic, dark and brooding, all of these ideas are what comes to mind when listening to the sounds of Barnacle…..http://www.myspace.com/barnaclemusic
7. Fellirium – Moonlight’s Daughter (11:28)
(Amethyst, Liminal Records, 2010)
Fellirium is the project of Andrey Vasilyev, music composer and sound producer from Moscow, Russian Federation. http://fellirium.bandcamp.com/
8. Carl Sagan’s Ghost – Into the Light I (9:35)
(Darkness and the Light, Earth Mantra, 2009)
With a firm belief that artists should not devote their energy to only one style of music, Carl Sagan’s Ghost–aka Daniel Davis–has played many genres of music throughout his career, including ska, alt-rock, garage-rock, techno, space-rock, experimental and, of course, ambient. Whatever the style, he has always appreciated music that is densely textured and sonically interesting. This background and love for the diversity of all forms of music led Daniel to his superb ambient project, Carl Sagan’s Ghost. http://www.earthmantra.com/artist-detail.php?id=41
9. Cheer – By Gas and Candlelight (26:42)
(Dawn Chorus, Distance Recordings, 2009)
Cheer is Glasgow-based composer Alec Cheer. These guitar improvisations were recorded straight to hard disc via a minimal FX chain, in the midst of an unusually warm Scottish summer, with minor overdubbing added later. The result being two wonderfully absorbing long-form guitar pieces.
10. EugeneKha – Light of Bells (6:17)
(Mantra of Space Monks, Earth Mantra, 2010)
Russian musician, poet, audiovisual artist, and science fiction researcher Evgenij V. Kharitonov releases enigmatic electronic music under the project name EugeneKha. His music covers a wide range of electronica; from ambient and experimental to house and electronic pop art. You can find his work on SoundCloud, too, at http://soundcloud.com/eugenekha
11. Cousin Silas – Mill Lights In Valley (5:42)
(Geographics, Earth Monkey Productions, 2006)
Cousin Silas was raised in the Colne Valley in West Yorkshire. He draws inspiration from such diverse sources as JG Ballard, Fortean events, memories and Brian Eno.
12. Edwin Morris – A Shaft of Light Enters the Room (6:08)
(The Hearth Bowed Down, BedroomBrain, 2004)
London-based Edwin Morris’ debut BedroomBrain release, The Heart Bowed Down, can best be described as drone-based music involving various electronic and guitar sounds.
13. Tonalchemy — Shafts of Sunlight (12:44)
(Things, unreleased, 2012)
Tonalchemy is the ambient project of Daniel Robert Lahey. His “Things” project has an interesting genesis: he wanted to write a series of ambient works, but thought that “etudes” would be too pretentious, so he simply calls them “Things”, numbered to 999. Currently, he has over 90 Things written!
14. Andrew Lahiff – Towards the Light (9:22)
15. Alpha Wave Movement – Desert Light (6:01)
(The Regions Between, Harmonic Resonance, 2007)
Alpha Wave Movement (established 1992) is the electronic music project of Gregory T. Kyryluk. Alpha Wave Movement’s musical style can be considered ambient, New Age, some space rock, and the classic 1970s period German style electronic music otherwise known as Berlin school and the ambient aesthetics of Brian Eno, and Steve Roach.
16. Giles Reaves – Darkness Into Light (8:27)
(Sacred Space, Giles Reaves, 2001)
Giles Reaves is a multi-instrumentalist sound artist and audio engineer who has composed albums of space music. His most recognized album, Sea of Glass, 1992, peaked at #11 on the Billboard Top New Age Albums chart.
17. Milieu – Broadcast In Rays of Sunlight (2:01)
(A Dusty Box of Old Memories, Rope Swing Cities, 2005)
Milieu is Brian Grainger, creating (as he says on his bandcamp site), “Milky analog love music since 1997”. http://milieu.bandcamp.com/
18. Cryptic Scenery – A Lonely Walk Across The Beach (In Late Afternoon Sunlight) (6:07)
(Simrishamn, Cryptic Scenery, 2004)
cryptic scenery is an underground project / group formed in very late 1994, which has gone through a number of line-ups, mainly in a band phase from 1994 to 2003, then a solo phase from 2003 to 2009. Currently, cryptic scenery is Christian H. Sötemann and Thomas Pertzel.
The album Simrishamn can be found at http://www.cryptic-scenery.de/releases/simrishamn.html
19. Disturbed Earth – Fading (31:30)
(Light of Long Shadows, AtmoWorks, 2010)
Disturbed Earth is Australian composer Dean Richards, whose novel approach to ambient sounds generally revolves around environmental sounds, improvisations and analog tape-delay reverb, with few other effects.
Every song on this album, called “Light of Long Shadows” is about light. Armed with a guitar and 2 reel to reel tape recorders, “Light of Long Shadows” is a slow ride into minimalist darkness and through the other side. Comprising 6 tracks, each piece picks up where the other leaves off, cultivating a continuous journey for the deep listener. “Light Of Long Shadows” and its sister release, “With This Night”, were recorded in June/July of 2006 in Zephyrhills, Florida as were many of his other albums in that period of his stay in that small town, from 2000 thru 2008. The spirit of place, his sense of belonging in the U.S. and his longing for his parents, who live in Australia, and whom he had not seen in four years, sparked the somber tones of this release. Each time he would fly out from Melbourne, Australia back to his place in Florida, the tug of his roots would be greater. The light of long shadows is a term he made up as a kid for his favorite time in the afternoon when the light was failing, the shadows of things were stretched to their limit, before the evening…and then, the night.”Fading” is a part of that.
Dean is gradually loading all 70(!) of his albums into http://disturbedearth.bandcamp.com/
20. Dan Pound – Northern Lights (8:21)
(Aurora, Pound Sounds, 2010)
Dan Pound composes and produces ambient electronic, new age, world/shamanic, space-music soundscapes.
Dan was classically trained on piano, guitar and double bass at an early age and started writing songs soon after. He went on to be in the local honor orchestra and was soon writing pieces for the entire ensemble. Besides performing and composing, Dan has earned degrees in recording engineering and electronic music technology, and has received credits as 1st engineer and mixer for an indie jazz release, “Crusin’ Some Grooves” by the Steve Wolfe Quartet.
Over several years, Dan has pieced together a home studio where he does most of his work now recording and producing his music independently. He specializes in music for film and multi-media, as well as recording and producing his own albums on his label, Pound Sounds. http://www.danpound.com
21. Frozen Silence – Ray of Light (1:57)
(Frozen Silence, Jamendo, 2006)
(Photo: detail of “The Martyr” by Auguste Rodin. Photography by Rebekkah Hilgraves)