Author Topic: No Such thing as "Ambient Vocal?"  (Read 1846 times)

ambient789

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No Such thing as "Ambient Vocal?"
« on: February 20, 2010, 06:54:42 PM »
Hi,

I was sick for 9 days in January, took the rest of the month to recover and I have been "hibernating" since.

Anyway, from the "Why is ambient not more popular?" thread, JKN mentioned that there are no vocals in Ambient. I don't want to quibble or sound dumb, but what about Jim Cole or David Hykes?  ???  Those artists don't do singable lyrics (which is what, I presume, JKN was referring to), but the voice is used as an instrument in those cases to convey....whatever the listener wants to get out of it.  :-\

Mark Mushet

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Re: No Such thing as "Ambient Vocal?"
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2010, 07:52:50 PM »
I was sick for 9 days in January, took the rest of the month to recover and I have been "hibernating" since.

Anyway, from the "Why is ambient not more popular?" thread, JKN mentioned that there are no vocals in Ambient. I don't want to quibble or sound dumb, but what about Jim Cole or David Hykes?

Ha! I missed it too because, and I'm not joking, I broke both arms (one needing titanium parts) in a nasty cycling accident. I'm typing left handed now!

Anyway, to the topic; the new Loscil features vocals by Destroyer singer Dan Bejar. Haven't heard it yet.

Also, does Music for Airports not include the female voice? Hykes and Cole are good examples too.

judd stephens

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Re: No Such thing as "Ambient Vocal?"
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2010, 08:03:53 PM »
If I could speak for Jkn a little, I think he would agree with you on this.  The gist is that there aren't lyrical vocal pieces in ambient, well, almost never, and the ambient that does have vocals like the ones you mentioned doesn't make ambient any more popular. 

Although some vocal ambient might have a decent amount of crossover appeal,  it's not going to be in the stratosphere of sales (only in our minds  :P)  This probably has to do with facts like it's still ambient in nature, and the lyrics if there are any, are just not as relatable.  Take for example the group Primeaux and Mike, a Native american duo who uses ambient effects along with their very harmonious chants.  It's very nice, and surely it attracted people to the 'scene' who never heard of Oophoi or Celer, but obviously it's still a niche- style that isn't going to burst any charts...

Seems like the only times ambient does get popular is when a well known artist goes in that direction, or the music is also a soundtrack to a very popular movie.  Trent Reznor's "Ghosts", and I also remember seeing people with the Trainspotting soundtrack who probably got turned on to Brian Eno but otherwise had little or no ambient in their collection.

I wonder what segment of the population has the most disposable income?  Young people?  I know that's when I was able to buy more music, when I had less financial responsibilities to worry about.  And what percentage of ambient listeners are young?  Probably much, much less than pop and rock music.  It's a contributing factor, if not THE major one.

Scott M2

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Re: No Such thing as "Ambient Vocal?"
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2010, 11:47:24 PM »
And of course there's Sara Ayers - who has a new post in Non-Hypnos Artists:
http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?PHPSESSID=71343351403848a32f86bef295505813&topic=2840.msg22114#new
with 3 album downloads including some ambient works - and the Endless Ascent album has a beautiful vocal ambient piece with H-Forum-member Jeff Sampson.

michael sandler

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Re: No Such thing as "Ambient Vocal?"
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 08:28:22 AM »

Ha! I missed it too because, and I'm not joking, I broke both arms (one needing titanium parts) in a nasty cycling accident. I'm typing left handed now!

!! :o

Hope you have a speedy ambient recovery.

MarkM

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Re: No Such thing as "Ambient Vocal?"
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 08:38:18 AM »
Let's not forget The Tunnel Singer. Her singing is as ambient as can be.

judd stephens

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Re: No Such thing as "Ambient Vocal?"
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 09:57:32 PM »
And of course there's Sara Ayers - who has a new post in Non-Hypnos Artists:
http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?PHPSESSID=71343351403848a32f86bef295505813&topic=2840.msg22114#new
with 3 album downloads including some ambient works - and the Endless Ascent album has a beautiful vocal ambient piece with H-Forum-member Jeff Sampson.



There's also whole album of hers on Endless Ascent called Ambient Collaborations which I just discovered.  It sounds pretty good so far.  The vocals are more of a steady companion than all out front and center.

jkn

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Re: No Such thing as "Ambient Vocal?"
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2010, 07:18:12 AM »
Ok - I've been called out - and for good reason - and yes I do agree with you.

I was thinking more of vocals in the verse verse chorus verse chorus chorus fade sense.

Voice used as an instrument - totally love that.   Jim Cole on Vidna Jo Mama's "Lamentation" (off Surreal Sanctuary) just moves me all the way deep into my bones.  Such an amazing track and Cole's voice plays a substantial part.

Thanks for starting a thread on this - I love it.
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei