....genre of music - what's it about??

Started by Seren, July 11, 2021, 09:34:43 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


   I remember as youngster I'd listen to a wide range of music, I might not enjoy it all in the same way, but I'd give it a go.
   Recently I have been enjoying listening to music so much I have even bought CDs from genre's I normally avoid and thought I'd start a thread where I / we can ask 'what's it all about?'
   I'm hoping we can share our understandings and pleasures and learn from each other - I'm not looking for simple I like / I don't like type interactions. I'd really like to get to understand genre's I struggle with - clearly many people enjoy listening to them.

So as a start:
   Jazz - what's it all about?

   I have been listening to 'Charles Mingus at Carnegie Hall' (recorded 1972). The musicians are extremely talented and know what they are doing. They can take a song they know well, improvise around it together for a long time - starting, stopping, changing key and musical direction etc at what seems the drop of a hat - no one having to catch up or get back in the groove.
   There is what sounds like a great drum solo at one point which as a drummer I can hear the skill involved.
   But I don't get it...despite my enjoyment of discordant electronic music and strange rhythms I don't really know what I'm supposed to be enjoying - where do I hang my hat? How do I get the groove??
   The discordant harmonies are consistent enough to show they are deliberately chosen and explored - and different musicians use them at the same time so they 'disharmonise' together.
I know Jazz evolved out of other music (as do they all) so is there any history I need to check, to understand how the linked forms evolved and what they were trying to achieve or explore as they responded to what went before?

Your knowledge and experience very welcome


I'm not a big fan of jazz. I don't dislike it, but I've never really had it click with me. One of my friends from long ago, however, was an avid collector. His take on it was that jazz was a visceral experience; you have to play it or experience it live before you can begin to listen to and appreciate recordings.

I can appreciate his perspective. I really enjoy seeing live jazz. There is something about the fever of the stage, the way the musicians can implicitly communicate with one another, the disharmonies, etc.


I get that - one of the best gigs I saw was at Glastonbury - in a small tent, 3 guys playing jazz and stoned as hell. The energy of their interaction was infectious.


Saw a couple of youtube clips of Joe Morello drumming with Dave Brubeck



as a drummer I found them both interesting and exciting - I think I've found the way in I was looking for

Julio Di Benedetto

Interesting topic,

I have enjoyed jazz and its musical abstraction much in the way I listen to avant-garde classic music from the  Stockhausen, Ligeti and Messiaen.  It is hard to describe what it does for me but in a way it is akin to reading heavy philosophy from the likes of Derrida or Deleuze, and their impenetrable text.  My brain responds in a similar way with jazz, perhaps triggering new parts of the mind.

My first introduction to jazz which was actually fusion was Stanly Clarke's first album.  I was 10 years old and I claimed it from my mothers record collection.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DPqXyJfXqA.  It was the drums and bass.  The power of them and what I came to know later was the quality of the musicians.   Who was Tony Williams, Jan Hammer?   I think it was this album that stirred my interest in drumming which a few years later I started to play.

When I was older I did look into the records that Tony Williams played on prior to the Clarke album and through that discovered Miles Davis.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiCsi5cRchA&list=PL15ACF5DD5C3AEFFD 

It was Elvin Jones's drumming that lead me to John Coltrane.....https://vimeo.com/177349753[

I followed the jazz fusion path much more than pure jazz because, as with Tony Williams, it was when these drummer moved away from their core jazz that for me they became truly inspiring and that kind of drumming really spoke to me.

So drums are the gateway in Jazz.

"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley



Quote from: stargazer on August 07, 2021, 05:25:07 AM
I would like to talk about the genre "space music/space ambient".

How do you define the genre. Would you count in any specified artists?

Do you think these artists give you an exact feeling of being in space?

I only read somewhere that the space music genre derivates from the new age genre.

Any feedback is very welcome :) Thanks !

When I think of space music, I always think of the old 80's stuff like Steve Roach, Michael Stearns, and Brian Eno's Apollo.


Space Music / Space Ambient
For me, ambient still carries the meaning it had when I first heard it in the early 70's - music with no beats or rhythms.
   But I know the genre has evolved and diversified since then....

I find Ambient music can evoke a wide range of atmospheres - ethereal, other-wordly and earthly.
    I don't experience 'space music' as part of the new age genre, which (opinion and gross generalisation coming) I tend to find very bland and syrupy.
   But I recognise there is, like many genres, large areas of overlap.

