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Messages - Hypnagogue

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Darkest Ambient
« on: August 08, 2008, 08:55:47 AM »
I'm late to the party, as usual, but when I saw this topic header the first thing that came to mind was a pretty obscure li'l disk to Joel Hinkle called "Frozen." Essentially a sonic exploration of what it would feel like to freeze to death in a blizzard. I particularly like the parts with muffled vocals samples...  Overall, a gorgeous and dark drone-based work. Not sure where Hinkle's gotten off to...

Just placed mine as well. "Sounds..." is a comp I go back to often. Deep and seamless, and I expect the same of this one!

I just had to have a bit o'fun with your post, Mirko. I've always made it clear on my site that I am NOT an in-depth expert in the genre or a student of its history. I'm an appreciative listener who wants to be something of an evangelist about the music and I happen to be blessed with the ability to write about my response to the music in a way that folks appreciate. And so far the response from the community has been both humbling and encouraging.

I quite enjoy, for example, reading Bill's and Alan's reviews, and I hope I someday acquire that level of understanding and the mental stockpile of references and influences. But I also think someone--me, for example--offers a service to listeners coming in from the outside, who may see an Inoue or Part (excuse the absence of the umlaut!) reference and have it mean nothing to them--which shouldn't stop them from discovering this amazing sub-world of music.

I spot too many music reviewers (mainly rock/pop music critics I should add) that have the depth of knowledge of an enthusiastic casual music listener, and don't go beyond the initial obvious comparisons and also lack knowledge of historical aspects of the particular artist and style they are reviewing.  Worse, they get by on a prose-like approach to everything, and are more concerned about the rhythm and composition of their review, instead of creating an informed and helpful opinion of the music.  As if to create the illusion that sounding all clever and witty is enough. 

I think I'm a little offended!  LOL!   ;)

Thanks for tossing me into the mix, friends! I've been out of the game for several months, but the new HQ is almost in live-in condition, and my 'puter's at the doctor's. Back to reviewing soon, I hope.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Favourite dramatic piece of music
« on: July 28, 2008, 12:35:38 PM »
Richard Einhorn's "Voices of Light" soundtrack---a score he created to a nearly lost silent film. Uses text from Hildegard von Bingen, Christine De La Rose and other medieval female visionaries. Voice of Joan by Anonymous 4.

When I was writing fantasy fiction, I would use one particular cut from this when I was writing fight scenes. Beyond that, just a gorgeous bit of neo-classical joy.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Watchmen trailer now online
« on: July 24, 2008, 08:28:20 AM »
Got my original issues bagged & boxed. Wonder how much they'd go for on eBay now? :-)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach, "Landmass"
« on: July 09, 2008, 11:49:32 AM »
I'm looking forward to picking up a copy of this because it's part of the live gig Steve did at the WXPN studios after his show at The Gatherings last May. I was very kindly invited to tag along--doing my requisite gear-hauling stint like all the good volunteers there--and watched the set unfold.

Well...sort of...

This session didn't start til about 2 am. I'd been on the road since 8 am, coming to Philly from MA. A beer at the studio didn't help my wakefulness that much, nor did the studio's very comfy couch. So I drifted in and out of consciousness about half an hour into it, and I can't begin to tell you how cool it is to wake up into the midst of a sonic maelstrom evolving live around you. I'd wake, look around, appreciate the flow, see SR hunched over the controls, occasionally refueling with a bit of Guiness, and then I'd zonk again.

So I look forward to hearing what only my subconscious heard. :-)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: June 11, 2008, 02:12:09 PM »

I tried playing some of the same CD for somebody at work and after listening to it for about 10 minutes he finally said, "I just know something's going to happen soon".

I have a friend who told me once, "My problem with ambient music is that I keep waiting for it to start." :-)

Independent Music Reviews / Justin Vanderberg, In Waking Moments
« on: May 21, 2008, 08:40:15 AM »
Hypnagogue review:

As you put Justin Vanderberg's In Waking Moments into your CD player or start it up on your iPod, be sure to set either device for repeat play. Then breathe deeply and prepare to live within the sound. This is a gentle, meditative journey that courses unhurriedly through areas of light and shadow in equal parts. Vanderberg layers long, slow-exhaling chords, each placed in perfect complement to those both before and after, crafting solid ambient-music constructs. Along the way, soft bells, hints of a drumbeat or a repeated melodic phrase infrequently anchor the dreaming listener to the corporeal world. This is a full-immersion disk that works for both attentive listening and as a soothing backdrop. I literally spent an entire workday with In Waking Moments in my headphones on constant repeat. There was no sense of hearing it again, no urge to stop or to move ahead to something else. The only thought was to just be. To be there within the sound, letting my attentiveness rise and fall as the day dictated, becoming mindful of the music in places, slowly soaking in the superb beauty of Vanderberg's compositions. And that's the earmark of a genuinely good ambient CD—its ability to allow you to exist within it without question or interruption. Warm, engaging, and quite simply genuinely pleasant, In Waking Moments is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: May 15, 2008, 11:35:43 AM »
Ariana Franklin - Mistress of the Art of Death

I know I'm exhausted from the move, but I swear to you, I looked at this fast and was sure it said "Aretha Franklin, Mistress of Death."

