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Messages - ffcal

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 30, 2014, 08:31:05 AM »
Regarding 'blocks', I presume that the finishing of something is generally more the problem than the starting of something (?)

It is for me.....I have a music project that I thought was finished a year ago and was maturing so to speak.  Opened it up to see how its tasting only to discover it did not need more time but more work so Im currently throwing the kitchen sink at it.  Will it improve? Perhaps it was already all it could be.  And so it goes.

I agree with Julio that it can be harder to finish a project than to start one.  When you're at the project's beginning, there is a blank slate feeling that the project can be open to all kinds of possibilities.  When you reach the home stretch, what you've created before can start to narrow your options.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as for me it helps keep the project focused, so that it is not just a collection of random pieces.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 19, 2014, 07:18:13 AM »

Something that has worked for me is keeping a project notebook.  I reserve any ideas I might have for the next project for that notebook, however scattered or crazy.  Though I usually end up using only a fraction of the ideas, it helps me think out loud and gives me more focus.  The notebook can also help me remember what flow I originally had in mind, once I'm deeper into the project.

Good luck getting restarted.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: On Inspiration - Chuck Close quote
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:24:04 AM »
One thing would add to my prior comment is that, as to synthesizers, some training or study and understanding of the basics of synthesis is important first.  Without this, raw inspiration can only take you so far.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: On Inspiration - Chuck Close quote
« on: September 12, 2014, 11:27:03 PM »
Here's another great album of music made almost entirely of stones:

Doesn't get more basic than this, yet it's still a great album.

Yes, that's a really nice album.  The stones on that album were resonating stones, though, that were created as a sound sculpture, much like Harry Bertoia's or the Baschet sound sculptures.  I wouldn't mind playing those "stones," of course!


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: On Inspiration - Chuck Close quote
« on: September 12, 2014, 08:22:43 PM »
I'm somewhere in the middle on this.  I don't think of either playing music or being inspired first as an either/or proposition.  To me it's more like a continuum or an ebb and flow, where varying degrees of each may be needed, depending where you are in the process.  Starting to play or record might trigger an idea, but without some germ of an idea to start with, the act might lead you down a blind alley.  What I think is more important than inspiration, though, is a sense of structure that allows you visualize the process while you are creating the music.  Having that mental anchor can help keep a piece from trailing off into a noodle-a-thon.

I think some form of training in music is also essential, beyond simply being able to read staves.  Yes, it's possible to do without it, but it's generally harder to create something original this way.  If I have to choose between banging on rocks and banging on the piano, I'll choose the piano every time.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Online Mastering ?
« on: August 31, 2014, 12:16:25 PM »
A great quote I recently heard from well respected audiophile mastering engineer Stephen Marsh, is that "Mastering is the completion of the process of mixing." He views them as part of the same process and I really think that is true.

I agree, Paul.  Particularly in genres such as ours where the studio becomes an extension or at least a part of composition itself, mastering is really a continuation of the process of making music.  Ceding that function to an algorithm does not appeal to me.  In using an experienced mastering engineer, I think it's also important for the musician to be an active participant in that process; giving feedback helps to ensure that the results are an extension of your vision.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 09, 2014, 09:00:26 PM »
I've been enjoying the full immersion treatment with Loren Dent's Anthropology Vols. 1, 2 and 3 and his Extras from vol. 1 that we're originally available on a separate memory stick release.  Majestic symphonic drone with occasional hints of Stars of the Lid.  I've also been enjoying Stephen Parsick's clamshell version of Cambrium (Music for Protozoa)--vast dark ambient.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Any Genesis fans?
« on: August 07, 2014, 01:43:10 PM »
I saw them as a teen during their "Wind & Wuthering" tour.  As you can imagine, the air was thick with pot.  Great memories of that band, at least before they went pop.


Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Your music?
« on: August 06, 2014, 12:37:39 PM »

Thanks for your interest.
I'm totally newbie, with no musical experience, so this is my first track...



Hello Crossing The Threshold,

I agree, it's a nice start.  The mix seems a little thin.  I would bring in more of that mid-range drone, and maybe have it modulate into some other chords for variety a little sooner.

I would also try to resist the temptation of verbing the sounds too much.  Maybe leave some sounds in the foreground for contrast, with just a touch of echo or verb.

