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Spotted Peccary: AV talks with Howard Givens
Howard Givens focuses primarily on artistic expression through the counterpoint of color, space and rhythm encompassing both music and photographic-based visual arts.
Having been raised in a family of artists, he was inspired at an early age by classical music, film soundtracks, early electronic music, as well as the visual ambience of Ansel Adams and Edward Curtis, and later, the distinct images of Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, as well as a great many other visual and musical artists.
Fulfilling the ambient form, he has been heavily influenced by the sonic sculptures of Wendy Carlos, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Paul Horn, Steve Reich, Claude Debussy, Aaron Copland, Ralph Vaughan-Williams and Steve Roach. Fascinated by the overt communication of subtlety in life, he expresses the story of the image – whether visual or imaginary, photographic or musical - through the use of color, space, texture, time, and geometric form, often crafting these elements beyond more traditional perspectives.
He is a producer, and contributing artist composer to Spotted Peccary Music, a record label focused on impressionist acoustic and electronic music influenced by the imagery and energy of North America, that he co-founded in 1986. He has worked with photographic expression and musical composition and production for over 30 years. Ambient Visions is proud to present a talk with Howard Givens about the music that has been with him all his life.
Click here to read Howard's interview
Other AV's Q&A Features available on Ambient Visions
Anne Chris Bakker & Andrew Heath
How To Breathe
Like a Stone
AV's Artist Interview Page
How To Breathe Like a Stone: AV talks to Anne Chris Bakker & Andrew Heath
How to breathe like a stone’ is the third release from the ongoing collaboration between Dutch, ambient and experimental guitarist Anne Chris Bakker and British, minimal pianist Andrew Heath. Their work charts a slow moving, lower case journey inspired by place and process. Combining tonal washes and textural recordings, punctuated by pointillist piano and guitar notes to produce music that creates an ephemeral, dreamlike state.
Having been aware of each other’s music, Chris and Andrew finally met when Andrew invited Chris to play in the UK’s Resound festival several years ago. This cemented a friendship and mutual admiration of each other’s music. Various visits to both The Netherlands and the UK offered opportunities to record and improvise together before a file exchanging process followed, allowing their work to be edited and further refined.
How To Breathe Like A Stone utilises Chris’s mainstay, the guitar, often processed with a huge 20 second delay and placed alongside Andrew’s piano and electronic sounds. Two different church pianos were used for their natural tones, one recorded in Noordlaren and the other in the village of Sheepscombe. Additional textures derived from field recordings and reel to reel tape machines, providing a layer of subtle detail to complete the aesthetic. One of the
more unusual recordings on the album was made at the Kröller Müller museum in The Netherlands in the large sculpture room. The sun outside was causing the building to emit various quiet creaks and clicks, amplified by the acoustics of the space. It was as if the weather had its own improvised response to the collaboration, creating further notable moments that became woven into this story of chance.
To read AV's interview with Anne Chris Bakker & Andrew Heath click here
Other Artist Interviews on Ambient Visions
The Front Porch of Heaven: AV Talks to Kevin Keller
Red Sky Prairie: AV talks to Sharon Fendrich
The Synergy Series: AV talks to Clifford White
Reach: AV talks to Jeff Oster
When the Sea Lets Go: AV talks to Vin Downes
Shifting Sands: AV Talks to Lynn Tredeau
Breathe: AV talks to Carl Borden
Kreuzblut Michael Brückner talks to Mathias Grassow
Indesterren AV talks to Tom Eaton
What We Left Behind Michael Brückner talks to Robert Rich
Music for a Busy Head Vol. 1 AV talks to Matt Coldrick
Chakra Balance AV talks to David and Steve Gordon
Heading West AV talks to Mike Howe
The Great Hoop AV talks with Steve Brand
Cosmic Diva AV talks to Stephanie Sante
Primitives AV talks to Remy Stroomer and Michel van Osenbruggen aka Synth.nl
Subliminal Pulse AV talks to Bruno Sanfilippo
Miles Tones Av talks to Jame Kirsch aka General Fuzz
In Search of Silence AV talks to David Wright
Beachcombing AV Talks to Bob Holroyd
The Mountain Lake AV Talks to Johan Agebjorn
Jewel in the Sun AV Talks to Diane Arkenstone
A Quiet Light AV talks to Meg Bowles
Fragments AV talks to Steve Roberts aka Amongst Myselves
A Day Within Days AV talks to Michael Allison aka Darshan Ambient
Frequency Response AV talks to Matthew McDonough aka MjDawn
Portal AV Talks to Rich Brodsky aka Atomic Skunk
Blue Dream AV talks to Fiona Joy Hawkins
Where Edges Meet AV talks to James Murray
Carrying the Bag of Hearts AV Talks to Janet Robbins
Into the Infinite AV Talks to Chad Kettering
A New Kind of Love AV Talks to Robin Spielberg
Following the Call AV Talks to Ann Licater
Dimensions AV Talks to John Lyell
Touching the Serpents Tail AV Talks to Robert Fox
Vast AV Talks to Saul Stokes
Fever Dreams III AV talks to Steve Roach 2007
Sankhara AV talks to cyberCHUMP
by Johan Agebjörn & Mikael Ögren
AV's Spotlight Review
ARTEFACT by Johan Agebjörn & Mikael Ögren
is dark in deep space, the feeling is ethereal, kinetic, and layered.
