in midst of my late night enjoyment of what i wanna call #covidwave = this distinct early 2020 mixture of doomjazz, dark ambient / drone and vaporwave, i just read this: not only released the nine inch nails with “ghosts v” and “ghosts vi” two successors to their awesome 2008 instrumental improv album “ghosts i-iv”, they’re giving it away for free.
the series’ title itself couldn’t fit these days any better…
if there is this one melody, this melody deeply and inseparably attached to and connected with the very core of your soul, this melody your mother maybe played on her electric piano when she was pregnant with you, this melody you still catch yourself humming every now and then… if there is this one melody, i warmly recommend taking the following steps:
- choose your favourite hour (mine: 2 am)
- get your favourite drink (mine: absinthe)
- download your favourite free audio workstation (mine: lmms)
- download the midi of this one melody (mine: “kometenmelodie 2” by kraftwerk)
- download your favourite soundfont (mine: roland sc-88)
- import the midi
- assign the soundfont
- select your favourite patches to start with
- take another sip of your favourite drink
- hit “play”
- repeat steps 8ff until you
- find yourself launched into the innermost spheres of your( )self
rest in peace, florian schneider
i don’t know how many times i started, quit, restarted and requit my running. back in school, which is more than 20 years ago now, i quickly understood, that running was something nature built me for: an easy way to get in shape, feel healthy and achieve good results with a relatively low effort. what i’ve always been struggling with though is continuity: good results didn’t matter anymore when i found myself installed at my job. the older i got, the less important physical shape became. when i started to feel too uncomfortable in terms of physique i changed eating habits – or whatever habits. only when that didn’t help anymore, yeah, i restarted running. as soon as i felt good again and was able to run for 2+ hours through beloved kraichgau hills without notable bodily effects, i requit. and so on and so forth.
it’s today when i restarted my running again. so, why do i write about it now? well, it’s different from before. i need to stay on board when i don’t wanna suffer from what the effects of constant high blood pressure might be. simple as that. also new: for the first time ever i own runners that deserve this description.
let’s see where things will lead me to. aside from all the new development, something will never change: as long as i live, i will never join a running community or take part in a marathon or whatever. over the years running perfectly served another essential purpose: it works as a refuge from (over)civilisation.
(autumn evening. single-family house surrounded by nature. daddy and daughter on the corridor. loud music played in her room)
daddy: “i’m curious what music you’ll be listening to when you hit puberty!”
daughter: “i already did… girls usually do at the age of 11 and i am 12!”
daddy: “in your puberty, you’ll listen to music that clearly separates you from the oh so boring adults!”
daughter: “i don’t know any adults listening to sunrise avenue and ariana grande!”
daddy: “no, no. the music i am talking about won’t even be called ‘music’ by the adults!”
daughter: “if so, when does your puberty end?”
in a couple of weeks she’ll turn 13… the party just started i guess.
leaving the concert hall after an anna Þorvaldsdóttir concert and entering men’s restroom is a one of a kind experience. no chance you fully realized / digested what you just heard by then. and so you’re standing in front of the urinal, eyes closed, and the silence in the restroom appears as a dynamic and complex composition of nothingness. as a magically choreographed dance of its countless particles, more and more assuming form, color and shape before your inner eye = as part of the concert. struggling to find a proper description or name for this, you finally come up with “artistic silence”. still hypnotised by these dancing particles, it takes a certain while until you wake up again and discover that you are still standing in front of the urinal. so you hurry packing your business, washing your hands, getting out of the restroom and back into the concert hall, just to take a quick shot of the prepared piano in order to get an evidence that everything really happened. out of the corner of your eye you notice the composer, talking to those who obviously are more familiar with what happened, looking happy, grateful and nice, holding a bunch of flowers. for a second you look at her, wondering what might have taken her here…
you know, i have quite some experience with contemporary / neoclassical pieces of experimental and/or ambient fashion, intensifying gloomy undertone and i even own “aerial“. all in all i was rather sceptical towards the potential outcome of an acreage that was so heavily farmed and harvested by ligeti, pärt and cage – but i was disabused impressively.
now i am sitting here, enjoying the aftermath of all this, witnessing the artistic silence getting slowly replaced by regular silence… i still have some brennivín somewhere!
i never really listened to music from my year of birth – with the great exception of kraftwerk which happened because of kraftwerk of course and not because of 1981. “computerwelt” was kraftwerk’s 8th album and released may 10th, according to discogs. obligatory quote: “the machine featured on the cover is in fact a hazeltine 1500 terminal, not technically a computer”. thanks much, agent weisenheimer, haha!
the first time i asked myself the question “what happened in 1981 musicwise? what’s to be discovered here?” was like a week ago. so i started a little exploration tour, got a fair amount of releases relatively quick, filtered out all the big national (roedelius, schnitzler, göttsching etc.) as well as international names (numan, legendary pink dots, throbbing gristle etc.), gave it all a try and figured out the following top 5 of releases by artists i never heard of… that’s what an exploration tour is all about, right?
5. didier bocquet – sequences (discogs, youtube)
4. tyndall – traumland (discogs, youtube)
3. andreas grosser - venite visum (discogs, youtube)
2. rüdiger lorenz – silver steps (discogs, youtube)
1. jean hoyoux – planètes (discogs, youtube)
this selection is based on my current mood and therefore kind of kraftwerkonian / jarresque synthpoppy ambient. maybe i’ll start an experimental approach one day as well – and there is still this entire noise tape universe left to be explored… but for now i’ll continue floating on the analogue synth wave to what hasn’t changed since my childhood: the sweet imagination of this celestial electronic wonderland.
and there i was, at this adorable ghost town in the midst of the maximally stunning scenery. like tons of small towns in swiss alps verbier is supposed to be a ski ressort and therefore happens to be kind of abandoned during all the other seasons. all the cute chalets barricaded, only supermarkets, tourist information and a handful restaurant opened, cable car only three times a day. it still offers plenty of attractions during off-season, like hiking, mountain biking and paragliding and it would be a huge success everywhere else on the planet, but not in switzerland. nobody out there. i am not complaining at all, au contraire, this all ensured the perfect escapist mood and that was exactly what i was looking for…
in addition to my decision to spend a night in the woods soon, i also decided to go to the mountains even sooner. won’t tell too much as of yet due to superstition – but it’s great to have such intentions again for sure! in the making of the essential few preparations (i still consider myself a rather spontaneous person) i’m sitting in front of my computer, late at night, having some pastis, listening to the rain outdoors, feeling the refreshing thunderstorm breeze and – now coming straight to the point – compiling mountains soundtrack. what we have so far:
- va – mixcult circle one by andrey pushkarev (2018)
- yagya – rigning (2018)
- richard chartier – direct.incidental.consequential (1998)
it’s all in all a very ambientesque compilation but that’s exactly what i desperately need these days: this one of a kind heaviest chillout mood in which listening to ambient totally works.
is it that simple indeed?
“it appears like an innocuous illness. monotony, boredom, death. millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. they work in offices. they drive a car. they picnic with their families. they raise children. and then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. some never awaken. they are like the people who go to sleep in the snow and never awaken. but i am not in danger because my home, my garden, my beautiful life do not lull me. i am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.”
anaïs nin, diary, winter 1931/32
and here we are, again, waiting for the shock treatment…