Postcards from slow places - a lines compilation of long-form ambient music

Its your interpretation of what you think is an ambient song. I’m guessing its gonna be pretty out there with all the different submissions and interpretations.

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My submission is also dark and dissonant, FWIW.

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mine’s almost done, just fiddling/finessing now… will dropbox it to you by late thurs/early fri. clocks in at exact 30 mins :slight_smile: no name for it yet

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Hi Mark, I just sent you a dropbox link to my track, it’s 33:33 mins long. Thanks for your work
: )

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Ok! My track is done.

As I mentioned above, I think the music I was making a couple years ago would be more perfectly in line with this kind of compilation. I have an album of two two-hour pieces from 2016 on my bandcamp. But that was then…this is now.

I’ve been getting back into my roots playing the guitar, and now that I’m not so distracted by the glamor :sparkles: of electronic music, I’ve been pursuing another dream of mine: learning to play the chapman stick.

So this track is a combination of electric guitar and chapman stick. It’s in three parts:

  1. Solo guitar drone/ambient, with hints of melody from part 3
  2. Chapman stick and guitar, playing a variation on the melody from part 3
  3. Chapman stick and guitar: upbeat, full melody.

This is a form I’ve used in different ways before, taking small piece and expanding it into longer ambient pieces. This piece is another example of that type of idea:

Each section in that piece derives from the “etude” at the end.

I also decided that instead of doing a bad job recording at home, I’d finally get into a real studio and record. Luckily, I have a friend who has an excellent studio right near me. So I’d like to thank Seth and plug his studio:

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All done here, 66 minutes. Just need to finalise the mastering and pick a title.

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Done and submitted mine :smiley:

In essence, the track is about making a journey starting inland to the sea. I thought about the Australian Wheatbelt while I composed the sections - from the ephemeral rivers that run through the region, to the open fields and lashing summer storms, to the abandoned buildings creaking in the wind, and finally to the tempest of the ocean.

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Whoa - we’re on similar wavelengths. I thought a lot about the ocean, at night, when putting together the second half of my piece. I also read Gerald Murnane’s The Plains while working on it, so I’m sure a hazy, mysterious sense of Australian landscapes seeped its way in…

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There must be something with long-form ambient that triggers water related associations in brain because I was thinking a lot about the sea when started working on it. Ending to my song contradicts any water related associations but I like to think about my song as a two parted: the first one is a dream when you are in water and look at the waves and water filled horizon and the second one is more down to earth after you woke up.

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working on my 3rd ambient record right now, and there is an “ocean 3” on it, so I completely agree, hah. I think water is so inspiring in terms of ambient stuff, especially gigantic bodies of water like the ocean, because they can be visually limitless (both horizon-wise and depth wise), but can also have so much complexity in them (ripples, sea life, etc.). They also have extremely slow cyclic/tidal movement which I feel like can be interesting to try to invoke in a longer form piece.

EDIT: released this before the comp on my last record, but here is one of my long-form slow moving takes on the ocean if anyone is interested:

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Submitted! 22 minutes! Would I win the shortest competition?

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@maf sorry to say…mine clocked in 18-19 minutes.

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Me too!! I was working around some quotes from Wallace Stevens, all to do with water. My piece is in three parts. Parts 1 and 3 represent morning mist, while part 2 is supposed to feel like being submerged in the ocean.

submitted! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Thanks for all the recent contributions. I’ll download them all and confirm with each of you asap. As these are so large I need to download at work, in batches.

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I’m in the last stages, just listening through to catch little things. Of course, with folks’ posts about their process, it makes me want to go back and change stuff in keeping with these great ideas, but I will resist (and hopefully incorporate them in the next works).

I, too, found myself working “in water,” but got there via a different route: the piece is inspired by another piece with water in the title.

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Finished the 90 minute piece that had been sitting incomplete on my drives for over a year… then took my usual three day break before listening again to be sure I wasn’t lost in some overtonal jungle that wasn’t nearly as ambient nor interesting as I thought and… yup. It wasn’t. Have two sessions scheduled to try turning it into something worthwhile before the end of friday, so we’ll see…
This is a challenge with ambient work for some of us who are easily hypnotized by a single note or a 20 minute ever so slightly different than usual feedback howl. I realized it when I first started piano at age, oh, 7 or 8? As excited as I was to learn to play, I was utterly hypnotized by putting my ear against the wood while listening to a single note decay until it was completely gone, revealing the other sounds around it. On one hand, that can help me embrace subtlety and let go of “correctness” when composing or playing. On the other… it can lead to the equivalent of releasing an album where each track is just a single piano note decaying to its end. Overtone fetish? I’ve become much harder on myself about this as I age, which is usually a good thing for the music…

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alternately, we could choose next to no change ever, just repetition for a long time

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I’ve never really been brave enough to let simplicity really take over, but as a listener (of music & in life) I really gravitate towards the unadorned – which with listening being the creative act that it is requires some degree of erasure of the self from the composition to really be successful sometimes. My ego wants to say hey! I touched every second of this, look at my vision and cleverness or whatever. But I think sometimes its much more difficult to allow a thing to be a thing, erase yourself a little bit, and as a composer take the perspective of the listener: focused on the sound rather than the composition of the sound…

All that to say, maybe it’s done?

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Life has been very busy lately and I haven’t had time to make something for this… :disappointed:
Next time hopefully.

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