The Ambient mixtape update #002

Notes on update #002 of The Ambient mixtape.

Janice Giteck is an American composer born in 1946. It’s a sort of melancholic Minimalism/PostMinimalism. The most famous album is probably Home (Revisted) with the piece Om Shanti.

And Their Refinement of the Decline is Stars of the Lid seventh album and was released in 2007. The music is a beautiful and sensual blend of electronic sound and live instruments. Very good.

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The Modern mixtape update #002

Notes on update #002 of The Modern mixtape.

Belinda Reynolds is a new  acquaintance for me. Elegant and beautiful.

Helmut Lachenmann can be quite hard to digest but when you do it can be very rewarding. He is considered one of Germany’s most important composer. His music has been described as musique concrète instrumentale. The easiest way to explain it is that it is composed with other parameters than more traditional classical music. He generally replaces notes with timbre and the sound that is produced on an instrument. The music is generally acoustic, sometimes with electronic amplification.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard have recently recorded his monumental “piano concerto” Ausklang. I think that he is a very interesting pianist. He is doing both traditional repertoire like the Beethoven piano concertos with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and contemporary music like his recording of Ligeti’s piano études.

One of Lachenmann’s students is the French composer Mark Andre. You might regard him as a blend of the avant-garde aesthetics from Darmstadt and the live electronics from IRCAM. über, from 2015, is a work for orchestra, clarinet and live electronics.

Jo Kondo is a Japanese contemporary composer. He refer his style as sen no ongaku which translates to linear music, or the more poetic row of endless tones. The result is music which is conceived like one continuous , endless line. Much like Morton Feldman in his late music. Listen, for instance, to Aquarelle and Bonjin.

One of his students is the American composer Linda Catlin Smith. She have also studied for Morton Feldman. That comes through in works like Among The Tarnished Stars. Beautiful and calm.

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The Jazz mixtape #002

Notes on update #002 of The Jazz mixtape.

Happy birthday David Bowie. Sue (Or in a Seson of Crime) is a collaboration between David Bowie and the composer/arranger Maria Schneider. She described the collaboration in a newly released documentary about David Bowie’s last 5 last years. The result is very good and once again showed what a adventurous and curious musician David Bowie was. Many of the musicians from that session also participated on his last album, Blackstar.

There are a couple of Latin American flavoured albums that I currently listen to. The first one is the afro-colombian inspired Pensamiento album by the Canadian trumpeter/composer Rachel Therrien. The second album is Metal Na Madeira with the Brazilian singer Paula Santoro and guitarist Ian Faquini.

Rakim is known to be influenced by Jazz, especially John Coltrane. In his early years he played the saxophone. The result is a very relaxed, musical and free style the absolutely reminds you of John Coltrane.

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The Classical mixtape #002

Notes on update #002 of The Classical mixtape.

Klangfarbenmelodie is a technique that is mostly associated with Arnold Schoenberg. You basically divide a melodic line between different instruments. E.g making a melody of different timbres. The most extreme example is the “point” music technique that Webern and later Stockhausen used.

The term comes from Arnold Schoenberg’s Harmonielehre book. The prime example is the third movement in his 5 Orchestral pieces op 16. Webern used it a lot. One, a bit odd ,example is in his orchestration of Bach Musical Offering.

I also associate this technique with the impressionistic orchestration of Debussy. Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune for instance. For me though, the most skilful example is by Mahler. The ninth symphony in particular. The melodic language is romantic but the orchestration is modernism.

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The Ambient mixtape update #001

Notes on update #001 of The Ambient mixtape.

Reflection is the latest ambient project of Brian Eno. It is both an album and a app. In the app the music will change so it, for instance, is brighter in the morning.

It is based on probability with rules that dictate the how likely something will happen. That way the piece will be different each time it is performed. You get a certain freedom in the music that reminds me of John Cage. Especially the number pieces where the pitches are chosen with the help of I Ching and the performer are left a lot of freedom on how to perform the pieces.

Brian Eno defines Ambient music as something that is always the same but changes all the time. Like looking at a river. I totally agree with that definition. He sees his ambient music as a continuous project that started in 1975 with Discreet Music and Reflection is the latest stage. It’s a very good piece. In my opinion one of the best that he has done so far.

At first glance the Snd album by Microstoria might seem disparate and ugly. But, the more you listen to it you discover it’s beauties. The sounds fit together and make up a small but very beautiful world of it’s own.

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The Modern mixtape update #001

Notes on update #001 of The Modern mixtape.

The label Divine Arts have released two fantastic albums with music with the Russian composer Vyacheslav Artyomov. One with On the Threshold of a Radiant World and one with Gentle Emanation. Both are part of the tetralogy Symphony of the Way. Russian, powerful and beautiful.

New South American Discoveries is a really good album with new South American music. Miguel Harth-bedoya conducts The Norwegian Radio Orchestra. I especially like Mecánica by Sebastián Vergara.

Group 180 was a Hungarian minimalist ensemble formed in 1978 behind the iron curtain. One of the founders was the composer Tibor Szemző. The music is more European and harsh then it’s American counterparts. A bit like Louis Andriessen.

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