This episode of the Ambient Soundbath Podcast features something that I haven’t done before here, a remix/remaster of sorts in the form of reworking the music for Geoffrey Chandler’s 1980 synthesizer space recording, Starscapes.
Who is Geoffrey Chandler, I don’t know. Did he do other recordings? I don’t know that either, except I can’t find any. I don’t know anything about Geoffrey Chanlder or Starscapes or the Unity Records label that released this on vinyl and cassette in 1980.
What I can tell you, is this is a fantastic recording with great music. Starscapes and Geoffrey Chandler belong to a canon of electronic (and maybe, New Age) music that came on the scene in the mid 1970s through the 90s, and somewhat died out just before the advent of the Internet, which meant it was also sort of lost to the current digital era. There were a ton of indie and self-released recordings coming out. The fidelity of synthesizers and the decreasing cost of home studios meant that more people were making and releasing music than ever before. There’s a great collection called I am the Center that chronicles this era and brings together some of the more well-known artists of the period. There are a lot of recordings from this era that have a warmth, purity and vibe that I’ve found myself drawn to. Often, what these recordings lack in fidelity they more than make up for in timbre, originality and character. Also, many of these recordings are out of print, with defunct labels and no trace of the artists. For a long time I lamented these sad facts, but then I realized that you and the listeners of the Ambient Soundbath Podcast could benefit from these recordings and perhaps we could breathe new life into the music.
So, today, I offer the first of these: Geoffrey Chandler’s Starscapes in its entirety, featuring a seamless, remixed version of Side A and Side B of the original cassette.
p.s. If you are, or know, Geoffrey Chandler. We would love to hear more of the story behind this recording and others — Please get in touch.
This episode of the Ambient Soundbath Podcast features a new original work by Matt Borghi (me) called Infinite Resonance. It’s a single track, long-form work that I’ve found works great for rest, relaxation, sleep and meditation. It probably works pretty good for yoga, too, but I haven’t tried it out in that capacity yet.
This track is brand new and has never been released before and it’s part of a series of tracks that I’m “designing” expressly for the purposes of meditation, sleep, relaxation, etc… Listening while in heightened states of mental awareness and physical centeredness — A deeper layer of thinking and being, perhaps.
Please enjoy this work and let me know what you think of it, how it works for you and any other feedback that you care to share.
I’ve featured Off Land before on the Ambient Soundbath, but I’ve never dedicated an entire program to Off Land, the work of Tim Dwyer. This program features the tracks from the first two of, an ever-growing collection, known as, the (Drone Variations). I struggle to write about these tracks, not from a lack of feeling, but because they’ve been such constant companions for the last couple years, especially during my sonic meditation practices. Their essence, like being, isn’t something that can be sold or conveyed, but rather, must be experienced. So rather than trying to put down some lines about what I’ve experienced or what you should experience, I’ll dispense with all that, stop right here and let you enjoy the work of Tim Dwyer and Off Land.
This episode of the Ambient Soundbath Podcast features the work of my favorite living composer, Harold Budd.
I have listened to, meditated with and analyzed no music more (save, maybe, Claude Debussy) than I have the work of Harold Budd. His music is like being a hugged by an old friend after a long journey. The music, when it comes on, embraces you, holds you in its warmth and everything else melts away. It’s not that Harold Budd is a virtuoso, or a sound maker who’s primary instrument is the piano, rather he’s somewhere in between, a visionary, bringing together deep sounds and resonant timbres all for the purpose of creating interesting, evocative, thoughtful, spacious (I better stop before I run out of adjectives) compositions that are, on some level, the sonic embodiment of well-being and inner peace.
Please enjoy this episode of the Soundbath and if you’re not familiar with Harold Budd, get ready, because this will be a soundbath of the highest degree. Now, it’s my pleasure, to give you this program featuring the exceptional music of Harold Budd.
