Quiet ambient music is versatile. It may offer a space for reflection, express cybernetic spirituality, or get played in hospitals. Its nature can be cinematic or resemble a landscape. And the production process might take place on the premises of a scientific development company or in the home studio utilizing huge quantities of graph paper.

detail cover art Henry Kawahara  Bamboo Garden (1992, Green Energy / Re: EM Records)

61 minutes of quiet sounds with Anthony Manning, Inoyama Land, Joanna Brouk, Laurie Spiegel and others.

Featured cover art: Inoyama Land – Danzindan-Pojidon


Wild Thyme Music – A Sonic Meditation (1): Play

An outdoor listening experience to stimulate the equation of humans, nature and sound: a constantly evolving, multi-layered soundscape, tones being sustained until the desire to change them disappears, and melodies that are created from what is heard. 76 minutes with three pieces by Randall McClellan, Pauline Oliveros and Ramón Sender.

Joanna Brouk – Golden Cloud Layers

intended for meditation and reflection, the Mills College graduate’s compositions from the early Eighties, initially released on her own label Hummingbird Productions, were not just appreciated by ambient heads, but also when played by therapists and in hospitals (1981, Hummingbird Productions / Re: Numero Group)

Tim Story – The Moors

with no release out yet, the young producer from Ohio works with a reel-to-reel in his bedroom studio and discovers the potential of tape loops for generating worlds of echoes and texture (1979-80, Eurock / Re: Dais Records)

Brian Eno – Final Sunset

one of Eno’s first soundtrack works is for gay rights activist Derek Jarman’s film Sebastiane; the director’s debut depicts the life and martyrdom of Saint Sebastian (1976, EG / Re: Universal)

Laurie Spiegel – The Unquestioned Answer

rather than writing compositions for synthesizer, Spiegel develops a system of coding them, when experimenting at New Jersey’s Bell Labs from 1974 to ’77 around her concept of slow change music (1974, Philo / Re: Unseen Worlds)

Henry Kawahara – Lilac Strings

in order to explore grounds beyond rationality, the media artist and electronic music producer applies perceptions of early 90s cybernetic spirituality that are rooted in ancient Japanese musical traditions and notions of cultural identity (1992, Green Energy / Re: EM Records)

Midori Takada – Mr. Henri Rousseau’s Dream

rich in detail, full of ease, and examining the color of sound, this homage to Henri Rousseau’s final painting The Dream from 1910 resembles a landscape (1983, RCA Red Seal / Re: We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records)

Inoyama Land – 8·31

attempting to enable listeners to dive into music, producer Haruomi Hosono invents the Water Delay System with three speakers and a subwoofer submerged in water; their sounds get recorded and are mixed back into the original tracks (1983, Yen Records / Re: We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records)

Conrad Schnitzler – 01/1980

improvisation with prerecorded cassettes containing so called solo tracks, found on a tape in Schnitzler’s archive labeled Filmmusik 1980 B (1980, Bureau B)

Anthony Manning – Chromium Nebulae (Part 4)

based on his own system of notation, which involves large quantities of graph paper for visualizing melody flows and mapping out structures, Manning’s composition is atmospheric, contemplative, and exploratory (1996, Irdial Discs)

Testpattern – Ocean Liner

stripped back melodies from the mythical and unhurried terrain of synth pop – produced by YMO’s Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi (1982, Yen Records)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *