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Topics - petekelly

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21




Hypnotic and meditative, 'NYX' waxes and wanes around thirteen slow-motion tracks encompassing depth and air. Each track is centered on a fixed tonal structure, recurring sounds and themes appearing throughout giving an overall coherent sound to the album. Spatial and spectral processes add to the subtle colour of the work. In terms of spectral balance, 'NYX' has a tempered upper frequency range, resulting in a softer sound than is usually present in ambient music. For this release, I felt that less was more and focusing on a somewhat band-limited spectra allowed for a more tempered overall production.

The album is 'long-form' in terms of its overall duration - it's a 'single' album of just over 2 hours in length. In the traditional sense of defining an album by what can be fitted on a CD, it would be a 'double' album, but as 'NYX' is a digital only release, there's no requirement to define it as such.

Headphone listening recommended / suggested (album was composed, mixed and mastered on headphones)

Cover Images:
Pete Kelly (Igneous Flame)

24 Bit Flac version (and all other download formats) available at my Band camp page:
http://igneousflame.bandcamp.com/album/nyx

CD Baby page will be 'live' soon - both these sites are the cheapest place to get the album.


Soundcloud Montage:





Youtube montage:
NYX Montage


More details at my my Blog:
http://igneousflame.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/nyx-new-album-released/




22
Everything and Nothing / New PayPal fees for artists on CDBaby
« on: May 23, 2013, 02:20:59 AM »
Received this message from CD Baby yesterday - doesn't PayPal make enough money already ! ?:

'We wanted to let you know that on 06/06/13, we’ll begin charging a $1.50 fee for each CD Baby payment sent to you through PayPal. We have to pay PayPal for every transaction, and since we send thousands of payments per week, those costs have really added up!

If you’d prefer to keep receiving payments through PayPal, we suggest you raise your CD Baby “pay-point”, thus helping you avoid some of the fees you’d incur for smaller, more frequent PayPal payments.'

23
'NYX' upcoming Igneous Flame album update.

Early July release (hopefully !) , more info here:

http://igneousflame.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/nyx-new-album-update/

24
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Robert Rich Guitar player video
« on: March 30, 2013, 01:02:39 PM »
Very interesting to see him at work:

http://bcove.me/1qew01ls

25
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Spotify - your experiences ?
« on: January 17, 2013, 09:32:05 AM »
Wondering what people's experiences of Spotify are ? Listeners and artists, alike.
cheers, Pete


26
This January, I've been releasing my ambient music under my Igneous Flame moniker for 10 years. This is quite a milestone for me, even though I'm aware it is dwarfed by much more established artists longevity, it still means a lot to me. I initially released my material on 'Chillfactor 10 records' (not my title !) in 2003 and when that label folded, I set up my own LuminaSounds imprint in 2008. During this 10 year period, I released 11 solo albums and 24 albums in total.

Around 2003, I read some overly-optomistic 'career' articles for musicians about having 5 year and 10 year plans, I decided that they were far too idealistic and my plan was to simply carry on creating and releasing ! I've still got a lot I want to do and over time, more refinement will (hopefully !) come into the work. I hope to be able to carry on as I am currently able to in the future.

To mark my first 10 years, I'm giving away my 2005 'Binaural Soundtracks' release (as 320 kbps mp3s).

Full text and album download link:
http://igneousflame.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/




27
Shimmering jewels in the deep mid-winter sky.

With 'Harmony through Conflict', I set out to create an album that allowed me to experiment beyond my usual ways of working. I used some of the more 'traditional' instrumentation and sound sources that are commonly associated with ambient music in musically diverse and subtley different ways. Oblique, rhythmic elements were added as part of this experimental approach and less emphasis was placed on sound-design and more on the compositional ebb and flow of the individual tracks.
The album could be described as being primarily 'dark', but I would prefer to use the term 'heavy', this 'heaviness' was offset with tonal elements adding contrast and balance.

Headphone listening recommended.
(composed, mixed and mastered on headphones)
Artwork by Kati Astraeir.
LS-08 LuminaSounds Records.



Currently only available from my Bandcamp site (though that will change in the new year)
http://igneousflame.bandcamp.com/
Exclusive 24 Bit FLAC version and 320 kbps mp3.


Downloadable Montage:



Free track: 'The End of Days'



28
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Mobile Listenings
« on: November 14, 2012, 04:46:06 AM »
I've been upgrading my out and about listenings set-ups. My venerable Sony NW-HD5 is an old hard disc based player and I think it may be on it's last legs, so I did some 'research' (internet mooching) and got the folllowing :

Sansa Clip Plus (in purple !)
A tiny thing but very good. At first I thought it was a toy, due to it's diminutive proportions. Great sound and with a 32GB micro SD card, lots of space. I've 'rockboxed' it, (http://www.rockbox.org/) but I'm still not convinced that that's such a great thing as it's made out to be.



Etymotic HF-5s
Poor mans ER-4P, very detailed sound with 'lean' bass (as they say on audiophile forums), great isolation. Replaced my old Etymotic ER6i's.



Rocoo BA
Daft name but a great little player. No Eq or any other sound modifiers, really basic User Interface and no bells or whistles at all, just great sonic performance. Plays 24 Bit wavs - which is great for auditioning work-in-progress mixes and is almost completely hiss free ! My Shure E500s hiss with pretty much everything, but not this beastie.



So, I've now got some good gear to listen to music out and about, certainly not the last word in Hi-fidelity, but pretty good to these ears. Regarding those audiophiles on the Head-fi forums and the like, I was wondering do they really enjoy their music / lovely gear or are they constantly craving the 'even better' model(s) ? I really like the immediacy of in ear phones, but I find all earphones really uncomfortable after an hour or so. However, for that hour or so, listening to high quality playback is something thats important to me (as well as listening to less than brilliantly mastered favourite works as well). 

Am curious to hear what gear are others listening to ? How are mobile phones  / iThings these days for music listening ?

29
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Eno interview
« on: November 11, 2012, 10:20:19 AM »
Eno interview in the Indy (including some shocking typos !):

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/brian-eno-its-simply-not-my-temperament-to-look-back-8294822.html

Not a wildly exciting interview, but good to see he's still at it. I'm interested to hear this 'Lux' album.

30
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Interesting Steve Roach Technical interview
« on: October 27, 2012, 03:25:26 AM »
I don't know if this is the most appropriate place for this, but here's the interview :

http://blog.mixonline.com/mixblog/2012/10/11/a-few-moments-with-steve-roach/

31
Everything and Nothing / Speed of light ?
« on: October 16, 2012, 03:32:20 AM »
What are we NOT capable of ? :)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/msnbc-felix-baumgartner-speed-of-light_n_1967878.html

Seriously though, reporting aberrations aside, an amazing feat.

32
Cassette ! (and other obselete media nostalgia)

My second hand B & O cassette player player finally died and went off to the recycling tip, which made me revisit that big box of cassettes I’ve carted around from house to house for many years. I grew up (musically) in the era of cassette, when the new fangled Sony Walkman was the must have thing of the day. Like everyone else, I recorded onto ‘tape’ and this was my primary listening medium too.

In the eighties, I lived in houses with fellers who were into Hi-Fi, they had high-end cassette decks such as Nakamichi and Denon models, they who would only use premium metal / Chrome tapes and Dolby C, or more esoteric types of noise reduction. It was the best that people could do at the time without spending insane amounts of money on audio equipment. Even though the dynamic range and frequency response of the format was pretty unacceptable by today’s standards, it didn’t stop people recording music and enjoying it at the time.

After my stint of being in bands in the late eighties, I was very keen to record my own ideas, so I bought a very humble Vestax 4 track cassette recorder. This was the start of my ‘home-recording’ activities, I used that thing until it died and learnt an awful lot regarding making the most of 4 tracks. In hindsight, it was pretty dreadful quality wise, but saying that, even so-called ‘professional’ units of the time weren’t great either by modern standards of fidelity. I dare say tape hiss will not be remembered fondly by too many people !
I tried to get the most out of it by using the best quality tapes that I could. I also used a ‘ghetto-blaster’ to record guitar noodlings and jams I had with other musicians and that was even more awful in terms of sound quality, but very useful nonetheless. In the nineties a friend had a studio set-up based around an Alesis ADAT machine, which was a big step up in recording quality and extra had 8 tracks. We mastered onto a DAT machine, as that was considered to be the best format at the time. I recorded an awful lot of material at the time and was very diligent in documenting it and auditioning it, but I came to the realisation that it was just ‘work-in-progress’. None of these (home) recordings were ever released. However, some snippets of the better stuff have been recycled in my ambient work, ‘Colour my World’ from my ‘Hydra’ album being an example.

