Today’s edition of At Water’s Edge follows flows and currents through ambient music. Tune in to Stillstream radio (http://www.stillstream.com/) to flow with us on At Water’s Edge. We feature music from composers all over the world, as we usually do, and today we focus on their musical impressions of flow and current of several kinds. A number of composers addressed the same topic across multiple tracks over several years, and we’ll get to hear those evolutions as we feature music of Dino Pacifici, Juta Takahashi, Lucette Bourdin, Dan Pound and many more.
Distant Waves – Currents of Thought (4:02)
(Etched Skies, Distant Waves Music,2002)
Based in California, Distant Waves describe themselves as a father and son space music duo, taking their inspiration from the extreme geography of nature and the cosmos.
Forrest Fang – Night Flow (4:36)
(Night Flow, Forrest Fang Music, 2003)
Forrest Fang’s training was initially as a classical musician, until he came under the influence of the ambient music of Brian Eno and the subversive minimalism of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Terry Riley. Those influences are still strong today, though has has also learned much from the study of Chinese classical music with the late gu-zheng master Zhang Yan and from the study of Japanese Gagaku music with former Japanese court musician Suenobu Togi.
Cryptic Scenery – Warm Current In Cold Air (3:03)
(The Singing Machine, Cryptic Scenery, 2003)
Cryptic Scenery was founded in late 1994 and is the main musical project of German psychologist and musician Christian H. Sötemann. An interesting constant in the music of Cryptic Scenery is the piece ‘Being‘, which has been released in many versions in a variety of forms since the mid-90s. It is the only track to appear in every Cryptic Scenery performance. It’s a radical-minimalist piece featuring silence and two intentional notes played to merely display the presence, the ‘being‘ of that very piece. Very John Cage!
Annie Orb – Glacier Flow (6:02)
(Ambience, SoundClick.com, 2006)
Dino Pacifici – The Currents Of Space Pt. 1 (12:30)
(The Float Zone, Scorpio Rising Music, 2004)
Dino Pacifici – Undercurrents (10:46)
(The Float Zone, Scorpio Rising Music, 2004)
Dino Frank Pacifici’s music is grounded in ambient/chillout with a jazz influence in combination with his own unique identity. Born in Montreal on July 20, 1958, he began his musical studies at a very early age, concentrating on classical guitar. In 1982 he received a degree in Fine Arts (music). His Dino’s first independent album was released locally and received radio air play for two years. Over the years Dino has kept busy writing pop and dance music, and playing in local bands. He has released six ambient /space music cds since 1994 including Hallowed Ground and The Float Zone and 2 chillout/jazz cds.
Lucette Bourdin – Under Currents (20:46)
(Under Currents, Dark Duck Records, 2009)
The late Lucette Bourdin was a visual and music artist who was a native of France, having grown up in the villages and towns near the Doubs River in the eastern part of the country. The childhood phase of scribbling and coloring never ended for Lucette nor could several years of law school diminish her desire to become an artist. As accomplished at visual art as she was, Lucette was also a master of the ambient music genre, producing a wide ranging collection of albums that can only be described as masterworks. Lucette saw an interesting duality between the two forms of art, where the practice of one reinforces the practice of the other.
Juta Takahashi – Undercurrent (23:10)
(Seabound, Lunisolar, 2009)
Juta Takahashi – Across the Flow (14:56)
(Across the Flow, Lunisolar, 2007)
Japanese artist Juta Takahashi was strongly influenced in his teens by progressive rock and synthesizer music that at the time was considered avant-garde. His career as a musician started after he finished school in Tokyo. Though originally a guitarist influenced by rock music such as King Crimson and other artists that valued improvisation, he gradually devoted himself to electronic music, being heavily influenced by electronic and ambient musicians such as Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Vangelis and Pete Namlook, and so on. Though his music is beautiful, calm, emotional and melodious at its core, aggressive sounds that catch a glimpse of his original background also occasionally appear. He prefers analog instruments to digital ones, and his composition mainly consists of not programming but improvisation. He released his first commercial album in August, 2007, and has released nine albums so far.
Kevin Haller – A Flow (16:04)
(statement 2002b, Kevin Haller, 2003)
Statement 2002b is a collection of work by Kevin Haller (who also works under the ambient moniker Killer Haven) created in the latter half of 2002, and edited together in early 2003.
Killer Haven is the guitar slinging axeman of the Atlanta-based Burning Artist(s) Sale.
After graduating from the now defunct Atlanta College of Art, Killer Haven immersed himself in the Atlanta, Georgia, USA local music and art scene. As well as having jobs at a museum and gallery, he was a board member of a non-profit arts organization. He was active in a few bands whose styles ranged from pure improv experimentalism to synth inflected pop.
As might be typical after such activity as a young man, Killer Haven eventually withdrew from public life. It was a chance meeting with a board member of that aforementioned arts organization that brought him out of hibernation, and back from a five year hiatus from music. It has been ten years that he has been attending the open improv mentioned at that chance meeting.