Good luck,

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Top Oophoi discs
« on: July 28, 2014, 10:37:15 PM »
I agree with the choices, too.  Here are my choices:

Signals From The Great Beyond
Archaic Oceans (collab w TauCeti)
The Spirals of Time
The Martian Chronicles (collab w Seren Ffordd)


Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Miss you Forrest!
« on: July 22, 2014, 04:23:56 PM »
Thanks everyone for your comments.  I greatly appreciate it.  I'll be back.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 28, 2014, 08:43:09 PM »
Pete and Julio,

I know there can be an inherent tension between an artist or a small label's rights and a listener's desire to hear as music as he or she can for as cheap as possible, and that YouTube for some fulfills that need alone, while other use it as a basis for experimenting with purchasing new music.  Ultimately, if musicmaking can no longer pay for itself and, instead, musicians continue to lose money paying for mastering, licensing of photos and artwork, you will have fewer musicians able or willing to do this at a continued loss and I think the pool of available music will gradually become the poorer for it.  If listeners truly respect the musicians whose music they like, they should pay for it, unless the musician chooses to make it available for free.  I try to balance my pay releases with some "free" material, such as my "Seeds of Memory" EP on Thomas Park's Treetrunk netlabel, as a way of giving those unfamiliar with my work a taste of what I do.

I buy quite a bit of music, physical and virtual, so I try to put money where my mouth is, as I think it's the right thing to do.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 27, 2014, 07:02:07 PM »
Yes, but that's the individual artist or label's decision to make, not the listener's.  I'm completely OK with the occasional piece of mine appearing on a blog mix, for example.  What I'm not OK with is a person posting one of my releases in its entirety anywhere in any form without my consent or my label's. This has happened more than once and I've had to sent take down notices.


What drone on said. The top referrer to my site is YouTube, with an average bounce rate of 35%. In my case, it's an excellent form of promotion.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 27, 2014, 01:11:02 PM »
Interesting to hear that youtube is used these days by lots of people primarily to browse for music.

That only bothers me is if the music is up there without the artist's or label's consent.  It's not unusual to see entire albums up there, and I would be surprised if most of the postings had prior consent.  The default assumption these days seems to be that you must have consented to it, even if you didn't know about it or didn't see it up there when you last checked.

Recent plays:  Lloyd Cole - Standards (really excellent; he's plugged in again).  Margins-Fragile Existence (photographs and portfolio are spectacular, very much in the vein of Alio Die's album images; music is just OK).


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 11, 2014, 03:54:19 PM »
I have to admit coming to it via the film Amadeus.....

I was familiar with the Requiem but once I had seen Amadeus it complete change the way listened to Mozart, especially the Requiem.

Yes, I remember that movie, too.  It was a bit of an eye-opener hearing some of Mozart's darker works in that movie, like Don Giovanni.  Since then, I've appreciated his music more, especially the piano concertos.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 10, 2014, 10:44:30 AM »
Mozart's Requiem -

up to the point that his student completed it after his death. I don't know if 'knowing' that Mozart didn't finish the music made me listen differently, but the last parts did feel unlike the earlier parts, perhaps more bombastic than he would have written.

but who knows, I could be imagining it.

Hi Seren,
I wasn't a huge fan of the Requiem when I first heard a portion of it, but enjoyed it more after I heard Colin Davis' rendition of it.  For me, the recording really captures the visceral essence of the piece as a last testament.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 05, 2014, 02:14:59 PM »
Margins - Fragile Existence
This is a late 2013 collaborative project between Dan Crossley (Facture/Fluid Audio) and Craig Tattersall (The Boats). Once again, this is an amazing product from Facture in which the packaging/art is as central to the release as the music. The music itself is decent, but not remarkable. It largely combines field recordings and tape loops to create a fractured but ambient atmosphere. The Crossley nature prints that accompany the release are absolutely beautiful, however, and are worth checking out on the Fluid Audio site regardless of how you feel about Tattersall.


Saw this release pop up on the Fluid Audio list again, so I thought I'd give it a go.


Electro Harmonix was reissued on Fax just before Peter's death.  You can order it from Cue Records, Germany.  There are usually copies for sale at Discogs.

They have the reissue of Electro Harmonix available through Amazon, too, for about $30 bucks.  That's where I got mine.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 26, 2014, 10:47:35 AM »
Listening to the samples on Bandcamp, thirdsystem. You're right: beautiful.

Off Land - Tidewater Pulse is one of my most played albums in the last few months, glad you liked it. I see the lad has a separate bandcamp page for other stuff..............

I have checked the Voyage/Home album..........on my bandcamp urgent list  ;)

Dwyer as Off Land has other earlier net releases floating out there as well.  "Encounter Point" is a really nice one (on Resting Bell):


Two older releases I've recently rediscovered are:

Electro Harmonix (love the combination of Tetsu Inoue and Jonah Sharp)
The Pool - Quiet Stories (a very obscure cassette from the mid-80s in an ambient vein).


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