Ambient Soundbath Podcast #73 – This Quiet Place

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Good salutations, Soundbath listeners… I’m really excited for this program as it’s the first to feature a guest host. I actually got this idea from Dave Michuda, host of Low Light Mixes, after he asked me to do a mix for him (you can hear it here).

This program features longtime reviewer, podcaster, proponent and friend, John Shanahan of the Hypnagogue Podcast – A highly recommended and well-curated program. Without further ado, I’ll let John tell the rest of the story.

Theme: This Quiet Place

It just so happens Matt Borghi contacted me about guest hosting the Ambient Soundbath on the one-year anniversary of my moving from a house on a busy main road to a new home, well off the beaten path on the edge of a marsh. For a year now I’ve been reveling in this almost astonishing level of calm, augmented and accented with beautiful night sounds and the whisper of wind coming off the water and through the trees. The night that Matt reached out with his kind offer, the rest of my family was elsewhere, so I sat down at my studio controls in this place we call The Cottage in the Woods and curated a flow that echoes the serenity, mystery, and hushed joys of the night world around me in this quiet place. I hope you enjoy it.

John Shanahan, Host
Hypnagogue Podcast
hypnagoguepodcast.com

Playlist:

(Start) Stephen Phillips, Deep Down, from Message from a Subatomic World  hypnos.com/releases-v-mfsw.php

7.26  Offland, Accipiter (Drone Variation), from Accipiter/Coast offland.bandcamp.com/album/accipiter-coast

21.02  Chronotope Project, Clear Bell Ringing in Empty Sky, from Solar Winds   chronotopeproject.bandcamp.com/album/solar-winds

32.00  Igneous Flame, Clairaudient, from Ocean Sighs    igneousflame.bandcamp.com/album/ocean-sighs

37.47  Algol, Gilese 581d, from Goldilocks Zone   earthmantra.bandcamp.com/album/goldilocks-zone

47.31  Mark Harris, Before You Awake_Or the Fool Who Mimics the Sun, from The Angry Child  n5md.bandcamp.com/album/the-angry-child

56.18  Lucette Bourdin, The Dusty Attic, from Golden Sun   lucettebourdin.bandcamp.com/album/golden-sun

 

Ambient Soundbath Podcast #72 – Agawa Bay

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I’m finally getting around to mining all the creative inspiration I gained from a recent trip around Lake Superior, both through western Ontario on the north side and on the southern side through Michigan’s UP (upper peninsula) by way of Duluth. What an amazing trip!

For a trip that’s literally a day’s car ride away and within the Great Lakes Basin, I had no idea how beautiful, how breath-taking and just how awe-inspiring it could be. One such bit of inspiration came from our visit to Agawa Bay and the Lake Superior Provincial State Park. These places left deep impressions that I’ve tried to tap into with this new long form work – Agawa Bay

Enjoy.

-Matt

Tell Your Friends and Family About the Ambient Soundbath Podcast

I’ve deleted my Facebook accounts, which included a page for the Ambient Soundbath Podcast and I’ll likely be getting rid of other social media accounts.

If you’re curious as to why I would delete my Facebook accounts, I highly recommend reading Jaron Lanier’s fantastic Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Please tell your friends and family about the Ambient Soundbath Podcast directly, word-of-mouth, the old-fashioned way, it’s more important than ever. If you love it, support it.

Thank you.

Matt

Ambient Soundbath Podcast #71 – Journeys Out of Body

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With this episode of the Ambient Soundbath Podcast, we’re featuring David Naegele’s Journeys Out of Body, another vintage new age cassette from the early 1980s. What can I tell you about this release? Not a heck of a lot, but I can tell you, people seem to love it and really want to get their hands on a good copy of it.

Ambient Soundbath listener Simon brought this recording to my attention a couple months ago, not long after I had posted the Upper Astral Soundbath, of which David Naegele was part of. These are some vintage sounds to be sure, but it’s also a darker, somewhat spookier recording. I like it. The recording I had was pretty scratchy so I spent some time working on it, fixing the equalization, adjusting the depth and redefining the stereo field to make it a better listen on the podcast.