Recent musical activity has included performances at Kansas City Electro-Music, Different Skies, and City Skies festivals, as well as self-releasing more than a dozen albums ranging from early solo work to recent collabs, contributing to solo works by other personas of the Burning Artist(s) Sale, and a reformed Burning Artists Sale with Barbara Vesey.
Mystified – Current Events (3:31)
(Webbed Hand Presents…The Dark Drone Mix, Webbed Hand Records, 2005)
Thomas Park, aka Mystified, alias Mister Vapor, has been involved with music for his entire life. He was trained in classical and jazz music as a teenager, and played the trombone and piano. His listening habits changed in the late 1980’s, as he became interested in electronic music. After several years of writing techno as the band AutoCad, Thomas was fortunate enough to collaborate with Robin Storey of Rapoon. This project helped Thomas to evolve into the ambient / drone project Mystified. Mystified has found considerable success, both through online and physical releases, and is known for being proficient, creative and prolific.
The music of Mystified is mainly of an atmospheric nature. Sometimes for Thomas less is more, making his music ideal for listening while working, sleeping or doing other things. The music of Mystified especially explores texture, consistency, and a type of variety that could be called subtle. This is not the utopian ambient of the typical soundscape artist. It is serious music for serious people.
Mystified music has found many purposes, including scores for films, online and terrestrial radio shows, festivals of aesthetic, political, and other varieties, informational cd-roms, spots on many scores of compilations, and quite a few independent releases.
Robert Carty – Spirits Flow (5:13)
(Skyhearts, Robert Carty, 1994)
Robert Carty is an electronic ambient and space musician hailing from Utah in the United States. He’s been producing cosmic electronic music for quite some time. His work spans a diverse body of forms, including styles as varied as tribal ambient, new age, Berlin school electronica, planetarium music, ambient soundscapes and even film music. His work is profoundly visual and focuses on leaving a sense of peace in the listener.
He has been influenced by such artists as Jonn Serrie, Klaus Schulze, Jon Anderson, Giles Reaves, Vangelis, Steve Roach, Tangerine Dream, and many other artists. His music has been played and featured on a large number of radio programs, including Hearts of Space, Star’s End, Secret Music, Ultima Thule, and StillStream.com.
Dan Pound – Dream Current (3:46)
(Horizon, Pound Sounds, 2005)
Dan Pound – Underground Current (5:10)
(New Dawn, Pound Sounds, 2006)
Dan Pound – Currents (12:35)
(Medusazoa, Pound Sounds, 2011)
Dan Pound composes and produces ambient electronic, new age, world/shamanic, space-music soundscapes. Another classically trained musician, he studied 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 albums on his own label, Pound Sounds.
John Vorus – Meridian (10:06)
John Vorus – Ripple Effect (5:49)
(Transmuting Currents, Ambient Distillery, 2006)
I see working with sound as mapping vibrations in air.
By matching together different vibrational patterns, it is possible to create, in 3 dimensional space, the subtlety and atmosphere of a place that is reflected in your consciousness. When I hear a sound I can see its shape, color, texture, and movement in my head. So, for me, sound is a visual art that you see with your mind.
Our interaction with sound is such a unique and individual experience, its presence in our life is that of a phenomenon. The mechanics of it are explainable by science, but the reason behind its influence on our internal atmospheres remains a mystery.
IXOHOXI – Slow Flow (22:42)
(Somnabulae, IXOHOXI Music, 2002)
Taking its name from that of a mathematical magic square, IXOHOXI was the ambient project of Dan Russo, who passed away on the 15th of January, 2007.
Numina – The Overland Flow (5:29)
(Dreamsleep, Numina Music, 2006)
Jesse Sola, the man behind the musical soundworlds of Numina, is a relative newcomer in the genres of Spacemusic and Dark-ambient. He’s an American keyboardist based in Denver, Colorado. Jesse began recording music in his 20’s while in college. Jesse’s choice of instrumentation was the a mix of synthesizers and acoustic instruments melded together to create deep, evolving music that ranges from melancholy to mysterious. Currently, Numina has released albums on his own Numinamusic label as well as Gestalt Records, Hypnos, Dark Duck Records and been featured several times on the syndicated radio program Music From The Hearts of Space. Similar artists and influences include Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Vidna Obmana, and Stephen Philips.
Resonant Drift – Flow Mingled Down (7:11)
(Flow Mingled Down, Resonant Drift, 2006)
Bill Olien started Resonant Drift in 2004 with the release of the self titled debut “Resonant Drift,” which generated interest both on-line and on several electronic radio shows. He released the follow up CD “Version 2.0” in 2005. “Flow Mingled Down” was released in 2006 and received several positive reviews. Music from the first three Resonant Drift CDs has been played on Hearts of Space, XM radio, Ultima Thule, Ping Things, Alien Air Music, Soma FM’s Drone Zone, Stillstream and many other radio and internet radio shows.
James Johnson – Flow (15:22)
(Unity, James Johnson, 1998)
Unity was James Johnson’s first recording released on the Zero Music label. The album was originally published in 1998, and was re-mastered for this release.
M. Peck – Cold Flow (7:03)
(Glacial, Gears of Sand, 2007)