For space ambient I would include
Tangerine Dream - Zeit.
Steve Roach - The Magnificent Void / A deeper Silence / Darkest Before Dawn
Max Corbacho - Far Beyond the Immobile Point
Lustmord - The Place Where the Black Stars Hang
Oophoi - Athlit and others.
Klaus Schulze - Irrlicht - like being directly plugged into the currents of the universe!
edit - Michael Neil - Towards the Unknown Region
   I don't often mention my own music - but I would hope 'Ydd Hwnt y Seren a Llygedin' evokes some different areas of space.

Some that may not be 'space' music but evoke that for me
Vidna Obmana + Alio Die - Echo passage
Tuu - The Frozen lands (more often makes me think of vast space than land.....)

There are of course other space music albums that are more 'electronic beat and melody' based including
Micheal Stearns - Encounter
Phil Thornton - Alien Encounter
Steve Roach - Light Fantastic also evokes space for me - but more in the sense of light moving within the vastness of space.
Software - Electronic Universe (1 and 2)
Robert Rich's music can take me there too.

I find Constance Demby's Novus Magnificat a very space evoking album - but she does this in a very musical way which I know is classed very much as new age.

In the classical arena I have to give a mention to Lygeti - some of his music including parts of his requiem sound very spacey to me. I'm sure there are others - some of the choral music can do it for me too.

In my own dreaming with the Earth and the Stars - if I go deep enough the two become aspects of the same thing, or different themes of the same sound....

I'm sitting downstairs typing this so likely will add more later as my music room is upstairs...


Novus Magnificat is a classic even if Constance Demby is super new-agey. Same with Sacred Space Music for that matter.

Julio Di Benedetto

The term space music has given me trouble over the years as to what it means.....space as, solar systems, galaxies, black holes etc or space created within to drift, dream and meditate.  I think it is both most likely and perhaps is up to the person listing to decide. 

I feel that ambient music, at least originally was somewhat traditional in its choice of instrumentation and melodic structure.  Ambient was and still is organic, at least for me.  It is like poetry in way that uses words to create images and feelings to be understood....not experimental, that would be the space music aspect where instrument is not so critical, could be synth, sample, tape, computer manipulation but in my mind not piano played traditionally.

Seren listed one piece of music by Steve Roach : The Magnificent Void that represents space music for me and it is not music for me to drift, dream or meditate to, quite the opposite.  It is engaging, complex and melodically difficult and requires my full attention and succeeds in putting me in the Void. Yet Roaches "Structures from Silence" is much more ambient for me, maybe ambient space music if there is a need to sub categorize. Both piece of music are quite different.

I do know when I write music I have usually both feet firmly plant on this earth.  This is my view and the limitations that that brings.  This leads to a question......where are you when you compose your music?   Jana your passion for the stars and if I recall correctly from a studio picture of yours the models of the Starship Enterprise and Millennium Falcon may give you away.  ;)

"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley



An album that I think deserves a mention since we're talking about space music is The Way Home by Kevin Braheny. It's one of the earliest albums released on Hearts Of Space Records, but it's one of the best representations of space music I've ever heard.


Oddly enough, I never listened to Galaxies, even though that one was a more deliberate attempt at space music.

Julio Di Benedetto

Quote from: stargazer on August 14, 2021, 03:12:02 PM

I have currently dissolved my environment and my inner self to such an extent that I find it difficult to separate. When I write music, I don't think about it anymore. I'm always very far out there. I float between the sound spheres. My ears are attentive. My mind is free. I am the space.


This is very nicely put Jana......"I am the Space".

Quote from: Castleview on August 14, 2021, 07:16:30 PM
An album that I think deserves a mention since we're talking about space music is The Way Home by Kevin Braheny. It's one of the earliest albums released on Hearts Of Space Records, but it's one of the best representations of space music I've ever heard.

Glad you mention this album Castleview.  It was very inspirational in my acquiring  a Serge Modular Synthesizer System. Braheny's "Mighty Serge" was a big part of the album.  Braheny gave technical assistance to Michael Stearns in the creation of "Planetary Unfolding". which was composed on a big Serge Modular. 

Stearns Planetary Unfolding is certainly high high up on my list.
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley