The X (Chromosome) Factor

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The ambient music world is peopled with a wide variety of artists, making music all over the world. With differing focuses on gear, techniques, and sensibilities, the range of expression is vast.

Of those many varied artists, we don’t hear often enough about the women… the X (chromosome) Factor, if you will. As someone said to me recently, however: It’s not a matter of quality, but of exposure. There are more women electronic artists than you might imagine, and today we sample some of their work.

Found Sounds

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The basic premise of At Water’s Edge is that music is all around us, everywhere, in everything: in the hum of a city, in the pulse of construction machinery or a heartbeat, in footsteps, in laughter, in breath, in the shuffling of an impatient audience…

So our “reboot” show features a survey of recent and archive tracks built around “found sounds” — that is, sounds that occur in the material world. The artists might have altered them, or processed them, or left them as they are and built around them.

Knowing and Not Knowing

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We spend too much time thinking, moving, buying, reacting, and not nearly enough time in silence. We embed ourselves in technology, and communicate with each other without connecting. Without connection, we are alone. Without knowing what it’s like to love one another, we know nothing. Without understanding where we fit into our world, our universe, our own souls, we are adrift.

Today’s program honors both the knowing and the not-knowing, the silences and the shadows.

From the Archives: Sounds From Silence

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This program was originally broadcast on 4 August 2012. What we think of as “silent” […]

Dream of the Sea

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To help celebrate the release of a gorgeous compilation from Borders Edge Records, Aquatic Dreams, we are dreaming of the sea today, with tracks from that compilation, as well as related tracks by Kuutana, The Color of Sleep, Luna Firma (all projects masterminded by Kuutana), and also showing some breathtaking images by a favorite photographer, Silva Capitana, whose works are featured on the digital release of Aquatic Dreams, and on the video version of this program.

Go on, GIT!

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The guitar lends itself very well to ambient music, between skilled players, pedal effects, and the imagination of diverse musicians. It can go from the sweet and soothing to slightly acidic and beyond, with every flavor in between. It’s an incredibly diverse instrument, made even more so by the use of processors and effects.

Today we hear selections from two recent releases: Stephen Briggs’ new B.R.E.N.T., and the epic Cousin Silas and Friends vol 5, which contains over five hours of music just by itself!

Love Letters from the Universe

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In the midst of all the bad news in the world, it’s both good and necessary to be reminded that we all live together on a tiny little marble in an unfathomably large universe.

Ambient music is often a love letter to the cosmos. It’s important to listen to the universe’s love letters to us as well; the music of the spheres really does exist, and we are learning to hear it.

REPLAY: Collect for Peace

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 This program was originally broadcast 6 October 2012. There was never a time when we […]

REPLAY: Rachel Rising (ambient jam)

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[RECORDED LIVE] Using his release Emblem (http://pemungkah.bandcamp.com/album/emblem) as the basis, ambient composer and artist Joe McMahon […]

The Birth of Memory

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Time is fleeting. Life races past us. “Now” is elusive, and yet we are always […]

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