This edition of At Water’s Edge is inspired by images of sailing.
At Water’s Edge has its home on the water, and through many moves and relocations, it keeps returning to the water, which has turned out to be a source of comfort. Being on land’s end has a bit of magic to it. Perhaps because your host is a quadruple fire sign, the water is a place of balance, and peace.
Recently I’ve spent a lot of time on the opposite coast of the U.S. for personal reasons, and found similar inspiration in the coastal waterways of North Carolina as well.
So today we sail on seas both terrestrial and cosmic.
The white butterfly
The white butterfly had no fear of the sea,
For she was not told of its deep, deep depth.
Mistaking the sea for a green, green field,
She soaked her wings over the waves
And shivered like a poor little queen.
In the month of purple-blue violet
There was no fragrance of flowers on the sea,
But dyed in pale, pale blue was the new moon
On the shoulders of the butterfly.
“Condor Sail Curve” – Tone Ghost Ether – Condor Sail Curve (2008)
From the Earth Mantra release liner notes: “Tone Ghost Ether is a three way collaboration between musical virtuosos Kit Watkins, Brad Allen, and John Tlusty. What is really special about this collaboration, besides the mastery each artist so obviously wields over their instruments, is the realtime improvisational approach to composition that they have employed in making their graceful and radiant music. Indeed, all of the music by Tone Ghost Ether was improvised and played in real-time without any overdubs. Minimal editing was sometimes performed after recording…”
“Endless Wave” – Spiralized – Sailing On A Sea Of Falling Stars (2017)
Spiralized, not to be confused with our own Mister Spiral, is based in Ferrara, Italy, and has specialized in electronic music, on the darker side, since the 1990s. Find out more at https://spiralized.bandcamp.com.
“Sailing Into Calm Remembrances” – Mark Mahoney – Beyond the Vaulting Sky (2009)
“The Great Ocean” – Scott Lawlor – Neptune (2014)
Neptune, subtitled “the Mystical Blue World”, is a languorous 73-minute aural journey through the vistas of our system’s most distant planet. Scott had this to say about the release:
“This release was inspired by Gustav Holst’s “Neptune, the Mystic” from his suite “The Planets”, as well as by the planet for which the piece was composed. I have always been fascinated by this, the outermost planet in our solar system and so felt the desire to compose my own music to bring the listener on an imaginative journey to Neptune: the mystical blue world.”
“Towards the Bottomless Sea” – Max Corbacho – The Ocean Inside (2012)
More than two years ago I started this project from a Eastern concept that has always been present in my work: the analogy that exists between the mind as an ocean, with constantly changing waves at the surface, and the inner stillness and silence at the depths. It is from this seed that brings me to the concept of “Oceanic”, the word from which I have been developed each of the parts that make up the album. During the creation of these pieces, I tried to go as deep as I could into this bottomless ocean depths. The Ocean Inside is the record of that dive into the depths, the witness that what matters is not how deep you can go, but the experience of that moment.
Every year, the Sound for Good netlabel (powered by the excellent Aural Films label) releases a collaborative project for Earth Day. For the 2015 release, proceeds went (and continue to go) to Trees for the Future. Since 1989, they have been helping communities around the world plant trees. Through seed distribution, agroforestry training, and country programs, they empower rural groups to restore tree cover to their lands. Planting trees protects the environment and helps to preserve traditional livelihoods and cultures for generations. Learn more at www.plant-trees.org.
“Light Through Water” – Joe McMahon – Ocean Music (2009)
I confess that this album is one of my personal favorites. Joe’s spare, elegant, and intimate approach to music is very appealing. Unlike many artists, he rarely relies on “spacey” resonance, and instead keeps things close, exposing features of the sounds he uses that one might otherwise miss. The result is like closely examining a shell you’ve found on the beach, where individual grains of sand are evident to the eye and to the touch…
“Ocean” – Lucette Bourdin – Cosmic Space (2006)
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.
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. In the time between a terrible diagnosis and her untimely death, she produced a phenomenal amount of work in both realms, believing that art and music — at least in her own soul — were interdependent.
Lucette passed away in February of 2011, but she leaves with us her unique perspective on music and art, and is immortal thereby.
“Sol Sail” – Mingo – Sky Over Sea (2013)
From the Hypnogogue review:
Once-dark artist Mingo continues his foray into a lighter, New Age-focused space on his new release, and it’s obvious from the first moments that he’s quite comfortable here. World flavors come through courtesy of a variety of strings, lilting flute, and blends of percussion. The grooves are laid-back and pleasant, and Mingo mixes in just the right amount of quieter ambient spaces to make the mix intriguing.
“SeaGreen I” – The Color of Sleep – SeaGreen (2015)
We have played this album in a previous episode of At Water’s Edge, because it’s another favorite, and as we wrote before, this album epitomizes ambient music at its best. Sophisticated sounds, movement without intrusion, and the kind of music one could easily dream into.
This track is a nice way to end a day of sailing, don’t you think?