Sunday, June 27, 2010

Music or soundpainting?

While in the process of embarking on a bid to make electronic music, I asked myself, is ambient really music? I think some ambient artists definitely create a sound that can be called music as it has a beat and a score. But a lot of the more atmospheric ambient such as trance and drone, is just sound albeit beautiful and often moving sound. It almost has to be a category in its own, IE ambient instead of ambient music. As my musical experience and dare I say talent is extremely limited, I am definitely headed for creating a soundscape more than a song. A term coined in the seventies by bands like Yes was soundpainting, IE creating sounds for an ambient atmosphere but not really what could be called music. From the standpoint of the human animal, it makes perfect sense. Before there were cities or what could be called civilization, we were surrounded by ambient sound; the sound of the wind, insects, the ocean, storms, birds, the list goes on and on. So it stands to reason that our brains evolved around this sensory input, and it is totally natural for us to have some kind of background "noise" going at all times. Some sounds even elicit an emotional response. The sound of thunder certainly can create anxiety in some individuals. Personally, I love to drift of to sleep to the sounds of crickets off in the distance. If you are living in a city with all its sounds and noises, this could be a sort of toxic sensory input, definitely there is some truth the the idea of noise being pollution. The ambient sounds created by modern civilization for the most part can hardly be called relaxing or therapeutic. One only has to hear a siren or a Harley Davidson barrel down the street to get what I am saying (My apologies to those who would argue a love for the sound of a Harley)
I think a good analogy is this. Ambient "music" is to sound what fresh air in the country is to air in the city. We sometimes need a sensory input that relaxes us, puts us to rest. Although more in the musical vein, Chuck Wild's Liquid Mind is a very good example of this. Ten minutes of Liquid Mind will totally relax me after I have had a stressful day. I have decided to create soundscapes that have this effect hopefully. Now begins the project to do this.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The beginning

Well, after listening to proto ambient and ambient music for around 37 years, I have decided to give it a shot. I have decided to chronicle the journey on this blog. I hope it is helpful to others interested in ambient music and please feel free to comment or add your thoughts.