Saturday, November 21, 2015

the healing piano

After the attacks in Paris on November 13th, NPR music did a show about music for healing.  You can find it here...
Two cuts on their playlist are from two of my favorite albums this year, Goldmund - Sometimes and Nils Frahm - Solo.

As I listened to those two tracks over & over I started to think about the piano as a healing instrument.  The right song & circumstances can make just about any instrument a healing instrument.  But somehow the piano seems ideally suited for that role.

Most of the tunes used here are new.  In addition to the Goldmund & Frahm cuts another 2015 favorite album included in the mix is Chris Walla - Tape Loops.  Walla is the drummer for Death Cab for Cutie and he has put together a nice collection that reminds me of Music for Airports & Music for Films.

I hope this mix can act as a musical balm, soothing our psyches in these turbulent times.


[ s t r e a m ]   [ d o w n l o a d ]   [ i t u n e s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00 Goldmund - Sometimes
  • 02:40 Chris Walla - Goodbye
  • 08:00 Nils Frahm - Ode
  • 12:10 Hior Chronik & Mikael Delta - Everything We Want to Feel
  • 15:00 Max Richter - Cumulonimbus
  • 20:20 Moon ate the dark - If Vanishing
  • 24:25 Ocean in a Bottle - Circling Winter
  • 25:50 Eskmo - Tamara
  • 27:48 Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts II
  • 30:55 Nils Frahm - 4'33"
  • 32:40 Mette Henriette - .oOo.
  • 35:55 Aphex Twin - Aisatsana
  • 40:55 Chris Walla - flytoget
  • 49:28 A Winged Victory for the Sullen - Atmos III
  • 53:27 Stars of the Lid - Humectez La Mouture
  • 57:45 Nils Frahm - merry
  • 61:45 end

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Slow Decay

A slowly developing amalgamation of mixed-genre madness, fusing ambient, experimental & jazz soundscapes into a mixture of quiet deconstruction.

"Slow Decay" is a collaborative mix from Low Light Mixes & Ambient Landscape.  We've each done mixes for each other but we thought it would be cool make a mix in which we both contributed alternating sections. 

Gene(ambient landscape) came up with the title and I started things off with a couple of cuts.  I sent it to Gene, he added a few more, sent it back to me, I added more tracks and so on and so on.  Until we had a fascinating 1 hour & 16 minute journey.

I love how things turned out. The combination of ecm-style jazz and ambient and experimental music worked perfectly.

Don't forget to check out Ambient Landscape here...


[ s t r e a m ]   [ d o w n l o a d ]   [ i t u n e s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Signal Structure (w/treatments) - Positive Centre
  • 03:12    Upon Contact Reworked - Jorge Haro (Bruno Sanfilippo)
  • 07:10    The Squealing of Rats & the Squeaking of Boards - Marielle V Jakobsons (w/treatments)
  • 08:45    Parallel Realities (excerpt) - Jack DeJohnette, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock
  • 11:40    Dis Loops 1.1 - William Basinski - performed by The Wordless Music Orchestra
  • 21:40    Upon the Break Arch - Benoit Pioulard
  • 26:20    Structural Functions Of Prezens (excerpt) - David Torn, Tim Berne, Craig Taborn, Tom Rainey
  • 30:25    Sluimer (excerpt) - FANTOOM (René Aquarius, Otto Kokke, Dirk Serries, Martina Verhoeven)
  • 34:50    Passage D.E. - Jon Hassell
  • 39:10    Solphaer - Alva Noto
  • 44:05    Porch Swings - Cinchel
  • 45:55    Arder De No Sentir Calor - Mauro Beltran
  • 50:27    Night Peculiarities – Johan Troch
  • 53:19    Tunis at Dawn - Anouar Brahem
  • 59:44    Rosemarie - Trio3: Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille w/ Vijay Iyer
  • 66:04    Setting Out - Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
  • 67:50    The Wind in High Places: Above Sunset Pass - John Luther Adams
  • 70:45    Tipping Point - Andy Sheppard Quartet
  • 76:15    end

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still

My good friend, Gene over at Ambient Landscapeasked me to do a guest mix for him and this mix is the result.  Ambient Landscape is a great source of ambient info and mixes.

What got me started on this mix was an interesting video I found on YouTube by Wouter van Veldhoven called "two sad tape recorders."  It's basically two portable reel to reel tape machines each playing their loops at the same time.  Here's the video...

The sound of those two sad tape recorders reminded me of mixes I've done that combine very old recordings with new music that blends well with those scratchy, noisy old records.  That's where this mix began and from there I went in search of old cylinder recordings, which have gotten easier to find since my first mix with this theme back in 2008.

