Twelfth Night

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.

DUKE ORSINO (Act I, Scene 1) from Twelfth Night, or What You Will

Twelfth Night revels (image)[powerpress]

Today’s At Water’s Edge program features music for Twelfth Night, honoring the official end of the Christmas season, and with several nods to Shakespeare’s play–a delightful work of mistaken identities, trickery, romance and happy endings.

1. Slaw – “Tricksters (Track 86)” – Snakes & Ladders – 2002 (1:18)

Experimental popular children’s music for adults; a bizarre yet fascinating interactive construction with 100 tracks (one virtual) on one CD, each track linked to the appropriate square on the well-known Snakes & Ladders board game.

The game board represents the individual’s psychic growth pattern, either climbing a ladder toward perfect mental balance or sliding down a snake’s gullet toward the abyss of base animal instincts. The participants roll their dice, move their mice, and program their CD players to follow and support their halting progress as they slink rat-like through the ever-shifting topography of life’s maze toward the smelly cheese of enlightenment.

Slaw’s music is scientifically designed to provide listeners with a wholesome personal growth experience, and has been rigorously tested at solo slumber parties and dubious self-help retreats nationwide.

Slaw is Heather Perkins and Tim Walters.

The CD is available here:

2. Shamaniaq – “Romance of the Bean and the Pea—a 12th Night Tale” – Romance of the Bean and the Pea – 2013 (5:43)

Shamaniaq is Jonathan W. Mills, an author, composer, computer scientist and associate professor of Music Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, Bloomington.

This piece, written specifically for this program (thank you, Jonathan!) is based on traditions of Twelfth Night, the last of the twelve days of Christmas. Traditionally, a fruitcake would be made with a bean and a pea in it. Whoever found them were declared the King and Queen of the Twelfth Night festival. This also has links to Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night, or What You Will,” a merry romp of mistaken romance and rowdy trickery.

You can hear four toy pianos, a glockenspiel, Tibetan singing bowls and a string section mixing it all up as the composer captures the festivities from background to foreground using variations of a simple melody.

3. Robert Scott Thompson – “A Mid-Evening Invocation to the Muse (Ney SOLO)” – Twelfth Night – 2012 (2:57)
4. Robert Scott Thompson – “A Mid-Evening Invocation to the Muse” – Twelfth Night – 2012 (3:22)

First a solo evocation to entice the muse at sundown and the beginning of festivities. The second track is a fuller, more orchestrated, version.

5. Robert Scott Thompson – “Twelfth Night Epiphanies” – Twelfth Night – 2012 (4:46)

Celebrates the end of the season and the arrival of Epiphany – a time of merry-making and evolved play that begins at the time of sunset – we are reminded that the night precedes the day and we start each new day at the waning of the light.

6. Robert Scott Thompson – “What You Will” – Twelfth Night – 2012 (3:51)

Named in honor of William Shakespeare and his play.

Robert Scott Thompson (born 1959, California) is a composer of ambient, instrumental and electroacoustic music. He earned the B.Mus. degree from the University of Oregon and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at San Diego. His primary teachers include Bernard Rands, Roger Reynolds, Joji Yuasa and F. Richard Moore. He creates work in a wide variety of forms ranging from chamber and orchestral music to works for the virtuoso soloist, computer music, and experimental video art.

He is the recipient of many prizes and distinctions for his music including the First Prize in Musica Nova 2003 (Czech Republic), First Prize in the 2001 Pierre Schaeffer competition (Italy) and awards in the XVI Concorso Internazionale “Luigi Russolo” (Italy), Irino Prize Foundation Competition 1995 for chamber Music (Japan), and Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (France), among others. He was a Research Assistant of the Center for Music Experiment (CME)Computer Audio Research Lab (CARL) throughout the 1980s, assisting significant composers in the realization of advanced computer music works.

In 1991, he was named a Fulbright Research Scholar and was Composer in Residence at the Danish Institute of Electroacoustic Music (DIEM) where he collaborated on fundamental research and composed the long-form computer music work – The Strong Eye. Over the past decade, he has become increasingly well known internationally for his instrumental and computer music works and also for his many recordings which have been broadcast worldwide.

His music is published on recordings by EMF-Media, Neuma, Drimala, Capstone, Hypnos, Oasis/Mirage, Groove, Lens Records, Space for Music, Zero Music and Aucourant record labels, among others, and in print by American Composers Editions, New York.

