As your host struggled to breathe this week due to illness, “Breathe” seemed an appropriate topic.
On a macro scale, though, this week’s edition of At Water’s Edge revolves around calm, meditation, breathing, singing, the world’s winds, and other images of serenity and peace. We need to breathe, now more than ever, and it’s getting more and more difficult to do — literally and figuratively. The climate is spiraling away from human habitability due to our protracted mismanagement; politics send us into hourly panics, no matter what side of any given issue we might be.
So this program is a reminder to breathe, which is often much easier said than done.
This versatile and prolific keyboardist and percussionist got his start in country music, of all things. Living in Nashville in the ’80s, Reaves worked as producer Marshall Montgomery’s assistant engineer. Eventually Reaves’ own music caught the ear of MCA producer Tony Brown, who signed him to the company’s Master Series label. Reaves recorded two solo albums and one collaboration with Jon Goin. In 1993, Reaves released Sea of Glass through Hearts of Space Records, which was his biggest hit yet. He also joined Spacecraft and worked with Tony Gerber through the ’90s until the release of his next solo album, 2001’s Sacred Space. He is a highly respected engineer and producer, now based in Utah.
Juta Takahashi’s ninth album, Angel, brings us ambient music of extreme beauty, made with synthesizers, acoustic instruments, and voice.
Juta Takahashi was born in Miyagi, Japan and then spent his childhood through his teen years in Aomori. Early on, he was heavily influenced by progressive rock and synthesizer music that was considered quite avant-garde for its time. He went to Tokyo for school, and began his music career after graduation. A guitarist digging into rock music that relied on improv, such as King Crimson, he gradually devoted himself to electronic music, heavily influenced by the works of Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Vangelis, Pete Namlook and others. Though his music is largely beautiful, calm, sweet and melodious, every now and then, you’ll hear a more aggressive sound that suggests a glimpse of his original musical background, and because he prefers analog instruments to digital ones, his music composition is characterized more by improvisation than by programming.
He now lives in Sendai, Miyagi and produces music using synthesizers and computers.
Chromadrift is an artist project of Drew Miller, whose work is generally inspired by the sounds of his own dreams.
He writes, records, and produces everything from home, without using prerecorded loops. He creates his own loops, invents and records the percussion sounds. “I wanted this track to sound like a space craft floating between clouds, and the wind rushing in the background as that ‘floaty woosh’ noise,” he says of this track.
Inspiration struck without warning and an ensemble was born. Tone Ghost Ether was realized through a natural interaction between three musicians (John Tlusty, Kit Watkins, Brad Allen) searching for a common form of expression.
By means of a series of informal improvisational gatherings, recorded on Sunday afternoons in early 2001, Tone Ghost Ether produced what were to become their pioneering CD releases–elegant and tonally rich musical excursions into the future.
All of the music by Tone Ghost Ether was improvised and played in real-time without overdubs. The use of live looping devices contributed to the often densely textured sound. Minimal editing was sometimes performed after recording, but the nature of the immediacy of this music remains intact.
The style of Tone Ghost Ether falls naturally into a number of familiar pigeonholes: ambient, acid-jazz, world-fusion, electronic….. but then there are the hybrid genres where mind-trips and alien worlds might only exist within the imagination, later to materialize beyond the realm of possibility….
We Sing in the Voices We Have – Tom Bruce – Unreleased (2016)
“What’s left to explore?” asks Brother Saturn, aka Drew Miller, in this expansive series of space music.
Brother Saturn is another project of Drew Miller, and even more than Chromadrift, is inspired by the sounds of his own dreams. Says he, “I have always had vivid dreams and these are kind of the soundtrack to them that I wish I had. So these are basically soundtracks for the subconscious; and the music allows the listener to imagine their own movie in their minds, which is why I classify my music as ‘music for films that do not exist’.”
Sea Breeze (live) – The Lovely Moon – Mostly Ambient Radio Sessions (2011)
Breathe – Arcticology – Haven (2009)