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Messages - petekelly

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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:


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 09, 2011, 10:36:18 AM »

I find some of the original comments by 'Leaf' to be somewhat puzzling. Why
wouldn't an artist want as many people as possible to hear their work ? Do you
have to be in an exclusive 'ownership of the lovely physical object' order to have
access to the sacred sounds ?

Unusually, I find Eno's comments a bit irritating as well, it's easy to have made
your career from selling music to turn aroud and say 'it's just a blip' - well
that's easy to say in hindsight.

Mike , I hope you're not under the impression that all UK ambient types are off
fox-hunting during the day, then settling down with a copy of 'the Telegraph' in
front of the roaring fire on an evening. :)

Oh and I don't think CDs are dead, either.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Best Releases of 2010
« on: January 05, 2011, 01:21:16 PM »
Two very good quality releases in 2010 (both free)

'Koude Handen' by Matthew Florianz

'Domestic Aerospace' by Ensueno (a very under-rated artist, IMO)


Everything and Nothing / Re: Mick Karn has passed away
« on: January 04, 2011, 02:06:39 PM »
Sad news indeed. He was a truly innovative bass player.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Can we have a serious talk about vinyl?
« on: December 23, 2010, 03:31:13 AM »
I can see the appeal of vinyl as 'art object', but I always felt that static
ruined ambient (and choral music). An album like 'The Pearl' played on vinyl
didn't do it any favours, as I found the static very distracting.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Any last-minute 2010 gear purchases?
« on: December 21, 2010, 02:28:11 PM »

Bought recently a Schatten pickup for my nylon string guitar and the preamp to go with it.

Installation wasn't too easy (to say the least !) but I'm pleased with the sound - much better than the guitars I tried with under-the-saddle piezos. Will be using the combination to record the nylon string parts on my next album.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Silly Question on disagreeing vs. attacking
« on: December 14, 2010, 06:14:59 AM »

It seems some people have an almost evangelical zeal to 'convert' people to their
way of thinking and yes it must be hard work for them (as it is for others).

Lots of these people go into politics, as for Sarah Palin, frankly I don't give a
damn !

Everything and Nothing / Re: New Dog Story
« on: December 11, 2010, 02:15:38 PM »
Good man Wayne !

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Igneous 2010 releases
« on: December 10, 2010, 08:29:08 AM »

Hypnagogue review of 'ION' and 'Orcus'  - thanks John !

When an ambient artist notes that a work is “long form,” it usually means it’s one piece that takes up an entire CD–73 minutes or so. On his two latest releases, Ion and Orcus, Igneous Flame (aka Pete Kelly) set his sights higher. At 130 minutes and 95 minutes respectively, these offerings require DVD format to accommodate their heft. (Kelly wisely uses the ample disc space to offer both MP3 and WAV options.) Taken together, the two releases stand as contrasting meditations, one built on a dreamy lightness and the other on grim, often stultifying darkness.

Ion is the lighter of the two. Here, Kelly sets aside the processed guitars that have formed the bulk of his past few albums and instead calls all of his floating forms from keyboards. The feel here is classic ambient: cloud-motion drifts in airy, angelic-choir pads and soft bass exhalations that lazily nudge each other along for two hours. In that regard there’s nothing groundbreaking happening here; it’s just that it’s all done extremely well. Ion is one of those listens that creates moments where you suddenly realize that your breathing has sympathetically slowed to match the music and that you’ve allowed yourself to wander off somewhere, mentally. Sometimes you’re brought around by a Kelly shimmer or a shift in tone (as at the beginning of “Earth Metal”) that tugs at your attention, but soon enough you’ve returned to that quiet section of headspace Ion has been gently hollowing out for you. Obviously, this disc truly comes into its own when it’s looped quietly, as the artist intends. Kelly’s meditative, time-stretched imaginings will simply curl around the space and make themselves at home.

By stark contrast, Orcus grabs hold of all the right dark ambient memes and proceeds to hammer them into shape. Kelly’s web site notes that the sounds and sonic images herein are meant to call to mind “the current corrosive energies unleashed into the world,” and they do. Metallic sounds grate and rasp against one another. Static spatters the soundscape. A sense of unrest pollutes the space–by design. Kelly effectively varies the work from overloaded sonic detritus to sparse nuclear-winter stretches of near-nothingness. There is loneliness and there is noise. I’ve been listening to Igneous Flame for several years now, and this is absolutely the densest and darkest he’s ever gone. It’s to his credit that there’s no sense of pretension here or the feel of an artist overstepping his bounds. Kelly is clearly comfortable making listeners uncomfortable. Given its length, Orcus isn’t something I’m likely to put on often for a full listen–I have a hard enough time getting through dark ambient CDs of normal length. But it will certainly stay in iPod rotation for those times when I need a little blackness and despair.