While composing and recording takes up most of his creative time, he is also involved in various tangent activities. He is active as a composer for films and often collaborates as an audio mastering engineer, creating master recordings for labels such as Funtone and CRI (Composer’s Recordings, Inc.). On the technical side, he has collaborated with Micro Technology Unlimited, and assisted in the development of DNOISE – a real-time digital audio noise reduction software application.

He is a contributing author for two books, Computer Music Techniques for the Electronic Musician and Software Synthesis, Sound Design and Programming, both by Dr. Eduardo Reck Miranda and published by Focal Press in 1998 and 2002 respectively. He is currently under contract for a book with A-R Editions, Inc. on the subject of musical signal processing and sonic design using Csound 5. He was named the Distinguished Honor’s Professor of Georgia State University, College of Arts and Sciences in 1994 where he is Professor of Music Composition and Coordinator of Music Technology Studies in the School of Music.Coordinator of Music Technology Studies in the School of Music.

7. Psicodreamics – “Christmas Sampler 2007 V3.0 (master)” – Ten Degrees Below Christmas – (4:22)
8. Psicodreamics – “Children of the Cold” – Christmas Sampler 2012 – 2012 (6:16)
9. Psicodreamics – “Elixir of Innocence” – – 2010 (4:33)
10. Psicodreamics – “Bells of Hope” – Christmas Sampler 2011 – 2011 (5:25)
11. Psicodreamics – “El Desafio de Santa Claus” – Lost Frontier Christmas Sampler 2008 – 2008 (5:09)
12. Psicodreamics – “Looking for the Spirit of Christmas” – Lost Frontier Christmas Sampler 2009 – (4:36)

Psicodreamics is Spanish composer Salva Moreno, based in Valencia. He is inspired by mythology and fantasy.

In 1993 Salva began to develop his musical skills as independent musician, influenced by his passion for music and after discovering ambient musicians such as Steve Roach and new age artists including Constance Demby. His first album titled The Unknown Frontier was the fruit by experimenting in the ambient lore with his first keyboard, a Yamaha FM synthesizer.

In 1995 Salva finished his Computer Science degree and discovered the capabilities of computers and sound cards adquiring a EMU Proteus module to add to his PC soundcard, a Cakewalk software sequencer and FM synthesizer midi keyboard. Psicodreamics abandoned the ambient FM sounds and started to create a more melodic landscapes od sounds using MIDI capabilities. The albums composed by using the new equipment were Midnight Tales (1995) and Mythomusic (1997).

Fast forward several years and generations of equipment later, and Psicodreamics has released several albums and received airplay on a number of specialized programs including Hearts of Space, SOMA FM and of course, Stillstream radio.

Nowadays he creates instrumental music capturing styles from easy, relaxed and spiritual ambient, new age and neo-classic to powerful upbeat synth, gothic and even a bit of EBM using primitive modulated frequency synthesizers, computers and electronic gear. Salva defines his music as an instrument designed to awaken the deepest emotions and intimate feelings of the listener.

Find out more at

13. The Implicit Order – “Phantasms Of The Mind” – Mystery Worlds – 2013 (6:43)
14. The Implicit Order – “The Goblin Universe” – Mystery Worlds – 2013 (5:47)
15. The Implicit Order – “Abandoned Fields Under The City” – Mystery Worlds – 2013 (6:31)
16. The Implicit Order – “Time Waits For No One Here” – Mystery Worlds – 2013 (3:05)
17. The Implicit Order – “Extradimensional Space” – Mystery Worlds – 2013 (8:48)
18. The Implicit Order – “The Gate & The Key” – Mystery Worlds – 2013 (5:09)
19. The Implicit Order – “Music For Another Place” – Mystery Worlds – 2013 (3:52)
20. The Implicit Order – “Dying Breath” – Mystery Worlds – 2013 (1:40)

The Implicit Order is Anthony Washburn, based in Kentucky. Mystery Worlds is a brand new release, launched on New Year’s Eve/Day (depending on where you are in the world).

The Implicit Order is, as Anthony says in his bio, “not involved in any wave, stream, genre or scene. It started in 1989 as a Mail Art project and by the early 90’s it developed into a musical project incorporating many of the early Industrial/Experimental ideas of the late 70’s, 1980’s and beyond.” Anthony works to inject a sense of the Occult, humor, the unknown and an off-kilter view into the image and recordings.

21. Caul – “Whole” – A Golden Epiphany Disc 2 – 2002 (57:19)

Caul is Brett Smith, an artist based in Kansas City, where he settled after studying at the Institute for Audio Research in New York City. In Kansas City he met From Inside’s writer/director John Bergin and joined his band Trust Obey as guitarist. Trust Obey was signed by Trent Reznor’s label (Nothing Records) and released several acclaimed works, including the alternate soundtrack to The Crow. At this time Smith began releasing solo work, quickly becoming a mainstay of the dark ambient underground. This led to work scoring video games, PSAs, music licensing and film scoring.

In 2002 Brett resumed operations of his own label, Epiphany Recordings and in 2003 he released SWAN, a collection of compilation and unreleased recordings, followed by Eibon Records’ release of “A Golden Epiphany,” a remixed/remastered set of his very first Caul tapes.

For this release, Brett tried to stay true to the original but improve the fidelity–not exactly an easy task! Sometimes having limited technology adds a great deal of character. He found that he could make it sound “better,” but the “better” he made it sound, the less it sounded like the original. It took several mixes to get it to where he felt it was a good balance.

Epiphany Recordings was shut down and reborn as Aglaia Records, which has seen several new Caul releases.

22. Spheruleus – “As The Warmth Fades” – The Disguised Familiar – 2009 (17:02)
23. Spheruleus – “A Significant Circle” – The Disguised Familiar – 2009 (13:10)
24. Spheruleus – “How White The Cerulean Sky” – The Disguised Familiar – 2009 (10:31)
25. Spheruleus – “Blue Moon” – The Disguised Familiar – 2009 (9:35)

Spheruleus is an artist project name for British artist Harry Towell, who also runs the Audio Gourmet blog – posting reviews, mixtapes, releases and general ramblings about the music of which he is particularly fond. This has varied over the years but largely focuses around the ambient/modern classical/drone/electro-acoustic movements. He has produced music for both netlabels and limited edition CD labels under the project names Spheruleus, Audio Gourmet and Eyes Flutter Beneath.

With this release, he brings us a lovely and peaceful collection of still life portraits captured on a singular winter’s day when much of England was blanketed with snow by a particularly heavy winter storm. Spheruleus combines field recordings captured on that day with beautifully conceived ambient drone pieces, creating a sublime collection of some of the most restful pure ambient music we’ve heard in a while.

On this release, Stuart Towell contributes some delicious ambient guitar that really helps cement the floating and placid feel of the tracks. Interestingly, we are told that ordinarily Stuart doesn’t do ambient music but decided to give it a go on this exceptional day. We would encourage him to consider doing ambient more often, because his contributions to the pieces are simply excellent.

Overall this is a refreshing album, a perfect set of tracks to enjoy on a winter’s morning with a steaming cup of tea and a nice warm blanket. We are very happy to be bringing our audience the music of Spheruleus, and hope this is the first of many releases to come on Earth Mantra.

26. Dr. Sounds – “Romance” – Aquasphere – 2009 (10:48)

Dr. Sounds is Alexander Forselius, a Swedish artist who applies software development processes and practices to his music creation. Rather than coming up with a single CD, he uses a open source-like development model for his music, where the progress is transparent and music comes in different versions or ‘iterations’ in order to find music that resonates with an audience. As a programmer himself, taking advantage of modern software development paradigms, like Open Source development and Agile/scrum iterations, he ‘debugs’ every new ‘sprint’ (or version) of a certain sound in different mood, genres and styles. His signature melody, Formula of Love is used a starting point for testing out combinations of a wide set of different genres. The same song is usually created in ‘indian’, ‘ambient’, ‘breakbeat’ etc. versions to branch out to different sets of listeners, (similar to the Pro and Home versions of Windows operating systems: the same core but different features for different users).

27. DANADAX – “Laughter” – DAXSCAPES I – 2007 (1:04)


I left no ring with her: what means this lady?
Fortune forbid my outside have not charm’d her!
She made good view of me; indeed, so much,
That sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.
She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion
Invites me in this churlish messenger.
None of my lord’s ring! why, he sent her none.
I am the man: if it be so, as ’tis,
Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness,
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper-false
In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we!
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge? my master loves her dearly;
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this? As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master’s love;
As I am woman,–now alas the day!–
What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!
O time! thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me to untie!

VIOLA (Act II, Scene 2) from Twelfth Night, or What You Will

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