This episode wouldn’t have been possible without listener Simon’s kind generosity in more ways than one, so this program is dedicated to him. Thank you, Simon.

Enjoy.

-Matt

p.s. This is the first Soundbath since I deleted my Facebook accounts, so letting your friends and other folks know about the podcast directly, word-of-mouth, the old-fashioned way, is more important than ever. Please continue to spread the word about the Soundbath. If you’re curious as to why I would delete my Facebook accounts, I highly recommend reading Jaron Lanier’s fantastic Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Ambient Soundbath Podcast #70 – Helical Drone

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Ambient Soundbath #70 is another original work in the vein of Parallax Drone; a piece inspired by Philip Glass’ Early Works where I’ve experimented with some compositional devices called parallel and contrary motion that he worked with on that recording… You can hear it in the criss-crossing of the sounds as they move from speaker to speaker, but also in harmonic and intervalic (space between note pitches) opposition to each other. Musically, as I was working on this it felt like many helices moving in, out and around each other.

This is definitely a deep listening work and one that lends itself to close listening. This is also a work, like Parallax Drone, that’s meant to be a dimensional drone, one that you can retreat into and let it surround you.

Enjoy.
-Matt

Ambient Soundbath Podcast #69 – Upper Astral

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Upper Astral is an interesting artist that I found when scouring YouTube for vintage new age cassettes releases. I found a variety of Upper Astral recordings, but when I looked at how I could put them together for a single Ambient Soundbath program I couldn’t get many of them to work well together. I played around with different configurations of recordings of the era (1981 – 1988), generally released on the, long defunct, Valley of the Sun label during that golden age of the new age music genre.

Some might argue that it wasn’t a golden age at all and was, in fact, a highly opportunistic period where consciousness trends hung over from the 1960s, 1980s capitalism and the price-points (and accessibility) of home recording studios all intersected to create a miasma of products and services that tried to sell well-being with little regard to quality. That may be somewhat true, but there was also some great music and some great sounds happening during this period. Frankly, even if there was a lot of schlock to wade through, there were some fine recordings made by little-known artists capturing the wide range of synthesizers that were hitting the marketplace.

This episode of the Ambient Soundbath features re-imagined and re-treated Upper Astral compositions, two in fact – Celestial Harmonies and Astral Massage, sides one and two. I reworked these recordings to take off some of the rough edges and artifacting left on the decades-old cassettes, thereby increasing the listenability and immersion of the pieces. Howard Givens of Spotted Peccary Recordings, when counseling me as a young recording artist, once cautioned: “You don’t want the fidelity of the recording to be a barrier to listening to the music.” Sage advice. He probably doesn’t even remember that, but I never forgot it and think about it often.

Upper Astral, for these recordings, features the work of David Naegele and David Storrs. This recording features two re-imagined tracks from two distinct recordings:

Celestial Harmonies – Journey to the Edge of the Universe – Valley of the Sun – 1983
Massage (Sides 1 & 2) – Astral Massage – Valley of the Sun – 1987

Enjoy.

-Matt

Soundbath now Ad-Free Thanks to Kind Donation

The Ambient Soundbath Podcast website is now ad-free, and I just wanted to take a minute and acknowledge one of our listeners, and now a sustaining member, and thank them for their donation – Thank you.

The Soundbath has many listeners (nearly 1,600) and my hope is that the Soundbath becomes the public service that I had always hoped it could be. Moving to WordPress.com and not hosting the Soundbath myself, as I had done for years was a tough choice, but I wanted the Soundbath to be available in perpetuity. That’s also why I moved all of the Soundbath files to be hosted at Archive.org. This might have started as my podcast, but now it’s our refuge, our place for thinking and being.

Thank you for listening, donating and staying in touch; I love hearing from you.

-Matt