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Topics - petekelly

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Everything and Nothing / Lifelong musicians 'have better hearing' ?
« on: September 15, 2011, 05:46:26 AM »
Lifelong musicians 'have better hearing' ?

BBC article:


I've been creating a lot of videos recently and uploading them to my Youtube channel. Unfortunately, Youtube doesn't really show them as I intended, so here's the original video for 'Vitreous Flow' (audio edit) from my 2007 album 'Hydra'.

Dropbox link:

The file size is 112 MB and the video is at 1920/1080 resolution (wmv file)

For those interested, the original footage was shot with a Sony HX5V camera, processed with Pixelan plugins and constructed in Sony Vegas 10 studio. I'm planning on a DVD release of a compilation of my videos later in the year.

Hope people find it to be interesting.
Lots more to be viewed here:


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Igneous Flame 2011 news
« on: March 28, 2011, 05:27:48 AM »
Igneous Flame 2011 news:


I'm currently working on my next album 'Lyra'.
'Lyra' will be my 10th solo release since my first album 'Tolmon' was released in 2003. It will be a guitar based album, incorporating nylon string guitar as well as electric. I'm endeavouring to make something different / unique on this one and a lot of work has already gone into the project to date. I'm planning on a late 2011 release for 'Lyra'.


I'm steadily adding videos to my Youtube channel, there are now 33 videos there now. I'm enjoying the process of making them, but they certainly take a long time to render !

Here's the most recent one, 'Isotropic' (from 'ION')

Everything and Nothing / RIP Gary Moore
« on: February 06, 2011, 02:48:25 PM »

Other Ambient (and related) Music / 'Celerium' - free download
« on: January 30, 2011, 04:42:38 AM »
'Celerium' [20:17]
Unreleased track, free download.
2009 rework of an (un-included) track from the 'Satu' album sessions.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Jazz-electric
« on: January 13, 2011, 07:54:49 AM »
'Jazz-electric' by Formbank (Pete Kelly) and Achromus (Michael Stringer)

Due to be released in the near future.
Difficult to categorise and describe, a fusion of hyper-electronica with occasional ambient lull. Hints of Japan, Sylvian and Peter Gabriel pervade throughout. Pete Kelly's real and fake guitar parts combine with Michael Stringer's melodic sensibilities to make for an intriguing, sometimes oblique listen.

Soundcloud link:

(moved from 'Everything and Nothing' section)

Everything and Nothing / Ambient video ?
« on: January 12, 2011, 10:13:57 AM »
I must admit that I was somewhat 'sniffy' about ambient videos until I came across a posting on a forum where people listed their favourite ambient tracks and pretty much everyone posted a youtube video link - either of a video someone had made of an existing track or the artists 'official' video.

This made me re-think about making some videos as 'ambient eye-candy' for my material (I'm always looking at ways to get my work out there). So I did some research and found Sony Vegas to be a very good tool for creating videos. Years ago I used to make animations for installations / projections in a program called 'Swish' (cut-down version of Flash), but that never really worked as I would have liked, but Vegas does the job indeed.

I've posted some initial pretty rudimentary videos on my Youtube channel, but now I'm now starting to make them a bit more interesting (hopefully), I recently made one from Kati Astraeir's images that were used in the 'ION' artwork. I'm at a bit of a lull regarding working on my next album, so I'II be working on this side-project for a while.

I've now noticed quite a few ambient artists have been making videos for some time.


My Youtube channel is here:


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / AAS String Studio synth deal
« on: September 28, 2010, 06:14:20 AM »

AAS String Studio for $20

I heard about this synth offer on a another forum and I bought it. I like it, a lot of the presets are pretty samey, but once you start to play around with it, it gets pretty interesting.

It takes a while to get the serial number details (for some people) and the challenge-response registration is a bit of a hassle but the sounds the synth makes are worth it (to me, anyway).


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Acoustic Instruments
« on: August 09, 2010, 12:46:20 PM »

I'm not sure if this topic has been discussed before, maybe some time ago ?

Anyway, I've just restored my Classical guitar. By 'restoring' I mean that I've put some new machine heads on it, put on some new strings and given it a general clean-up. This guitar is now 25 years old (Cuenca Model 40, if anyones interested) and sounds great. It was bought for me in 1983 and I played it intermittently since then.

As someone whose material is almost entirely 'electronic' in the way its created and produced, I found returning to this acoustic instrument to be
an enjoyable musical experience. Just playing it with my fingers and feeling the resonances of the notes and chords through the body and hearing the subtle (and not so subtle) variants in tone and volume was quite 'grounding' in a way. I would imagine playing a real grand piano would be quite a thrill for a keyboard player.

Computers, Internet and Technology / Soundcloud
« on: August 01, 2010, 06:29:39 AM »

I recently bought a Soundcloud 'lite' account and I've started to use it a bit more actively now. I think it could be a very useful thing -
particularly having a 'widget' that you can paste all over the sites you frequent.

The 'private' features are pretty interesting as well.

Any one else using Soundcloud ? Thoughts, tips ?


Everything and Nothing / World Cup anyone ?
« on: June 14, 2010, 01:35:48 AM »

I know that there probably isn't a great deal of interest here regarding the world cup, but I thought I'd start a thread anyway.

Watched the Germany / Australia last night - wow ! the Germans looked impressive.
I look forward to seeing the really good teams and players showing off their talent, am always keen to see Brazil, Holland and the like.

I know football isn't to everyone's taste, but its a massive global cultural event nonetheless.
People go a bit mad over here when England are in it, but that doesn't usually last beyond the opening round :)


Everything and Nothing / Spoof audiophile reviews
« on: June 08, 2010, 03:25:50 AM »
Whilst checking out snake oil/valid opinions on the merits of HiFi interconnects. I came across this gem:

Nice one  :D

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Robert Rich Tour Blog
« on: May 12, 2010, 07:19:02 AM »

I found this to be a Interesting read, particularly as a travelogue. I was struck by finding that even the 'premier league' ambient dudes can
experience disappointment and uncertainty. I found this quote to be quite inspiring about what Robert was trying to achieve:

'...Once again Iím a bit concerned about low turnout here in Burlington. I donít think many people here know about my music, and I feel a whisper
from the shadow of uncertainty; trying to overcome lingering doubts about perpetual obscurity, while trying to communicate something quiet and
personal in this distracted and overmodulated world...'


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Press Releases
« on: May 04, 2010, 08:38:59 AM »

Was wondering what people think about press releases ?

I know that the majority of ambient artists (myself included) have some kind of press release/verbage on their website to accompany the release of a new album. Sometimes descriptive, sometimes to try to convey the intent of the work / what inspired the artist or whatever.

I have to say the amount of times I've seen something like "destined to be an all time classic in the ambient world" is far too often...


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Igneous 2010 releases
« on: April 22, 2010, 08:37:55 AM »

For anyone interested, I'm currently working on 3 albums at present:

1) An album consisting of tracks made exclusively of sounds made from virtual synths. I wanted to get away from just using the guitar as a sound source and to work with new (to me) instrumentation. So far, its pretty ethereal/sonorous and is far from complete ! I currently have about 90 minutes of raw mixes to work with. Plan to get it released in the summer.

2) A very dark album made from processed binaural recordings/synth textures. Very heavy going - think 'outerstellar-industrial'. Plan to release this this year.

3) A collaboration with 'Achromus' which is more of an instrumental 'song' album. Very different to anything we've released to date. Again, planned to be released this year.

I've spent a lot of time recently working with a vst program called 'Nebula'. This is a program that 'samples' hardware such as reverb units, tape, valve channels. plate reverbs, compressors etc. It really is fantastic, I'II be posting more about this at some point.


Everything and Nothing / Chemtrail free skies
« on: April 17, 2010, 08:25:23 AM »

The UK's (and most of Europe's) airspace has been shut down since Thursday due to the ash cloud coming from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

On a human level it must be very frustrating being stranded away from home, but to be able to see the skies completely free of chemitrails and planes is almost surreal in its beauty. I'm now looking up to the sky just seeing birds and quite unusual cloud formations.

The situation appears to be impossible to predict, so who knows how long it'll go on for. Quite unprecedented...


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Sideways through Sound mp3 store
« on: March 28, 2010, 03:29:26 AM »

'Sideways through Sound'
is a great radio show hosted by Mark Ward AKA 'Thee Sonic Assassin'.
He has now set up a store specialising in folk, electronica, acoustic etc. There's some Fabia Orsi stuff up there as well.
It's at:

I've noticed that 'Harmonium' - Dean (Disturbed Earth) and myself's damn relaxing album is 'Recommended this week' - good taste that man :)


Everything and Nothing / Pressed CDs and independent artists/labels
« on: February 20, 2010, 02:17:03 PM »

I find it frustrating when people say something along the lines of 'Oh do it properly and release a pressed CD - I don't trust CD-Rs etc'
Well, I'm sure if artists were able to they would release a pressed CD they would do, but here's some points to bear in mind:

A CD pressing of 500 discs would cost £650 or thereabouts in the UK (including printed artwork, booklets etc), factor in other costs such as
mastering engineering and artwork and it starts to become expensive (unless you're pretty well off). The primary consideration is, how many of these discs could an independent label/non 'big-timer' actually sell ? - is it worth their investment ? My feeling is that most artists are currently
re-evaluating whether to release CD-R's these days, let alone pressed CDs !

Regarding the 'known' established artists. even Steve Roach and Robert Rich are selling less CDs these days, compared to what they used to. I'm wondering who can afford to fund such a venture on a basis that sales are not an issue ? There's nothing worse than having loads of lovely looking pressed CDs lying around in boxes.

Say I want to release 2 albums a year. As pressed CDs I can't do it, as small numbers of CD-Rs, I can, as download only releases, I could release as many as I want to. I can see the advantages of download only releases from the artist's point of view. A digital release provides a revenue stream (well a trickle more like!) over time. I sell a lot more downloads now than I used to and all my albums apart (from my most recent ones) have sold out as CD-Rs and its unrealistic to get some more made up. The downloads will continue to sell in the future.
Look at Atmoworks, look at JKN's relaxed machinery label, look at Hypnos even, to see where the pressed CD / CD-R thing is going.
For an artist, IODA and CD Baby enable you to get onto to iTunes, Napster, emusic et al for very little.

On the point of diminishing CD sales meaning that the genre is less popular than it was, then I'm not so sure if this is the case. There's arguably
more people now hearing ambient music through the likes of Lastfm and streaming radio stations - hearing something on lastfm and then buying it there and then from iTunes or Amazon.

In my view, it's not being tight , or lacking in artistic vision, it's a case of weighing up the pros and cons of is it worth it ? and will it be
worth it in the future ?



Ambient : Emissions of Sonic Beauty

#10 Igneous Flame (special mix)

Niels Mark (Podcast presenter) got in touch with me regarding selecting some of my material for a 30 minute podcast. I decided to take excerpts from 3 or 4 tracks from each of my 7 albums and make a mini-mix of each album and then to montage them together to make the full mix. The excerpts I chose were my favourite selections of some of the tracks on each particular release, in reverse chronological order.

'Electra' (2009) montage
'Hydra''(2007) montage
'Astra' (2006) montage
'Satu' (2005) montage
'Oxana' (2004) montage
'Intox' (2003) montage
'Tolmon' (2003) montage

57.7 MB

The introductory voiceover is in Danish, so is pretty much lost on me !
On the site, there are also Podcasts hilighting the work of Oophoi and Sleep Research Facility amongst others.


Everything and Nothing / Constructive criticism
« on: January 09, 2010, 09:41:20 AM »
Following Austere's recent post about their thoughts on recent ambient music. I thought it would be interesting to take things a bit further.

Constructive criticism - do artists really want it ?
I've seen a few comments over the years about the need for constructive criticism in ambient music. I tend to agree, but its a double-edged sword and some people's skins aren't as thick as others. Of course it all depends on who is making the criticisms and if you respect their opinion in the first place.

I'm wondering what the place is for self-criticism ? On one hand, artist 'X' may never release anything as they feel their work will never be good
enough and on the other hand, artist 'Y' wants to get as much out there as possible. Obviously there are various positions between these opposites.
Personally, I'm pretty self-critical and I reject a fair bit of what I do. Incidentally, I've just checked out a bunch of recordings I made onto DAT
tapes about 10 years ago. Cripes ! I'm glad I didn't release them at the time !

Here's an example of constructive criticism and my reaction to it:

My 2004 album 'Oxana' generally got very good reviews, but some reviews referred to a percieved shortcoming in the production of the album. I'II
admit that at first I didn't take it very well, but it kind of stuck. The issue was that the overall sound was a bit 'muddy'. It was true that
there wasn't much in the way of high frequencies on the album. On my subsequent albums, I started to add more HF content to 'fill the spectrum' to make them sound somewhat more contemporary (in terms of production). As time has gone on, I realised that the 'warmer/muddy' sound of 'Oxana' was appropriate for it and that the 'zing' and 'ping' production thing isn't that important to me now.

What I took from this was to take things on board, but to bear in mind that one's own judgement and sense of discrimination are core to creating work in the first place and that these things will change over time. I listen back to some of my material now and find things I didn't do very well, but it was the best I could do at the time.


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