While it might be too obvious to do an Earth Day program, it’s always good to remind ourselves that this tiny jewel is our only home.
Today’s program demonstrates the beauty of our home in music.
This is what’s at stake.
There is something mystical and powerful about the border between earth and water. Change happens here; sometimes subtle, sometime catastrophic, beautiful, terrifying. When a soul stands on that edge, it is transformed; it yearns for a journey, for movement, for something so completely other than the here and now — and magic happens.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.