Here, there is no need for words, but there is a little chatter on the
intercom. This is the cool, vast feeling
conveyed by ARTEFACT, a music tribute to RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA, the 1973
classic science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. This new release by
Johan Agebjörn, Mikael Ögren and friends is an adventure in electronic
music that pays tribute to the classic science
fiction diegesis, a story that raises more questions than provides
resolutions. Their music awakens the hidden colors of sci-fi fiction:
bright, brilliant; celestial, glittering, soundscapes with soaring
echoes, pulsing and beating patterns. We get the sense
we are headed into the unknowable future, and there is no turning
sounds are pure electronica, fantastically engaging beats and sweeps,
beeps and melodies, with lots of fast moving effects. Each song has
special synthesizer qualities and all
of them flow into a beautiful mix, there is a very specific story here.
It is a high-energy release for the Spotted Peccary Music label, which
has enjoyed a relationship with Agebjörn since his original label
release, Mossebo. In 2017 Agebjo¨rn and O¨gren
released an ambient electronic album on Spotted Peccary Music called We Never Came To The White Sea,
a soundtrack to an unedited roadmovie through Russian Karelia, where
Agebjo¨rn's grandfather was born, when it belonged to Finland.
listening, one imagines that you are falling slowly through wind and
darkness, with other spaceships swaying and moving, seemingly to the
music. We are traveling through the melancholy
of a long journey in the cosmos. The feeling is complex as we move
through the tracks: at times bittersweet and positive, the sound is
dreamy and electronic with lots of sustained echoes and glowing
atmospheres, decorated with a pulse, sometimes conveying
urgency. It works well for dreaming, as well as for launching your
voyages into deep fantasy, as if living and experiencing science
Click here for the rest of the review
Ambient Visions Playlists
AV's CD Focus Interview
Lapiz AV talks with Igneous Flame aka Pete Kelly
Pete Kelly AKA Igneous Flame, is a singular artist who walks his own path. He strives to create ethereal, subtle yet powerful ambient music without pandering to trend or overt influence.
Since 2003, he has created a body of work containing 24 solo and 7 collaborative releases. His catalogue contains polar opposites of ethereal, sonorous work as well as more difficult, unsettling material. He endeavours to create a sonic canvas containing a wide range of colour and texture, not being limited to any particular sub-genre.
He worked for a long time on his ambient material prior to releasing his first album, 'Tolmon' in 2003 and has achieved significant critical acclaim and radio airplay since then. Characteristically, his albums have an esoteric and a spatial element. The former arising from his acoustic hyper-sensitivity and the latter from his interest in surround-sound techniques.
His considerable musical background and experience makes him highly discriminating, releasing albums that have seen a considerable amount of 'self-editing'. He enjoys collaborative projects, particularly relishing the role of Producer.
Igneous Flame is still very much influenced by the natural world, mystery, beauty, dreams and silence.
Click here to read the rest of Pete Kelly's interview about Lapiz
Other AV's CD Focus Features available on Ambient Visions
AV's Upcoming, New and Notable Releases
The Silence of Grace
by Deborah Martin & Jill Haley
Mists of Time
by Andrew Colyer
by Mike Clay
by Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy
by Max Corbacho
A Quiet Path
by Lynn Tredeau
Mosaic of Senses
by City of Dawn &
The Corrupting Sea
by Light Humidity
One, Two, Three Locations EP
by Saul Stokes
Across the Milky Way
by The Ambient Visitor
by Sherry Finzer
Autumn Tapes EP
Like Waves Betweeen Us
by Swartz et
As Dusk Becomes Night
by Rudy Adrian
As Dusk Becomes Night, Rudy Adrian‘s 17th full length studio album, offers a serene and personal exploration of sounds and atmospheres that slowly transition from evening into twilight and on through the night. Whether it is the strolling through a park with trees silhouetting a star-speckled sky, looking down to a desolate moonlit beach, or observing the twinkling lights of a city from above, the delicately shifting synthesizer overtones and calming organic textures
simulate the moment of the astronomical twilight in the artist’s native New Zealand homeland.
Subtlety, nuance, and ineffable moments can be skillfully expressed at the hands of such an accomplished electronic music artist, and Rudy Adrian’s mastery of ambient electronic soundscapes is in top form as the album’s eleven stunning tracks are rich with the deep and mysterious tranquility for which he is so well known. Moving through the magical moods of evening, As Dusk Becomes Night reveals an ear-opening sonic wonderland where shifting hues and deep fading light
are magically transformed into awe-inspiring moments of introspection; a wondrous gloaming that eventually gives way to deep heavenly nightscapes.
The Way We Are Created
by Gabriel Vincéns
The guitarist expands his musical expression by mixing bomba and plena rhythms from his native Puerto Rico with his unique brand of Jazz.
"The Way We Are Created," the third album from the brilliant New York City-based musician Gabriel Vice´ns, offers a detailed picture of his multiple talents. It portrays the evolution of his own voice, not only as a guitarist but as a composer and conceptualist as well.
Vice´ns has previously released two widely acclaimed albums, “Point In Time” and “Days.” He has blossomed into his signature sound on “The Way We Are Created;” a delicate sound that conveys robust, cleanly-articulated ideas, with solos that add depth to his melodic and thematic compositions.
The album becomes a part of the Inner Circle Music canon, a label established by influential saxophonist Greg Osby, which “provides a forum for some of the next generation’s most provocative composers and stylists.” Also behind the release of the album is the Puerto Rican non-profit organization 71 Associates, which was created by Jochi Da´vila to help experimental musicians.
Vice´ns’ music has arrived at a complex but sentimental soundscape, as this set of compositions live within the world of bomba and plena, which are folkloric Puerto Rican styles. This album enjoys a natural, organic blend of Jazz with fiery, propulsive rhythms, in his own original compositional style. The Afro-Puerto Rican percussion instruments barril de bomba and panderos de plena intertwine beautifully within the harmonic and melodic complexity of jazz, while Vice´ns’
compositions utilize nostalgic yet challenging Afro-Carribean rhythms.
Thus, the album is an array of bold themes brimming with personality, including “It Doesn't Matter,” “The Upcoming,” and “A City of Many Mysteries,” which employ yuba´, sica´, and rule´ rhythms from the bomba tradition. “To The Unknown” is an energetic plena, and one of the many pieces on the record that stirs up your mind as well as your feet.
“This project is the result of my own investigation into the worlds of these traditions,” says Vice´ns, a distinguished graduate from Conservatorio de Mu´sica de Puerto Rico (BM) and Queens College (MM), currently pursuing his Doctorate in Guitar Performance in New York. “When I begin a composition, I first establish a rhythmic foundation which comes from Afro-Puerto Rican folkloric traditions, and then I build the composition from that underlying structure. The music
you’ll hear on this record is authentic to my roots and comes directly from my life.”
“The Way We Are Created” was co-produced by star Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zeno´n, and confirms Vice´ns’ gifts as a skilled bandleader. Several of the finest New York musicians give life to these compositions with Roma´n Filiu´ on alto sax, Glenn Zaleski on piano, Rick Rosato on bass, E.J. Strickland on drums, and Vi´ctor Pablo on percussion. Their solos shine with a cool, fluid mastery throughout the whole work. Three short interludes work as breathers while reinforcing
the album’s coherence as a whole.
“Being able to release this album in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredible and challenging experience for me,” explains Vice´ns. “There were moments I asked myself if this was the right time, but I arrived at the idea that art is a relieving outlet for people, can build community, and can comfort pain. I feel good about it.”
“The Way We Are Created,” is an homage to the power of all artistic expressions, including painting. Vice´ns is also an accomplished painter, and the cover of the album is a recent work of his. While discussing the thought process behind the album title, Vice´ns says that “When I complete a work, sometimes it seems personified. It’s almost like the composition speaks in the first person, and is their own being. If compositions could speak for themselves, maybe they could
explain to us how they were created.”
To the listener, it’s a testimony to Gabriel Vice´ns’ constant evolution as a musical thinker and leader, able to show new paths of expression for others to follow. Above all, “The Way We Are Created” is a great listen for jazz aficionados, and bomba and plena lovers alike. “When I came up with this title, it had two meanings. It’s a reflection on the way that all living beings are created to be naturally inventive and imaginative. It is a tribute to how we are all born
to be creative.”
by Steve Roach
Projekt Press Release
Steve Roach: Quiet Music (35th Anniversary Remastered 3-Hour Collection) (3CD/Digital) Available from Projekt, the Projekt European Webstore, Projekt's Bandcamp store, High Resolution at Spotted Peccary Music.
Steve Roach is a leading American pioneer in the evolution of ambient/electronic music, helping shape it into what it is today. Grammy nominated in 2018 and 2019 consecutively, his career spans four decades and nearly 150 releases. Drawing from a vast, unique and deeply personal authenticity, his albums are fueled by the momentum of a lifetime dedicated to the soundcurrent.
The meditative, ambient minimalism of Steve Roach’s classic 1983-86 Quiet Music series is rereleased in its entirety with a meticulously remastered 35th anniversary edition. The luscious quality and subtle tonal beauty reveal the essence-of-tone of the multi-track master. Originally published on cassette and later in a truncated 2CD edition, Projekt now presents this landmark album as Roach envisioned it.
Created in respect for silence, Quiet Music originates from the same era as Roach’s classic 1984 release Structures From Silence. This series finds the gentle electronics of synthesizers mixing with flute, electric piano and natural sounds flowing like breath, enveloping the listener in a sustained, delicate, translucent atmosphere.
Harold Budd, Los Angeles, 1986: “I think Steve Roach’s Quiet Music is his best album. It’s not that it’s simply pretty (which it is), but there’s an odd edge lurking in the background that moves it miles away from ‘New Age’ torpor. This is a lovely album from a composer working at the top of his skills.”
Today, these pieces stand as a cornerstone in body-work, yoga, and healing therapies.
The soothing, introspective nature of Quiet Music flows at a time-suspending pace, gently evolving and using space to expand and explore the essence of silence. The space between the notes and the breathing quality brings the listener to a deeper awareness of the present moment.
A timeless masterpiece.
Visit the Projekt page
by Milana Zilnik
AV's Spotlight Review
Abracadabra by Milana Zilnik AV Spotlight CD Review
The cool breezes have already started to blow in the northeastern U.S. and the leaves are starting to let go their grip on the limbs they have clung to since the spring and slowly drift to the ground in ever increasing numbers. As we enter October, we know that come the 31st is a holiday that many of us look forward to every year but this year there’s another reason to look forward to October
31st and that’s the release of Abracadabra by Milana Zilnik. As you might remember we reviewedMilana’s
last album called Notte here on AV back in May of 2019. We are pleased to see that she will soon be releasing another an enchanting album and what more appropriate time to release an album called Abracadabra than on Halloween 2020.
About a year and half ago Milana bought a Hang drum and started to work with it to get a feel for how it would fit into the overall flow of her musical compositions. At first Milana was going to do a whole album based around the Hang drum but at a suggestion of her husband they decided instead to build the new compositions around the Hang drum, Milana’s piano playing, vocals and a cello and thus was Abracadabra born. I must say that the combination of these
instruments creates a unique sound palette that shifts and swirls around you as the compositions beckon you to let go of your mundane surroundings for the remainder of the album and find the magic within yourself.
Click here for the rest of the review
News on the web
20 Years of DiN, the Label Connecting Ambient’s Past and Present
It's always good to see articles spotlighting those artists who have been producing electronic music for decades and giving them the accolades that they so richly deserve. DiN goes back to 1999 when it was formed to put out music by other artists instead of just being a vehicle to release Ian's music out into the world. Ambient Visions goes back to just about that same time frame as well forming in late 1999 as a conduit to bring ambient/electronic/new
age music to a wider audience by allowing them to read about the artists that up until that point were just names on album covers. We are happy to have shared Ian's journey with our readers over the last couple of decades and wanted to share a paragraph or two from this article with readers of AV, point you to the article on BC's website & to help Ian's label and his music gain even more recognition. Enjoy!
"I wanted to form a bridge between that 1970s Tangerine Dream, sequencer-dominated heritage, and what a lot of the newer and younger musicians now are making on laptops,” says veteran ambient composer and DiN label founder Ian Boddy. “A lot of people my age are so hooked on this old style. That’s all they do. Every album has this Berlin school sequencer chugging along in the background. And that’s fine! But there’s more to be done than just that.”
In 1998, Boddy was releasing music on his private label Something Else Records—a catch-all for self-releases and the odd collaboration that, at the time of its closure, had been in operation for over a decade. The desire to publish music by others and to form a more coherent identity led to the formation of DiN, a more formal label, in 1999. 84 records in, DiN has put out work by renowned composers like Robert Rich, spotlighted on the Index series of compilations;
it’s even got its own sub-label, Tone Sciences, which launched in 2018 to spotlight music made with modular synths. From enchantingly elaborate and soothing drumless IDM to unsettling pulsing ambient techno, there’s no one DiN sound—it’s more of a DiN sensibility. With a 20th anniversary celebration around the corner, it’s safe to say Boddy has been successful building that bridge from the past to the present."
Click here to read the article on Bandcamp's website
AV's Spotlight Review
Solaris by Aeon V review by Richard Gürtler
Highly sympathetic Californian label Synphaera Records, run by Chris Bryant and Don Tyler, quickly became an important voice on the map of ambient and electronic related genres with several top-notch sonic and visual gems resonating since 2015. Solaris "Aeon V" CDr, packaged in a 4-panel digipak and released in a limited edition of 150 copies during March 2017, is no exception. The project features Serbian soundsculptor Strahinja Maletic, one half of Fourth
Dimension, and above mentioned Don Tyler, who is together with Chris Bryant the force behind Ascendant project. Sten Backman of Great Big Container gets credit for transporting cover image while Don Tyler is responsible for the mastering wizardry at his IO Mastering Studio.
Gossamery tinkles announce 7-plus minutes long "Ritual" and shift it into contemplatively embracing sceneries, where mesmerizingly invading monochromatic drones amalgamate with balmily organic serenities and quietly paced traceries. A very strong introduction of Solaris' soundworlds!!! Nearly 6-minute "Levitation" unfolds suitably to its title, but soon it metamorphoses into intangibly sequenced terrains, pervaded by enchanting cinematic glimpses.
"Inward" masterfully bridges gracefully sinuous vistas with illuminating traces. "Waiting" maintains its evocative scenario, yet again juxtaposed by anodynely marching patterns. "Roundabout", at 5 minutes the shortest piece on the album, glides towards intensely engulfing horizons, exquisitely nuanced and meticulously permeated by intriguingly nebulous solitudes. Pure aural elixir!!! Shimmering introspections with mysteriously flatlined meridians riding atop and persistently glittering
scenic motifs carve truly magnificent imageries, "Intrinsic" is obviously another exceptional composition, bravo Strahinja & Don!!!
Click here for the rest of the review
Night Tides Playlist
We just wanted to make sure that the readers of AV were aware of the radio shows like Renee Blanche's Night Tides that feature ambient and new age music each and every Sunday night. There are so many choices out there to listen to music that it might be tempting to skip shows like Night Tides or Star's End or Galactic Travels or Hearts of Space in favor of just pulling up a playlist on Spotify and listening to it instead. Renee and Bill and
Chuck and Stephen have been spotlighting great ambient/new age music on their programs for many, many years now and I think listeners would be doing themselves a disservice by not taking advantage of all of that musical programming skills to help you on your journey of discovery into the vast catalog of ambient, new age and electronic music both past and present.
So perhaps you weren't aware of these programs or of the music that they play but AV is here to help. We are going to start featuring a radio show on the front page with links to the charts on AV's Charts page so you can get a feel for what is being played on these radio shows. You can then follow the links under each chart to learn more about the program, what time it's on and even links that will allow you to stream it live right there on
your computer. It doesn't get more convenient than that. To kick off these reminders we'll start with Night Tides which airs on Sunday nights just in time to decompress you before heading off to work on Monday morning. There is a small sample of the playlist just below and for the complete playlist just follow the link and begin your musical explorations. A lot of us grew up in an era when radio was our main music discovery venue. These programmers are simply carrying on a proud tradition of helping listeners
such as yourself find the music that you didn't even know you were looking for. Enjoy!
here to check out Night Tides Playlist
Electronic and ambient pioneer Steve Roach started creating his music during the late ‘70s golden age of analog synthesizers, a time when the digital variety was only visible on the horizon. So it’s refreshing that an album which continues that hands-on tradition, Spiral Revelation
(2017), garnered his first-ever Grammy nomination. Chosen in the Best New Age Album category, the album is crafted almost entirely with modular and stand-alone synthesizers, its sound grounded in the dynamic, spiraling interweave of melodic and rhythmic sequencer forms.
With its analog leanings, Spiral Revelation sounds utterly contemporary thanks to Roach’s technological sophistication and creative maturity. Yet the bubbling, kinetic melodies point to his origins, making it a natural place to begin the story of how far and wide he has travelled.
Read the rest of this article by clicking here
How to Choose a Digital Piano – 10 Factors to Consider According to Science by Rob Beck
A digital piano is an electronic keyboard that emulates the sound and the feel of a genuine acoustic piano. It can be differentiated from its precursor instrument – the “synthesizer” – which uses electronically produced sound waves to create specifically electronic sounds.
The first digital piano commercially available was produced by Yamaha in 1983. The Clavinova YP-40 was the most notable of the releases. More of an extension of the synthesizers of the 1970s, the sounds were electronically produced using Frequency Modulation, rather than sampling technology which is used by all digital pianos today. 
Frequency Modulation synthesis (more commonly referred to as simply “FM”) works by modulating (or changing) the frequency of an electronically produced sound wave. This results in a wide variety of tone, dependent upon the changes in frequency and a combination of other waves. 
A sample, on the other hand, is a short digital recording that can be triggered via a MIDI instrument, such as a piano-style keyboard. 
A modern digital piano has a large bank of short digital recordings (samples) that are triggered by hitting the keys of the keyboard. Most modern digital pianos are capable of reproducing touch-sensitive play (see later).
To read the rest of the article click here.
AV's Quick 10 Interview
Legacy AV's Quick 10 With Stefan Strand aka Between Interval
Since the age of 14, Swedish composer Stefan Strand has been experimenting with and creating electronic sounds. Initially inspired by video game soundtracks and the German techno scene, it wasn’t long before he was discovering the more expansive soundscapes of artists like Jean Michel Jarre, Robert Rich, Aphex Twin and Pink Floyd.
In 2003 he created Radio Silence, his first ambient album, and self-released it under the name Between Interval. He knew then that he had found a vast genre that he would come to explore for many years.
Strand wants his music to be a rewarding and immersive experience for the listener. “I try to create atmospheres and moods with my music. I wouldn’t call it minimalistic, but instead of giving away too much in terms of melodies I aim to incorporate subtle and implicit changes.”
Since it’s initial release, Radio Silence has been remastered and released on the Spotted Peccary label along with four other releases, Secret Observatory, Autumn Continent, The Edge of a Fairytale and Legacy.
Click here for this quick 10 interview with Stefan Strand aka Between Interval
Other Quick 10 Interviews on Ambient Visions
A World Bathed in Sunlight AV's Quick 10 with Matthew Stewart
Imbue AV's Quick 10 With Androcell aka Tyler Smith
AV Goes to NYC
and reviews the
AV's Concert Review
An Introvert Journeys to New York City and Goes With the
As you may or may not know I tend to be a very introverted
person who is connected to a broad musical world via my Ambient Visions website
and rarely do I venture out into the really real world other than at a very
mundane level as I head off to work or to do a variety of equally unspectacular
chores that make up my daily life. On occasion though I am tempted to step out
of my ordinary introverted life and to step into that wider world which makes
introverts like me quiver in their boots and on an even rarer occasion I act on
those temptations and dive into that real world. October 6 was one of those days where the
benefit of venturing out overwhelmed my reservations and sent me off to the big
city to discover the joys of live music.
What, you might ask, would tempt an introvert such as myself
out of his seclusion and pull him to the big city? I’m glad you asked. I wanted
to go with the FLOW. I know that doesn’t sound like a compelling reason and
what the heck does it even mean anyway. The FLOW in this case is a new ensemble
group that was celebrating the release of their first album simply entitled
FLOW by performing as a group at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New
York City which is a celebrated musical mecca of the performing arts in the
United States. The motivating factor here was the composition of the group and
the nature of the guest artists who would be performing with them on that
Friday night in New York City.
Click here for the rest of the review
Eyes to the Height
by James Murray
Ambient Web Spotlight
Interview with James Murray by Ron Schepper for Textura e-zine
Ten Questions With James Murray
Though a number of James Murray's releases have been reviewed at textura, he hasn't been the subject of a major article or interview—until now. It's an oversight that should have been rectified long ago, but hopefully the following in-depth interview will be an adequate atonement. If anything, the interview comes at the perfect time as the London-based Murray has just issued a splendid new full-length, Eyes to the Height, which evidences the high degree of craft the self-taught
composer has brought to all of his work since 2004. You never know quite what you're going to get with a Murray release, but rest assured the quality will be high, regardless of whether the focus is ambient-electronic, modern classical, or electroacoustic. We thank Murray for sharing so openly his thoughts on the album and his creative process.
Click here for the rest of the interview
Interview with Seb Taylor by Kevin Fairbanks and Gagarin for Psybient e-zine
[Interview] with Seb Taylor aka Kaya Project aka Hibernation
Today we bring you an interview with Seb Taylor. The man behind many amazing psychedelic electronic acts of varying styles, from the legendary Angel Tears to the ever popular Kaya Project, downtempo heavy hitting Hibernation and
the uptempo likes of Shakta and Digitalis. Seb has been more than busy, over many years with countless collaborative artists, producing
this music that we love. So it is with great honor that we had the opportunity to chat with him about everything from his latest release, to the earlier days. Enjoy and share around!
Psy: Do you remember the first piece of music that inspired you as a kid? Can you describe the experience?
ST: I’d have to say film soundtracks. Especially the work of John Barry & John Williams. Growing up in the 1970’s & 1980’s meant a lot of my cinematic experiences were musically scored on these two composers. I can hear a direct correlation between my musical sensibilities and soundtracks like, ‘The Black Hole’ , ‘James Bond’, ‘Star Wars’ etc. Even in later life it was still movie music that has primarily touched and inspired me, latterly in the form of
contemporary film composers like Thomas Newman for example (American Beauty, White Orlandear, Meet Joe Black).
Click here to read the rest of the interview
New Reviews on Ambient Visions
Getting the word out
about great music
AV's Reviews Other Voices
Diptych by Growing reviewed by Brian Coney at the Pitchfork website
As part of the Olympia punk scene in the late 1990s, Kevin Doria and Joe DeNardo knew how to make the most out of minimalism. Their two-decade about-face as Growing, from aggressive noise veterans to contemporary drone trailblazers, has stretched that rubric into some blissful territory. Formed in 2001, Growing began by taking the essential disembodiment of ambient music and—as their name hinted—fleshing it out. The dense drone sculptures and Earth-like amperage on albums
like 2004’s Soul of the Rainbow and the Harmony of Light catered to doom heads and seekers of deep listening alike. Later albums such as Vision Swim veered off into a thousand different directions, but with Diptych, they return with focused vision, once again intent upon widening a portal to vast, amorphous worlds.
For the rest of this review from Pitchfork Magazine click here.
Tone Science Module No. 5 Integers and Quotients by Various Artists reviewed by Carlos Von Bosch of Igloo Magazine website
Tone Science No.5 is the latest compilation from one of the strongest, serious and most dedicated electronic music labels in operation today. Everything DiN releases is a genuine work of sonic art that you just know countless hours have been lovingly poured into. I’ve had the pleasure of chatting, albeit briefly with Ian Boddy (label owner) and Nigel Mullaney (DiN artist) in the past and as you often find with the true greats, they’re very humble, genuine and helpful
people. Basically, there’s zero ego here, it’s all about the music and considering the sheer quality of their output, that makes it all the more impressive.
For the rest of this review from Igloo Magazine Music Reviews click here.
Future Shock by Michael Whalen reviewed by R J Lannan
Pianist, composer and award winning musical mad scientist Michael Whalen offers up a new album called Future Shock. This is a hard driving, high octane, jazz fusion album of energy and force. If you play this album at three a.m. it’s guaranteed that the neighbors will complain and the cops will show up. The collection of ten thrilling tunes is made out of surprising electronic elements combined with progressive jazz with a bit of avant garde thrown in for good measure.
It is every bit as astounding as the cover art, a radioactive blue avatar that makes quite an impression.
The first tune is the rollicking title track, Future
Shock. It is a funky, frenetic frolic into the future with inorganic voices, sassy sax, and great percussion. The almost 6 minute snappy instrumental is filled with enough kinetic energy to power the nighttime. I might as well mention now that the drummer, Simon Philips is one terrific talent. Also joining Whalen on the album are the talents of Bob Magnuson on sax and other wind instruments, and Tony Levin on bass and Chapman Stick. Whalen of course is the keyboard wizard on synths and programming.
Read the rest of the review at R J Lannan's blog by clicking here.
Within by Michelle Qureshi reviewed by R J Lannan
You are given 25 chances at attaining a modicum of peace from within and without. What do you do? You listen to the latest album from guitarist Michelle Qureshi called Within. Qureshi’s monumental work is more than two dozen New Age, ambient, and contemporary guitar tunes all deftly defining moods, actions, and emotions. It’s a bold task, but Qureshi is up to it and more. Michelle Qureshi is an award winning, chart topping composer that marries spiritualty
with intention. Once united, her music offers calmness, peace, and comfort to any listener in need of a little time for introspection and quiet. At this writing, I’m pretty sure it applies to the entire planet.
The collection opens with the tune Above Us. It’s not just a song about blue skies and sunny days, but what is beyond that which we see with our eyes. Many time we look to the skies for solace. It is just an acknowledgement that there is a Higher Power out there. Since man could not fly, he/she/they looked up in wonder with what ifs on their lips. It is that wonder that Michelle artistically imparts in this song.
Read the rest of the review at R J Lannan's blog by clicking here.
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Artist Spotlight on David Helpling
On RUNE, renowned composer and instrumentalist David Helpling delivers another album of pure ambient electric guitar performances. Building on the sound of 2017's A SEA WITHOUT MEMORY, RUNE represents the stunning evolution of Helpling's ambient guitar explorations into a new realm of craft and production, shifting to a deeper focus on composition, phrasing, melody, and emotion. Shimmering textures, purposeful phrases, and expressive arrangements mingle together and flow
freely from a wellspring of inspiration into a sea of beauty, resulting in what may very well be Helpling's most colorful and textural recording to date.
The music of RUNE is directly influenced by the waters of the ocean and the Norse Rune Laguz that speaks of deep wisdom and respect for the sea, representing the universal ocean and the collective memory of all life.
The album is inspired by the creative, destructive, and life-sustaining forces of water as depicted in the spiritual wisdom and poetry of this ancient Norse rune, and while creating the music, Helpling immersed himself in this monumental idea of an all-encompassing
David has a deep and lifelong connection to the power and allure of the sea. "I grew up a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean and spent all my time in and near it," says Helpling. "It has always been my deepest healer and my biggest source of wonder, and whether I'm on the beach of a remote Pacific island or just relaxing at home, I spend time each day submerged in the stillness of water. So embracing this grand concept of the sea and the Runeas
each piece was created felt very natural, and kept me calm and focused on achieving the sound of the ocean. I feel like every piece on this record deeply resonates with its spirit."
David has an illustrious history of creating lush synth-laden music, but on RUNE he has turned to only guitars and a custom rig to directly and honestly explore a new level of ambient expression, and while the recognizable sound of Helpling's classic whirlpooling guitar
still swirls at the heart of RUNE, most listeners will forget that the entire album was created without the use of keyboards, synthesizers or computer-based sound generators once they are submerged in
the lush organic soundscapes. The layers of detail, order, and space create an immersive, honest and meaningful music that results in so much more than just another ambient guitar offering. The compositions - emotional and cinematic in scale - stand on their own, rewarding the listener with music, melody, a powerful sound, and heartfelt performance that is truly wondrous and magical.
Visit David Helpling on the web
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