00:00 – 11:00 – Bell Tower – La Bella Vista
11:00 – 34:00 – Abandoned Cities – Abandoned Cities
34:00 – 37:00 – A Child in a Sylvan Field – By the Dawn’s Early Light
37:00 – 44:00 – The Room of Mirrors – The Room
44:00 – 50:30 – The Child With A Lion – The White Arcades
50:30 – 56:30 – The Room of Ancillary Dreams – The Room
56:30 – 61:00 – The Room of Oracles – The Room
61:00 – END – Agua – Agua
I first stumbled upon Moby’s Long Ambients after they were released in early summer of 2016. As a long-time fan of Moby’s ambient work I was excited by this free release, which is still available here: http://moby.com/la1/ – The complete 4-hour collection instantly became a meditational and relaxation go-to recording for me, as it’s calming and easy to immerse yourself in, and as I sometimes like to say, from a listening standpoint, there are no sharp edges, just smooth contours.
Moby wrote this about the release, and I think that it parallels the mission of the Ambient Soundbath Podcast nicely:
“it’s really quiet: no drums, no vocals, just very slow calm pretty chords and sounds and things for sleeping and yoga and etc.”
1.) 00:00 – 27:00 – LA 9 – Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
2.) 27:00 – 38:00 – LA 4 – Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
3.) 38:00 – 60:00 – LA 3 – Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
4.) 60:00 – 75:00 – LA 7 – Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
p.s. If you’re enjoying the podcast, please leave positive reviews on iTunes, Stitcher, and wherever else you might be listening.
Manitou‘s All Points North was a project that I initially created in 2006 to feature a series of works that focused on memory points in and around Detroit, Michigan; ideas, sentiments, impressions, etc… At the time, this work didn’t fit with a lot of the work I was doing, so I created this pseudonym. For a time, when this initially launched on MySpace.com (remember that!) I even created a little back story to support the work; that was fun. Much to my surprise, years later, as I kept working and kind of forgot about the release, I learned that the 2006 Manitou recording, All Points North was one of my most popular recordings; apparently this became a touchstone for folks, as fan mail around it also started to increase. That’s nice when that happens, one of the best things an artist can hope is that there works goes and grows beyond them.
Ten years later, in 2016, I created another Manitou recording that painted a different kind of picture, of a different kind of city. A lot happened in Detroit between 2006 and 2015. This recording, Landscape, Histories and Sentimentattempted to capture sonic impressions of a bygone, 19th Century period in Detroit’s history that was slowly fading from view.
In 2017, I released another Manitou recording, perhaps, the final one, Shadows of a Detroit Winter Sun. This recording, for me, is a farewell, a love letter to the Detroit my grand-parents and parents knew, the Detroit that my great-grandfather came to from Italy, the Detroit that my Appalachian kin migrated to for work, a farewell to the desolate Detroit of the 1970s and 80s that I called home. The city is changing and so, too, is the landscape and the history. It’s bittersweet, really, as that old city that we all came to know so well, is disappearing. There’s preservation in spots, but we Americans don’t love history, nor do we love reminders of a past we struggle to reconcile with, so out with the old, in with the new, that’s the Capitalist way – Bigger, better, faster, more!Shadows of a Detroit Winter Sun uses, as reference points, buildings and structures that are mostly gone – Raised, burned or just long-forgotten, this recording attempts to paint impressionistic memories of the forgotten that lingered in the long shadows of Detroit’s low winter sun.
I’ve given these recordings a slightly different treatment from their original album releases so that they fit together better here for a unified listen. I don’t know if these recordings will provide the impressionistic poetics of Detroit that I’ve strived for, but for an Ambient Soundbath, this episode features some of my best work as I attempted to embody the symphonic textures of Claude Debussy’s La Mer and Nocturnes, as well as Ralph Vaughan-William’s Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, Norfolk Rhapsody and The Lark Ascending.
This episode of the Ambient Soundbath features an original work called Parallax Drone. It’s a work that I created after spending time listening back to previous episodes of the Soundbath, something that I’ve never really done before. For some, I imagine, the track might be a little too noisy, or droney or abstract, maybe even atonal… However, for me, this work is a quintessentially a soundbath.
In the creation of this piece I’ve worked to create a texture or sonic fabric that’s labyrinthine, a place where one’s mind’s eye, and one’s mind’s ear could get lost following the shifting and juxtaposing sonic symmetries, like a musical mandala. I often thought of Philip Glass’ (now, apparently out of print, but you can hear it here) Early Works when working on this piece. I wanted to create something with a textural depth that the listener could retreat ‘into’. It’s not airy or spacey, but is quite dense, thick even, in its use of frequencies as sonic color and the equalization of those frequencies.
I would love to hear any feedback that you may have on this piece, good or bad. Please enjoy.