Kudos also go to Kati Astraeir for her stunningly detailed cover art on these discs–particularly the swirling, Necronomicon-ish depths of Orcus.

Ion and Orcus are both excellent discs that showcase the breadth of Pete Kelly’s talent. Whether you’re in the mood for light sounds or gripping darkness, Igneous Flame has what you need–and plenty of it.

Available from LuminaSounds.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: December 04, 2010, 01:26:18 PM »

I've seen KJ play three times - on the 'Brighter than a Thousands Suns' tour at
Leeds University and on the 'Extremities' and 'Pandemonium' tours at Leeds
Metropolitan University (formerly Leeds poly).

I went to see loads of bands when I was younger and these were three of the most powerful gigs I've ever seen. Geordie
Walker is a hugely under-rated and very powerful guitar player and of course, all of the KJ
incarnations can play, they're not jazz-funk musos, but they certainly know what they're doing.

I'm in two minds on this one. On one hand, I'm always endeavouring to technically
improve my work and getting good gear is a pre-requisite for this. However, there
comes a point where sonic differences become so subtle and the cost differences so
large that things start to enter some kind of rarified audiophile realm.

I very much take exception to being told that 'A' sounds better than B, if I can't
hear any difference, then for me there isn't a difference. I read on one forum
that you should use product 'X' even if you can't hear a difference, because your
customers/audience may be able to !

Experience is critical as well as having quality gear. I remember reading copies
of 'Home and Studio Recording' in the Eighties when big studios were the order of
the day and thinking how unattainable this recording lark was and how expensive it
was. Now listening back to a lot of Eighties material recorded on those 48 track
SSL desks, it sounds pretty awful.

Back onto the subject of preamps. I bought this library recently for Nebula:
I was a little sceptical initially, but found that some of them were pretty coloured (especially the valve emulations).


Got that - well I've got a very good emulation of it (and lots of other things)
with 'Nebula'.

The emulation sounds great and colours things considerably.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Which is it??
« on: November 28, 2010, 04:32:13 AM »

I think its important to aspire, Sure, if you looked at things in the cold light of day the odds of doing 'well' in any artistic endevour are very low. I know pretty much nothing about publishing, but you hear these stories about 'unknowns' writing their first novel and it becoming very well received.

I think ambient is a special case, but it seems the likes of Fennez and Stars of the Lid have some clout away from the Roach/Rich side of things and look at Eno and Budd. If you want to try to 'cash in', a band/production venture would be more appropriate than making 'Ambient 5 - music for adverts' :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Which is it??
« on: November 27, 2010, 08:31:10 AM »

The subject of expectation of how one's work is received, is one I dwell on too (as I imagine a lot of artists do as well). For me, a healthy approach is to just keep at it - finish one album - start another and repeat. Having another creative
outlet helps (photography in my case). 

When I lived in Leeds I knew a lot of artists and they were just driven to do their work and some had been at it it for
30/40 years. I try to see things in the long(ish) term and strive to improve over time.

On the subject of making any kind of living from being an ambient artist, I like
Robert Rich's comment that he makes as much money a year as a garbage man - but he
doesn't smell as bad ! As for 'fame' (in ambience) I don't think that's really applicable here.

If you're doing something that's true to yourself, no matter how 'well' things are
going (or not), it's a whole lot better than trying to achieve 'success' by
jumping on the bandwagon of ephemeral popularity / emulating an existing artist or


The 'Impartial' BBC:

The bit at 0:48 in particular.


Yes, I too feel its a bit quiet around here as of late to (apart from the usual
self-promotion). I don't really know what to suggest. I recently posted here
regarding a gear related issue and surprisingly (considering the number of
gear-heads there are here) there weren't any replies.

The means to embed music players would be pretty cool, but on one hand, I quite
like the 'text only' element to this here forum.

Perhaps everyone has said their bit (temporarily) and a lot of topics have been
discussed at length in the past (particularly on the old forum) ? Some of the
listings here aren't really what attracts me here - each to their own.

A contentious post is a sure fire way to spark some life here, but that's ill
advised :)


I think it's a primarily 'arty' decision to release anything on cassette, it's
hardly a freely accessible way to release one's music.

I've still got loads of tapes and I picked up an old Bang and Olufsen Beocenter
recently to play them back and they're mostly pretty much unlistenable.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: New Brian Eno
« on: November 10, 2010, 03:26:17 PM »
Genius 'interview' !

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 31, 2010, 01:53:12 PM »
Halloween listening
'Tam Lin' by Fairport Convention

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Reaper
« on: October 27, 2010, 05:51:39 AM »

I bought Reaper yesterday, I felt this old dog should learn some new tricks.

I know some forum members are keen users of this program DAW. I'd appreciate any tips / shortcuts anyone has.
I'm planning to use it primarily with audio, I'm planning on carrying on using FL studio for sequencing duties.


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