The vintage cuts that I used in the mix come from Edison cylinders recorded around 1906 to 1908.  Most of the old tracks are effected in some way.  Sometimes I slowed the original way down, other times echo and reverb were added.  For many of them the original is combined with the effected version to create some bizarre other-worldly sound.

The new music in the mix is a collection of stuff that seems to work well with this theme.  Gavin Byars "Sinking of the Titanic" works on two levels - sonically is blends well with the tracks around it and it's about the sinking which took place in 1912.

When thinking about music that uses cracking, scratchy noises I immediately thought of Harry Towell aka Spheruleus.  And wouldn't you know it, Harry just released an album entitled "William Barber" that makes use of a wax cylinder recording from 1906 as it's inspiration and sound source.  It's a wonderful album.  You can find it here...

It's remarkable how much excellent music Harry has put out over the years.  Check out his music and his labels...

I think the mix does a pretty good job of mashing up the old and the new.


[ s t r e a m ]   [ d o w n l o a d ]   [ i t u n e s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00 various - vintage recording montage
  • 01:01 The Edison Venetian Trio - Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still 1908
  • 01:55 The Edison Venetian Trio - Her Bright Smile(stretched and remixed)
  • 03:50 Gavin Byars - The Sinking of the Titanic(2007 version w/ Alter Ego and Philip Jeck)
  • 06:00 Gavin Byars - The Sinking of the Titanic(1994 version)
  • 10:20 William Basinski - Cascade
  • 15:45 Wouter van Veldhoven - two sad tape recorders(original and stretched played together)
  • 18:27 Ian William Craig - Second Lens
  • 20:50 unknown - 13_360º
  • 23:00 Otto A Totland - pinô
  • 25:22 Guy Gelem - Jerusalem
  • 28:05 Hans Kronold - The Swan 1906(reworked)
  • 30:00 Field Rotation - Zeitreise(remixed by the frozen vaults)
  • 35:20 Spheruleus and Friends - To Us Thy Memory Can Never Be Lost
  • 37:20 Octavio Yanez - Anita 1907(reworked)
  • 42:05 Bill Seaman and John Supko - The Hiding Place
  • 43:50 Hildur Gudnadottir - Birting
  • 46:05 The Frozen Vaults - Cloak of Lingering Fog
  • 48:30 unknown - flute and violin phrase slowed down 20x
  • 49:49 Spheruleus and Friends - All Good Things Come From Above
  • 50:55 Bill Seaman and John Supko - And the Ice Appeared Blue
  • 53:15 Hans Kronold - Chopin Nocturne 1907
  • 53:45 Gavin Byars - The Sinking of the Titanic
  • 57:50 end

Sunday, October 04, 2015


I use ambient mixes for sleeping almost every night. A long time ago a friend once mentioned that the best ambient tunes for sleeping are the ones that mimic the rhythm of breathing. Over the years I've found that to be very true.

So this mix, like the other 'breathing' mixes before it, is a collection of tunes that ebb and flow, quietly mirroring your sleepy breathing patterns.


T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00 The Dead Texan - The 6 Million Dollar Sandwich
  • 02:55 Abstract Aprils - Breathing Sculptures
  • 08:50 Le Chat Blanc Orchestra - She Left This Morning
  • 15:38 Olan Mill - Spare Smoke Template
  • 18:20 Alva Noto - Spiegel
  • 21:15 James Johnson - Minimum(excerpt)
  • 29:40 Offthesky - Snow Filled Summer
  • 31:45 Steve Roach - The Delicate Forever
  • 38:30 Billow Observatory - kronstadt
  • 42:42 ASC - Hall of the Gods
  • 46:50 Experiments in Silance - A Ghost of Stars
  • 52:10 Marsen Jules - Lazy Sunday Funerals 7
  • 57:05 Manual - Last Light
  • 63:36 end

Sunday, September 13, 2015

dubby & rainy

I was planning on making a rain mix sometime this fall & I was planning on making a dub mix as well.  Then I realized that those two theme as perfect for each other.  So here is the appropriately titled mix "dubby & rainy."

I love how a lot of ambient dub tunes already sound sort of "rainy."  They make liberal use of white noise which is great for conjuring a rainy atmosphere.  So many of these tracks already sound & feel "rainy" that I didn't have to add much rain fx.


T R A C K L I S T:
  • 00:00 DeepChord - Morning
  • 01:00 Segue - Rain Drone
  • 03:20 Mind Over MIDI - Soften By Rainfall
  • 07:05 Fieldhead - I'm Fond of Maps
  • 09:50 Optical Frameworks - Silenced Streets, Reflections in Rain
  • 14:00 As If - Trip 5
  • 18:50 Donato Dozzy - Vaporware 1
  • 23:05 Shaded Explorer - Sea Mist
  • 28:30 DeepChord - Prayer Wheel
  • 32:44 Loscil - Angel of List
  • 37:37 krill.minima - Serpentine
  • 39:00 Marco Madia - Hydrotropism
  • 41:00 Mr. Cloudy - DS4
  • 48:20 AES DANA - Beneath
  • 52:10 Blamstrain - Sunday Dub
  • 57:57 Ethernet - Rain Elemental
  • 61:50 Deepchord - Neon and Rain
  • 65:20 Deepchord - Day's End
  • 66:50 Variant - After the Rain
  • 78:30 Ethernet - After Dark
  • 86:24 end

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Sunday Morning Music vol. 12 - September's Here Again

As usual with these mixes there is one song in particular that gets the ball rolling and in this case it's the title track from the album The Thompson Fields by the Maria Schneider Orchestra.  The whole album is wonderful collection open, airy jazz tracks and the title song is just stunning.  Definitely one of the most beautiful songs released this year, second only to Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell.

The rest of the mix is your standard Sunday morning mix.  Maybe a bit more jazz in this one.  Other than the Davis Sylvian tune most of the cuts are fairly new.


T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00 David Sylvian - September
  • 01:11 Maria Schneider Orchestra - The Thompson Fields
  • 08:00 Bosques De Mi Mente - El amanecer reflejado en tus ojos
  • 10:38 AXX - Interstellar Ambient
  • 14:10       Patrick Watson - Love Songs for Robots
  • 17:11       Kenny Reichert Band - Cascades
  • 22:20 Bill Seaman - A Dark Thought
  • 26:40 Ben Lukas Boysen - Sleeps Beat Theme
  • 30:31 Anouar Brahem - Tunis at Dawn
  • 37:03 Cliff Martinez - Placental Repair
  • 39:11 Hidden Rivers - September Sun Memory
  • 42:52 Olan Mill - Tallole
  • 46:33 Maria Schneider Orchestra - Walking by Flashlight
  • 51:33 end

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hammock Music - tracks for relaxing in one

The pic above is of the hammock in my backyard.  My kids got it for me for Father's Day and I love it.  I can't figure out why I didn't have one before.  On many nights this summer I grab my kindle and a beer and lay contentedly under our big birch tree.

Of course as a true music obsessive I have speakers out on the deck that I control remotely.  So whenever I head out to the hammock to read or just space out, I cue up some ambient, classical or jazz and just drift away.

That's where I got the idea for this mix.  I needed a new collection to keep me company while I sway in the cool evening air.  For some reason when I think of "porch music" or evening music, I think of ambient guitar.  So most of this mix is guitar based, some more ambient than others.  A lot of it is fairly new and all of it works well with bug spray and a beer.  I couldn't resist ending the mix with a tune from...Hammock.  


[ s t r e a m ]   [ d o w n l o a d ]   [ i t u n e s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00 Nathan Amundson - More Horses
  • 05:18 Jakob Bro - Lyskaster
  • 09:00 CFCF - A Various Language(from the same hill)
  • 12:25 Daniel Lanois - Space Love
  • 14:00 David Tagg - Comanche
  • 20:20 Josh Mason - Petals Too Tired To
  • 23:00 Dirk Serries - Disorientation Flow
  • 31:15 Christopher Willits - Now
  • 35:35 Tonepoet - Headspace
  • 41:50 Brian Eno - From the Same Hill
  • 44:24 Matt Borghi - Homage to Dave Liebman
  • 47:54 Alessio Ballerini - Night in Day
  • 51:21 Tone Color - City of Three Rivers
  • 56:45 Hammock - Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Music for the Perseid Meteor Shower

The title of this one pretty much says it all.

So download the mix, grab some bourbon, a blanket and head outside to witness the 2015 version of the Perseid meteor shower.


T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00         Moesko - Stargazer
  • 03:55  Marconi Union - Still
  • 07:35  36 - Sky Fire
  • 11:11  Alio Die - nuvole di palissandro
  • 12:25  Alva Noto - Solphaer
  • 17:55  Julio Di Benedetto - Original Light
  • 26:26  Robert Davies - Nightshade
  • 35:20  Klowknfe - Gamma
  • 42:30  Horizon Fire - Earthlight
  • 44:55  Moesko - Cloudgazer
  • 47:55  Donnacha Costello - You Are Not Here
  • 51:05  Marconi Union - Fading
  • 57:15  end

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Ghosts of the Future

At the end of May I posted an excellent mix from Mike G of the Ambient Music Guide.  We agreed to do guest mixes for each other and that the starting point would be a title that each of us would give the other.  We sent each other a few title ideas, we each chose one and got to work.

Mike chose "Lapse into Reverie" and the result was his beautiful mix that you can find here...

And here...

Mike gave me about 4 or 5 title ideas and my attention was immediately drawn to one in particular... "Ghosts of the Future."

The first thing that comes to mind is the film "Interstellar", which I had just re-watched right before this project.  With its time dilation and Murph's "ghost" communicating from the future, the soundtrack is the perfect launching point for this mix.  I like soundtracks but Hans Zimmer usually isn't a favorite.  However with this film he strikes a perfect balance.  At times the music has a Philip Glass feel to it.

I also thought of snippets of voices as ghosts and so I worked in some spoken word excerpts here & there, as well as using tracks that had voices or vocoder. Overall I hope the mix conveys a strange, otherworldly feel to it.

Thanks again to Mike G for doing the mix swap with me and thanks for a great mix title.


[ s t r e a m ]   [ d o w n l o a d ]   [ i t u n e s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Ian William Craig - Before Meaning Comes
  • 00:35    Hans Zimmer - Where We're Going(Interstellar OST)
  • 05:52    Eskmo - Spvce
  • 07:55    Robert Rich - Premonition of Circular Clouds
  • 13:15    Intrusion - Static Waves & Shuttle358 - Fissure(played simultaneously)
  • 16:30    Echospace - Viola's Ghost Hamonix, Beyond Gravity, Astral Dreaming,        Beyond The Drone(played simultaneously along with Static Waves)
  • 19:10    Disasterpeace - Formations
  • 20:55    Shuttle358 - Warm
  • 25:10    Kraftwerk - Endlos Endlos
  • 25:50    Chris Dooks - Antifoni
  • 26:45    Bon Iver - Woods(remixed)
  • 28:40    Hans Zimmer - s.t.a.y.(Interstellar OST)
  • 33:45    Adlib - Hoffnung
  • 34:25    Steve Roach - It's All Connected
  • 39:50    Vangelis - Tears in the Rain
  • 42:36    Cliff Martinez - We Don't Have To Think Like That Anymore
  • 45:15    Transcient - My Last Goodbye
  • 48:39    Simon Bainton - Range
  • 50:43    Public Broadcasting Service - Tomorrow
  • 55:55    end

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Morning Music vol. 11 - Morning Moon

Here's the latest Sunday Morning Music installment. The mix starts with cuts from two of my fav albums of 2015 by Aero Flynn & Sufjan Stevens. 

Aero Flynn is fronted by Josh Scott, a product of the same Eau Claire, Wisconsin music scene that gave us Justin Vernon(Bon Iver).  Scott was in a band called Amateur Love that shared a couple of members with a band that Vernon was in, DeYarmond Edison.  According to Chris Porterfield, who was in DeYarmond & would later form Field Report, Josh Scott was the most talented guy in that scene.

Just as Amateur Love was about to break Josh Scott got spooked and broke up the band and fled to Chicago.  Since then he has flirted with comebacks but mental and physical illness always got in the way.

Now he is back with a fantastic new album released this past spring.  The record was recorded in Justin Vernon's Eau Claire studio and was produced by Vernon.  The sound is very different from Amateur Love, more electronics involved, the vocals more ethereal.  The best way to describe the music is a cross between Radiohead & Bon Iver.

The Amateur Love album was re-released in 2012 by Vernon.  He started his own record company just so he could release that album.  And it's a wonderful recording, so full of promise.  I wish there had been more.

Here are some links related to the Aero Flynn story...

Listen to all 9 Aero Flynn tracks

The other track that opens this mix is from Sufjan Stevens & his amazing new album, Carrie & Lowell.  The entire album is about dealing with the death of his mother.  Yes, some of the tunes are sad but all of them are beautiful, each in it's own way.

I saw him perform the entire album live back in April & it was easily one of the best shows I've ever seen.  A friend described it as transcendent. 
Sufjan in Milwaukee

After those opening cuts it's all downhill. Haha.  Actually there is much more good music in the rest of the mix.  Most of it is new & it fits with the laid back Sunday morning feel of past mixes.


T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00 Aero Flynn - Moonbeams
  • 06:12 Sufjan Stevens - Fourth of July
  • 10:41 Bill Seaman - Another Day
  • 13:15 Casino versus Japan - Scenic Loop
  • 15:45 David Holmes - Hey Maggy
  • 20:15 Julian Lynch - A Day at the Racetrack
  • 22:50 San Fermin - Astronaut
  • 26:12 Johann Johannsson - A Model of the Universe
  • 28:55 Helios - Emancipation
  • 31:15 Jakob Bro - Gefion
  • 38:15 Andrew Bird - Rising Water
  • 42:30 Alva Noto - Isola
  • 45:35 Evan Chapman - Angels(The xx cover)
  • 48:10 Jose Gonzalez - Vissel
  • 51:20 Jon Hopkins - How I live now
  • 55:47 end