Author Topic: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.  (Read 9517 times)

DeepR

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Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« on: July 22, 2009, 11:40:53 AM »
Since 10 years (I'm now 28) I've been a fan of electronic, ambient music. While my preferences change over time, there are a number of artists that I keep enjoying no matter what. One of my absolute favorites is Steve Roach, who I'm sure a lot of you hold in high esteem as well. Lately I've been giving Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces many spins and I'm particularly enjoying the deep and beautiful soundworlds of disc 2: Labyrinth.

In recent years I've been developing another passion for music, namely classical music, more specifically piano music. Thanks to Youtube and a pianoforum I discovered a lot of beautiful piano music, great composers and performers (pianists). I mostly prefer music from the romantic/late romantic period and early 1900s, by composers such as Chopin and Rachmaninoff, who wrote beautiful, atmospheric, emotional music. I even started playing the piano myself (having a background in keyboard playing).
These days I'm really enjoying the works of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, who's music I feel is very imaginative, atmospheric, mysterious, ethereal, 'spiritual'... It still has the melodic touches of the romantic period, yet it is more colorful and 'free in form'. Read more about this composer here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Scriabin

I haven't met anyone in real life or on the internet who shares the same deep passion for both types of ambient and classical music. True, ambient and classical music may seem totally different and unrelated, yet I've always felt there was some kind of connection between my favorite music in these two genres.

Today, while listening again to 'Dream Body', perhaps my favorite piece from Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces, I was reading some more reviews of MC&SS at steveroach.com, one of them by 'Hannah M.G. Shapero':
http://www.steveroach.com/Press/review.php?id=247

Quote
For MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES he has chosen to use mostly notes and harmonies which can be found in the work of composers like the late Romantics of Europe and Russia, and the French "Impressionists" as well as more recent composers such as Aaron Copland and even the French avant-garde composer Olivier Messiaen. Most important for Roach's MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES is the exotic music of the late 19th century Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, who created a huge "mystical universal chord" on which he based many wild works.


You can imagine I was quite astounded to see mention of Scriabin at Steve Roach' website, but actually it also made sense at the same time, because I know both their music so well.
I don't know if Steve Roach himself was inspired by Scriabin, or that only the reviewer made this connection, but for me it was a moment where my specific taste in music completely fell into place. Fantastic.

Just something I wanted to share with you.


(If you're interested, here's some of my favorites of Scriabin:
Sonata No. 2 Part 1:

Etude Op. 2 No. 1:

Etude Op. 42 No. 5:

Etude Op. 8 No. 11:

Etude Op. 8 No. 12:

His later works such as the later sonatas are even more 'free' and 'experimental' in nature and also become atonal.)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2009, 12:01:18 PM by DeepR »

Seren

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2009, 12:40:52 AM »
I find a lot of cross over between classical and ambient. Sometimes just in the 'orchestration' of sounds to create an ambient electronic piece, choosing when a certain sound should waft in and out of the textures..

My Favourite classical instrument is the Cello, especially in slow sonorous movements such as Syvati by John Taverner.

I also like choral music and can still remember the first time i heard gregorian Chant 30 years ago. Funnily enough the John Taverner born in the 16th century wrote some amazing pieces of music.

And, Doh, shows how little I think of the internet - never thought of searching for forums about the cello or choral music........


michael sandler

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2009, 11:46:35 AM »
If you like ambient music and classical piano, you might want to check out Roger Eno if you haven't already.

ffcal

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2009, 12:38:02 PM »
Iíve always enjoyed classical music, having been exposed to it throughout my childhood.  My father was a big fan of Jascha Heifetz, and I have fond memories of family trips to the Hollywood Bowl and the Dorothy Chandler pavilion to hear live performances of classical music.  My interest in the music of Bela Bartok and Aaron Copland inspired me to study composition and harmony in college.  These days, Iíve been listening to a lot of early and Baroque music, though Iíll occasionally pull out a Steve Reich or Ralph Vaughan Williams CD, for nostalgiaís sake.

Forrest

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2009, 06:07:36 PM »
There is absolutely no relationship between classical music and ambient.  Classical music is temporal, acoustically produced, structured music.  (Good) ambient just isn't. Period.

deepspace

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2009, 09:25:40 PM »
There is absolutely no relationship between classical music and ambient.  Classical music is temporal, acoustically produced, structured music.  (Good) ambient just isn't. Period.

Hi again everyone!

As to your comments drone on:

I disagree with your statement. 

Some ambient musicians use acoustic instruments (stars of the lid, eluvium, hammock, brian eno)
Some classical composers write music that doesn't have typical melodic narrative and structure (erik satie, debussy, mompou)
Some classical composers don't always use acoustic instruments (John Cage, Stockhausen, Philip Glass)
Some ambient musicians write music with clear sections and melodies (brian eno, harold budd, sotl and many others)

There are linkages between the two.  You just have to look carefully.  There are linkages between every genre of music.

So you basically can't make such statements. 

Period.  ;)


« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 09:29:14 PM by deepspace »
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drone on

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2009, 12:06:49 PM »
My parents have always referred to ambient as "non music."  And they love classical, n hate ambient.  So I don't think THEY see any correlations between the two.  I don't either. Period. Over n' out!!  :-*

petekelly

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2009, 12:24:40 PM »
To add a different viewpoint to this thread:

"Classical music is a dead fish"

guess who ?

« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 12:30:20 PM by petekelly »

jkn

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2009, 12:49:06 PM »
Well, I guessed who it was but still had to look it up.  Ironically - I'm listening to "the pearl" as I type this.

My personal take on this is all music overlaps.  All music is informed by and inpsired by whatever the composer and performer has absorbed over the years. And I think that includes much more than just music - life experiences, emotions, books, tv, movies, nature, noise, etc...

Some music of course overlaps much more than others...

There just isn't much in the way of stark black and white separation of musical ideas - it's all various shades and hues of colors that overlap. 

Unrelated, but I love this XTC lyric:  "when it rains it rains all the colors in my paintbox".   Music is kind of like that to me.

Was my "rock" bass playing informed by my love of atmospheric texture and big beat electronic stuff in the 90's?  Sure.  Just as my ambient music pulls in tiny hints of P-Funk and Debussy and Herbie Hancock.

 
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Wayne Higgins

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 08:25:49 AM »
Classical vs. Ambient

If Claude Debussy's "Tres Nocturnes" isn't ambient, then....

Ok, so it's back to intent.  Erik Satie?

Then there is the argument as to classical music being acoustically produced.  Wendy Carlos?  Isoa Tomita?

Arguments like this sometimes end up with discussions on instruments like classical guitar.

"Classical guitar is the real guitar.  Steel string acoustic are not proper for classical music."

"So nylon strings are the way, right?"

"Definitely"

"Nylon was invented by Wallace Carothers at DuPont in 1935.  Touche!" ;D
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deepspace

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2009, 01:38:44 AM »

There just isn't much in the way of stark black and white separation of musical ideas - it's all various shades and hues of colors that overlap. 

Unrelated, but I love this XTC lyric:  "when it rains it rains all the colors in my paintbox".   Music is kind of like that to me.


Nice Skylarking reference there!  And a wonderful way to state your idea.

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deepspace

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 01:44:28 AM »
My parents have always referred to ambient as "non music."  And they love classical, n hate ambient.  So I don't think THEY see any correlations between the two.  I don't either. Period. Over n' out!!  :-*

Well, those correlations sound highly subjective drone.  ;)  I'd like to point out (and to annoy you) with the fact that correlations are never seen as causation.  Meaning that you can't assume that any truth comes from a correlation. 

Enjoy that.  ;P

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drone on

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2009, 12:46:47 PM »
If you wanna talk classical why don't you go to www.beethoven.com?  This is an AMBIENT site, remember? Or as Electroambient Space puts it: "No new age, no techno, just Electronic Ambient Spacemusic..."  And yes you are now getting annoying (snappy smart-arse reply expected soon)...

APK

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2009, 01:05:27 PM »
There was a nice line by Seren earlier:
"I find a lot of cross over between classical and ambient. Sometimes just in the 'orchestration' of sounds to create an ambient electronic piece, choosing when a certain sound should waft in and out of the textures."

I think the classical vs ambient thing is not a "classical IS ambient" discussion, but rather a "cross over" thing. There ARE interesting relations and comparisons to be made. And this for sure is (drone on) a legit discussion on this forum.

I think of Murcof who has taken little classical bits, strung them together and composed some great ambient.
And the more contemporary 'classical' composers who bring in a lot of non-orchestral ambient sounds.
(A lot of creative contemporary ambient comes out of academic music departments, both acoustic and electronic.)
Also slower symphonic movements, like those of Mahler. Things of beauty, and pleasing in a similar way to the best ambient.
The list could go on ....
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jim brenholts

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2009, 02:57:14 PM »
please remember that erik satie's furniture music was the first piece to be called ambient. he got angry when visitors to an art exhibition complimented him on the music.
all the best and God bless
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Hypnagogue

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2009, 10:55:01 AM »
I'm late to the party as always, but when I was reading thru this thread I remembered how much I enjoyed Henryk Gorecki's 3rd Symphony. Has an ambient-ish feel to it, especially early on as the strings build very quietly. I have the recording with Dawn Upshaw singing. Absolutely gorgeous.
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drone on

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2009, 12:10:02 PM »
I thought Eno's Music for Airports was the first piece to be called ambient because he invented the term.  Never heard that about Satie.

DeepR

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2009, 11:34:56 AM »
'Technically' it's completely different music, but it's about the effect and not how it's created. There are similar types of harmonies, textures, moods, emotions in certain classical and ambient music.

The funny thing was that two of my current, absolute favorite artists - who seemed totally unrelated - are linked together by that reviewer... that made me think it's not a coincidence that I like both their music... I'm simply drawn towards these particular harmonies and moods, found in both types of music.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 11:38:41 AM by DeepR »

Scott M2

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2009, 12:12:12 PM »
I thought Eno's Music for Airports was the first piece to be called ambient because he invented the term.  Never heard that about Satie.


Yes - Satie called his ambient works "Furniture Music" and Eno coined the term "Ambient Music" much later but with a nod to Satie.
Discreet Music notes - http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/discreet-txt.html
Music For Airports notes - http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/MFA-txt.html

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Re: Ambient, Classical, Steve Roach and Russian piano music.
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2009, 09:59:19 AM »
Classical music is...structured music.

Please, if you don't have a clue what you're talking about, don't type. I'm pretty sure people like Messiaen, Ligeti, Feldman et al would laugh at the ridiculous parameters you impose on classical music. Mind bogglingly ignorant post.