Four of my Cassette favourites :




Original Text here:
http://igneousflame.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/cassette-and-other-obselete-media-nostalgia/

33
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Gear Acquisition Syndrome related blog post
« on: September 18, 2012, 03:12:46 AM »
I think I need a 'purge' ! (Process mini-blog)

I spend an awful lot of time trying to determine as to whether software programs – synths, effects, samplers etc. may be useful (or not) for my musical projects. If I decide to buy a certain program, I spend even more time figuring out how it works. Of course, some things are pretty straight forward, but something like Native Instrument’s ‘Kontakt’ (for example) has an awful lot going on ‘behind the scenes’ as it were, and I’ve spent a significant amount of time with it, trying to figure out how I might find some interesting elements to it which aren’t immediately obvious.

I’m wondering now if I’ve succumbed to that most odious and insidious condition that musicians can be afflicted by – ‘GAS’ (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). I have a relatively humble set-up, which probably cost me less than a half-decent 5 year old car would do. Saying that, I have a LOT of stuff and as I’ve said earlier, I spend a lot of time working with that ‘stuff’.
When it works, it’s cool, in that it gets used in my music and I get to broaden my sonic palette and look at new techniques and ways of working. Also, it keeps the old noggin ticking over, I feel it’s always good to try new things out. Some of my ‘core’ techniques have come out of happy accidents with working with some program or using a program in a different way in which it was intended to be used.

However, I’m starting to wonder if is less is more and do I need to stop looking to new ‘shiny’ things and concentrate on what I have ? I think that marketing people know that a lot of musicians are looking for that killer application that will improve their work markedly in some way. Look at the amount of ‘ambient themed’ sample libraries / synths / loops and the likes that are out there. Whole synths are marketed as making great sounding ‘pads’, for example. My feeling is that you need to spend time with what you know in a lot of cases, to come up with interesting results. I’m fortunate in that I’m quite an imaginative chap, so new ideas are never too far away. ‘Ambient X Super synth’ may yield great results, but there’s a lot of satisfaction in the DIY approach, methinks.

On balance, exploring synthesis and sound-mangling techniques is something I’m deeply fascinated by, so even though a lot of this experimentation never sees the light of day in my material, I believe that the time energy ‘invested’ is never wasted in the pursuit of artistic endeavour and it feeds into the final work, one way or another.

Original text here:
http://igneousflame.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/process-mini-blog-and-the-evil-gas/

34
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Igneous Flame September news
« on: September 14, 2012, 01:30:24 PM »
Including information about my upcoming album 'IRIS', Independent artist musings, a mini-review of the Korg microKEY25 and more.

‘IRIS’ new 2012 Igneous Flame Album:

I have a new album in the pipeline, it’s working title is ‘IRIS’ and I’m planning to have it finished and released by the end of this year. In terms of format and duration it could go any number of ways at the moment. A lot of time has gone into the work-in-progress as it stands and there’s still a lot of work that needs doing yet ! I’m striving for something with a more 'colourful' tonal sound palette and some different (to me) processes / ways of working with this album. More information will be posted nearer the release time.

Original blog post here:
http://igneousflame.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/september-news/

35
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Ambient – Quiet music for all ages
« on: August 25, 2012, 07:11:15 AM »
Some thoughts on ambient and artists / listeners age, which may be of interest to some folks here:

'I recently watched a documentary about the age of the first generation of rock stars such as the Rolling Stones and other artists of their era, who were still going well into their sixties. It made me think about ambient music and the age of it’s artists and listeners. A few years ago, you could have said that ambient was primarily for middle-aged fellers, judging by the online forum discussions, groups, reviews and the like. I think it’s fair to say that the artists / listener demographics at the time would have shown this to be the case.

However, when I look at my Last.fm page, for example. I find that a much wider cross section of people listen to ambient music than might have done so in the past. I think this is great, I would much rather have all manner of people listening to my (and other peoples) ambient material and I find it particularly interesting that this trend seems to be continuing. As regards artists, I think this diversity is the case as well, again I can only think this is a good thing. Unlike say, pop music, ambient isn’t defined by a young artist / listener base and I think artists will release for as long as they want irregardless of age and (hopefully) listeners will still want to hear their work.

In my case, I got into ambient at the age of 20, I would imagine that may be unusual case, here’s the background – I was living in a house with some Buddhists in Leeds, we had no TV, so we used to play a lot of records. One guy put on a record that I had not heard the like of before, it was ‘The Pearl’ by Harold Budd and Brian Eno. I was immediately taken by it’s beautiful, delicate ethereality and I was ‘turned on’ to ambient, so to speak. Even though I was a very mentally speedy kind of person, the calming qualities of early Eno ambient works (in particular) were very valuable to me. Now that I’m approaching middle-aqe, I feel I’m slowing down much more in lots of ways and ambient is perhaps more important to me. I couldn’t imagine not creating ambient music at this time in my life and I can now see more subtlety and nuance coming into my material as I get older...'

Full text here:

http://igneousflame.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/ambient-quiet-music-for-all-ages/

36

I know this isn't directly relevant to the world of ambient, but interesting nonetheless, in terms of an artist endeavouring to release their work in a different format. I'm quite a fan of Beck and it's cool to see his imagination at work and the enduring legacy of 'sheet music' even today.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/youll-need-something-to-play-the-new-beck-album-on-and-a-stereo-wont-do-the-trick-8027276.html

37

'Pandora' by Igneous Flame / Ensueno




Montage of the eight tracks on the album, video by Igneous Flame

Pandora Montage



Exclusive 24 Bit FLAC version now available at Igneous Flame's Bandcamp page:
http://igneousflame.bandcamp.com/

This is the first ambient digital-only album released on LuminaSounds and will be available on iTunes, Amazon and the like through CD Baby in the near future, more details to follow.


Press Release:


'Pandora' by Igneous Flame / Ensueno
(2012)

'Pandora' is the album that arose out of the collaboration between Igneous Flame (UK) and Ensueno (Russia).

In 2011, Rudy (Ensueno) got in touch with me asking about the possibility of us releasing a collaborative album. From what I'd heard of Rudy's work, I was always impressed with what he had created, so I was happy to agree to this. He sent me a considerable amount of music, which I listened to intensively, chose the work I preferred and then proceeded to work with this material.
The source material for the album was entirely Rudy's and my involvement was primarily reworking and production. I added certain sound elements, manipulations and (spatial) processing in particular. Rudy's original material was extended and 're-composed' extensively. This collaborative process took seven months and resulted in our album 'Pandora'.

The Internet facilitated the work, from Rudy initially sending me his full resolution source material from his studio in Russia to my studio in England via download links, to the final stage of releasing the album on CD Baby to be digitally distributed to the major download sites.


Pete Kelly (Igneous Flame), August 2012.

Produced and Mastered by Igneous Flame at Nimbus Studios, England.
Artwork Image by Kati Astraeir.
LuminaSounds Label release, catalogue number: LS-07.

Titles and running order:

1) Imagination (rules the world)
2) Deep Purple
3) Persephone
4) Light on Water
5) Lightstorm 
6) Fiat Lux
7) I Walk the Earth
8] Immaculate

Duration = [80 minutes]



38
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Kontakt !
« on: July 16, 2012, 08:51:56 AM »
I finally bought the full version of Kontakt as NI were having a 50% off sale recently, I'd stumbled along with the Kontakt player for a while as I had bought some libraries that were compatible with it.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was quite a bit of good to very good stuff in the full (43GB) Kontakt library - there was very little available info on the library that I could find.

So now, I've got lots to get my head around in the spirit of lifelong learning. It's funny, I find some things just don't entice me to really get to grips with them (Reaper was a case in point), I tend to spend most time on the things I think I'm most likely to use in the future.

39
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Two free tracks
« on: April 29, 2012, 03:45:44 AM »
Two tracks that were only previously available on the DVD disc releases of my 'ION' and 'Orcus' albums released in 2010.
I felt that they've been 'exclusive' for long enough and I'm now making them free to download. They are both 320 kbps mp3s and tagged:


Starlit





Tectonic Mass




40
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Ambient (ish) guitar video
« on: April 03, 2012, 06:03:40 AM »
I've set up a Youtube channel for some of my guitar noodlings that don't really get used in my ambient work.
Here's a short vid which is more on the ambient (ish) side of things though:

Volume Pedal


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