I often need time and space to think. The problem is, my brain seems to always be moving at warp-speed. I find things seem to slow down when I put headphones on a listen to some great music. Particularly instrumental ambient music. The type that envelopes your auditory senses. It allows me to think more clearly, focusing my thoughts. The creative process allows my to marry the many thoughts I have with a singular result.
Those of us who create music (especially if computers are involved) spend crazy amounts of time focused on determining a precise tempo and conforming instrument performances to that tempo. The right tempo can determine the entire feel of a song. The right tempo can create a wonderful involuntary movement within the listener, sinking them deeper into the hypnotic trance-like state. Even organically performed music - by a band or orchestra - follows a tempo. Instead of following a digitally generated click, a conductor’s body movements signal the path to follow. Tempo doesn’t have to be fixed rate for the duration of the piece, it can increase and decrease, sometimes gradually, sometimes abruptly. Coupled with changes in loudness and timbre, tempo change helps to further define the emotional center of a piece. Typically, what determines a great performance is how well the musicians follow all of these changes…together.
Randomness and Chance
Well, what if there was no tempo? What if instruments were played out of time or with no time in mind at all? What if multiple instruments were played ‘together’ without the structure of time? What is time? Ok, ok - kidding with that last question….
I find theres a degree of calmness that comes with unpredictability. Something about the purely unstable reveals….stability. This album is centered around that concept. Nothing seems to throw me into a deeper meditative state than a wall of sound without any predictable patterns.
Recording layers of performances without a specific time construct as a guide, is the main theme of this album. Often a piece would start with a single performance of guitar followed by subsequent layers of the same performance, except the original pass wouldn’t be referenced in headphones. Literally no guide, whatsoever. Texturally, layers would then be sliced, stretched, compressed, filtered and delayed, picking up where my last journey of an album (Early Sound Works) left off.
As always, these pieces were built to enjoy focused on, or unfocused on in the background.
Composed, manipulated, mixed and mastered by Nate Johnson
Dedicated to Justine, Mukow and Julian
Artwork by Cortney Vamvakias @cortneyvamvakias
My music is free to enjoy, but not cheap to make!
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