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Messages - terraamb

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Hey guys, Jeff Kowal here. First of all sorry for not posting in a while. Simply a matter of life getting away from you and the next thing you know a year goes by. Secondly, regarding the Rudy Adrian release. I won't belabor this as my partners have really said all there is to say in regards to our position on this. I will say though that we care deeply about the work we release and the satisfaction of our listeners. We have, for many years now, been offering listeners a quality product by talented musicians. We strive for the best. I'd say personally that out track record has been exceptional. But mistakes happen. Ben indicated our return policy which couldn't be more accommodating.

The personal attack on Ben's mastering skills is a little unwarranted. He is an excellent engineer who has finished several of our most highly praised releases.

We of course will continue to strive for the best in all we do. If mistakes are made, we do our best to accommodate customers. I Don't know what else one could expect from a company.

And thank you for the props on Wanderlust. (a disc Ben not only mastered, but SAVED. The mix on that was a huge challenge.)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Sad News
« on: October 18, 2009, 12:46:31 PM »
My deepest sympathies to you and Jim's family. The world will be lacking without him.

I have attached some thoughts i wrote about Jim in my blog:

I was deeply grieved to hear that a friend and supporter passed away. Jim Brenholts passed away this past evening. Unfortunately, I don’t have the specifics of his death, and his family is still reeling, but Jim had heart problems for many years leading up to his death.

Jim was, for all intensive purposes, the catalyst for my musical career. Back in 2000, i was introduced to Jim. He was already a fervent supporter of ambient/space music. When he heard my first musical endeavors (The Darker Space) he became completely engaged and immediately began helping me to network within the community. He introduced me to artist and engineer Robert Rich, who ultimately mastered the CD and helped me to get in touch with Tony Gerber at, who published it. Throughout the years, Jim was there to support me, enourage me and give frank and objective council on my music and my business efforts. As Ben, Daniel and I started Lotuspike, as we produced and promoted live ambient music concerts, Jim was there to lend a hand however he could.

Jim was also an active reviewer. He was always one of the first to review my CDs, as well as the releases of Lotupike. And not just us, Jim was a a noted reviewer across the community. Everyone looked forward to reading his reviews and there is hardly an ambient artists’ site out there that does not have at least one of Jim’s reviews represented on it.

In later years, Jim became an explorer and creator of ambient soundscapes himself, recording under the moniker Rigel Orionis, Jim established himself as competent artist as well as passionate listener and reviewer.

If it hadn’t been for Jim, I don’t know that my musical path would have gelled the way that it has. That I would have met half of the people with whom I’ve collaborated and made friendships over the years. I regret that we lost contact over later years, as I relocated across the country and our lives went their their own directions. Jim was passionate. If you knew him, you we’re a friend to him. He was one of the most compassionate souls I’ve ever known. He loved everyone. Music seemed to be his catalyst for expressing his passions. For his family, his friends and his life’s pursuits.

I don’t know if it’s irony or the turning of the Universe, but one of the last (or possibly THE last) reviews that Jim wrote was for my latest CD, Wanderlust. He emailed it to me a day or so prior to his passing. This obviously has great emotional impact for me. That the man who essentially started my musical career should leave this testament to my work as one of his final comments. I have included the review below.

Jim will be sorely missed. Not just by me, but by a whole community. You have touched so many lives and made a profound impact on a genre of music. Your positive energy, while still part of the universe, will definately be missed on this earthly plane.

Buenos dios, Muchacho.


Terra Ambient - Wanderlust

Jeff Kowal creates deep ambient soundscapes under the nom de plume Terra Ambient. Wanderlust is his third release and it finds Jeff exploring new territories and horizons.

In his liner notes, Jeff discusses the evolution of the album as a journal for his transitions over a three-year period, including relocation from Pittsburgh to New Mexico. The music became somewhat of a catharsis. He described as “the music that I needed to make.”

Jeff combines drifting passages with overt and subtle rhythms. His atmospheric structures are vast, wide and expansive. They drift around the listening area, transforming it into a meditation chamber.

The disc opens with two pieces that are somewhat more active. They are excellent for hypnotic movement and active meditation. The percussion on the second track approaches and borders on techno but does not cross the line. The rhythms contrast and compliment the atmospheres.

Track three presents deeper atmospheric ambience with strong overtones and eclectic timbres. This is where Jeff absolutely excels. He combines organic textures, desert ambience and tribal timbres to deliver a unique sound that is truly his own.

While this is a musical journal of Jeff’s transitions, it is also a vehicle for private journeys. The flexibility and variety allow for many different experiences, each having its own, well, Wanderlust.

In a relatively short time, Jeff has established himself as one of the top electric ambient masters of the new millennium. He is a true artiste.

aheh... um... wellllllll....

thanks for the feedback, Dwight. Glad i was minimal on the stupid. :)

Yeah, i know. Thanks, Gerry. Were working on it. It's a complicated thing, but in short, some of the vendors made the digital booklet track number 7 and omitted track 6. Amazon has it correctly though, if your interested.

Id have to say it's my Wavestation A/D. I've pretty much gotten rid of all of my other "vintage" gear. Though i am drooling of the Prophet 08... oh to have a disposable income.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Andy Hughes of Orb
« on: June 24, 2009, 08:03:34 AM »
WOW. damn. Well, that explains why their US tour was postponed.
RIP Andy.

wanderlust isn't just nomadic wandering in a sleepy open field, it's more like wandering on the Tibetan plateau, on horseback, with a cavalry of Mongul warriors by your side  ;D

Can i use that???  ;D

Thanks for the props, Judd. Yes it is a little more active. I think my current MO is to go more to upbeat. As for the Mongols, they just knocked stuff over and got in the way so i sent them out for pizza and they never came back. They still owe me 10 bucks!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Favorite Forum Pix
« on: June 18, 2009, 03:19:13 PM »
wow... thats a flashback.

Lotuspike is simply in a period of hibernation.  I can assure you that they have some interesting announcements to make in the near future.  As far as Jeff goes, he still seems to be chipping away at his new CD, Wanderlust, and he posted a track that materialized from its recording sessions on his myspace site.

Hey now!! Im alive, Lotuspike is alive and kicking... we just were in the middle of some changes, restructuring, merging and freshening up our paintjob.
We have a lot of exciting things lined up, no worries.  :D

Thank you Sir this is great announcement !
5 loooooong years of waiting and it finally comes out !!!
I found an interview of Jeff Kowal describing this new album.

Hey, Nuun-
Wanderlust is actually out. You can get it everywhere. Lotuspike, Amazon, iTunes, Rhapsody... pick your poison.

NOTE!! I recommend getting the CD for the moment ro get the digital download from Amazon. The digital distribution is a little screwed up right now. If you download it from itunes you will only get 6 of the 7 tracks. Amazon has all 7 downloadable, so do several other 3rd party venues, but iTunes is wrong. Were working to fix the problem.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Long time no see...
« on: June 18, 2009, 10:29:46 AM »
and why not? are we now censoring jk news and gossip?
good to have you back, jeff! and wanderkust is awesome and a half. look for my review in the sep/oct issue of awareness.

Thanks, Jim. If you email it to me as well, i can get Dan to post it on the website, if that's allowed.
Thanks for the interest.

well, it's not such a new year anymore, but in the spirit of continuity...

Im Jeff Kowal, I record under the auspices of TERRA AMBIENT. I am also the co-founder of Lotuspike Records, with my partners Ben Cox and Daniel Pipitone, who occasionally pops up here in the forums. I have 3 releases out. The most recent, Wanderlust, was just released this month. I work with just about anything I can strum, bang, press or blow into. My work has been used for gallery installations, as well as for broadcast TV and independent film.For more information about me, you can check out my blog at

Everything and Nothing / Re: Long time no see...
« on: June 16, 2009, 12:45:38 PM »
Welcome back, Jeff.  For those who were wondering, "terraamb" is aka Terra Ambient aka Jeff Kowal.

...aka jimmy the spoon... but we cant talk about that here. ;)

Everything and Nothing / Long time no see...
« on: June 15, 2009, 04:37:33 PM »
Hello everyone. Just wanted to stop by and poke my head in the door. I've been gone for quite some time. Lotza changes and water under the bridge and all that, so I thought i'd just pop in and re-introduce myself. So "Hi"... again. :)

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