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: May 14, 2008, 11:40:56 AM »
"The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan.

All right, this is a young adult novel. But it's the first book--and more to the point, the first fantasy novel--that has completely hooked me in ages. The young hero is the son of Greek God and he gets mixed up in a little rivalry between Zeus and Dad. To be safe he's sent to a camp where "half-bloods"--the spawn of mortals and gods--are basically hidden from the unpleasant attentions of all sorts of nasty beasties. Naturally our hero is sent on a major quest...

This one is the first of a (now) four-book series. The writing is crisp and smart, and even if the "camp for special kids" smacks a wee bit of Hogwart's, this is a truly original series. Riordan's got me hooked.

Very sad news.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Thousands of new cars destroyed
« on: May 09, 2008, 08:26:38 AM »
If you haven't read the Wired article, do. It's fascinating and extremely well-written.

Everything and Nothing / Re: A game just made for ambient music
« on: May 09, 2008, 08:17:44 AM »
Both games were very cool.  Bill, you have a sick sense of humor! ;)  I didn't do that well, either, though I was able to get my head into the paper shredder twice. ;D


I particularly like putting on the paper mache horse-head and having my co-workers slash me...

It's a pinata!

Everything and Nothing / A game just made for ambient music
« on: May 08, 2008, 01:22:57 PM »
A friend sent this link earlier. I clicked over to it and naturally happened to have a bit of ambient going in the headphones. Something slow and quiet and ethereal. (Like right now...Jeffrey Koepper's "Distant Light" from the Etherea CD.) And it was a match made in heaven.

So grab a nice drifty disk, or bring it up on the 'pod, put on the headphones and mesmerize yourself playing The Hell of Sand.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: April 14, 2008, 06:30:55 AM »

Speaking of Sword 'O Truth...  the first book will be a tv miniseries coming soon.

Hmm...wonder how they'll handle the S&M overtones... :-)

I met the author one day in Cambridge, MA. Briefly. He was doing a signing for "Wizard's First Rule" at a little sci-fi bookstore. Sitting there, quite, quite alone...

I rather imagine he'd be swamped now.

(I read the first three and got very tired of them at that point. But "First Rule" is a superb novel.)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Hello Hypnos!
« on: April 11, 2008, 01:27:14 PM »
Let me beat Andrew to the punch a little....his disk "Xenofilika" is a great listen. I reviewed it late last year, and said: "Throw Shadowfax and Planet Drum into the same room, close the door and let them jam. The result will undoubtedly sound a lot like Rhizomorph." Very nice stuff. Welcome, Rhizomorph!

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: April 09, 2008, 07:30:53 AM »
Ah, Tom Covenant. The series responsible for no fantasy writer being able to sell a single stand-alone novel, ever again. ;-)

I tried to revisit these a while back. I remember that the first three seemed fresh and intriguing back in the day. But I also recall that the second three were depressing and slow-moving. The real problem I had with the series, especially in trying to re-read it, was that it's just so hard (for me) to buy into that whole "I must not use this amazing power I have been given" concept. Give any normal guy the power of the white gold ring and point us toward our enemies, and we'll pretty much burn a swath through the bastards, howling with glee and holding a cold beer in our free hand. (Conan had it right..."To drive the enemy before hear the lamentation of the women...") But all the heavy, angsty "Oh no what have I done" stuff that permeates this series (and so much fantasy fiction)....gah. If you can't handle the ring, Tom, give it to someone with some balls and let's get this Lord Foul thing cleared up! :-)

Have any of the fantasy geeks out here read any David Gemmel? (Legend, Heroes of Dark Renown)

[Oh my...I just Googled him. Seems he died two years ago...] :-(

Everything and Nothing / Come closer, Philly...
« on: April 03, 2008, 06:54:33 AM »
I just wanted to share my pain with the board. Last year I made the trek from Boston to Philly for The Gatherings to see Steve Roach and Jeffrey Koepper. More than just the concert itself, the whole Gatherings experience--helping Chuck & Co set lights and run wires (inept as I may have been), being invited over the studio (after playing roadie and lugging gear, which was actually a blast)--just to be in that whole incredible atmosphere, among people who didn't look at me funny when I mentioned Steve Roach, was a really addictive thing for me.

So yesterday I got Chuck's postcard for the upcoming season. And I wept. Because while the whole card is good (of course!), three shows absolutely tug me toward Philly....and this boy just can't afford three treks. (Buying a house, quote the esteemed philosopher Simply Red, "Money Too Tight to Mention.") Therefore--lament with me, friends!--I shall not see the Jeffrey Koepper/Jason Sloan show in two weeks. (And this, after Sloan hooked me on his music with the live broadcast a few months back.) Lo, I shall not make a cool fall journey to see Ministry of Inside Things (who reside perpetually within my iPod!) and M. Peck and Mark Mahoney (same for them! O, Gallery of Subtle Smiles!). But I do hope that come cold November, having endured, having saved myself for them...I will indeed be there for Tim Story, Dwight Ashley, and H-J Roedelius.

But damn, it's hard to pass up those other two shows....

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