Although a composer for film, Mathieu Karsenti is on the same wavelength as the best of our Ambient Musicians. With Downstream Blue (21'54") and Bygones (41'14") he resists the urge to compose music which shows off how fast a player can play, or how quickly an ensemble can turn, but rather dares his musicians to perform his scores at a more measured pace and with the utmost care. This pair of releases features work made with a range of instruments: piano, acoustic guitar,bowed strings, as well as electric and synthetic textures - to make a different kind of soundtrack, one for a future that may never arrive. In his enchanted, compact symphonic take on Ambient Music Karsenti composes tone poems slowed to a crawl. Reimagining the monumental structures of orchestral music, he relaxes them, removes the front, center and background, and replaces the virtuoso focal point with a more spacious arrangement - a thoughtful texture and atmosphere which listeners may step into rather than watch playing out from the sidelines. Where restless ever-shifting tones emit a frosty, string-ledcold wave, further in an electric piano provides an inventive magical lilt. Chords play and progress toward a resolution, but some seem to get lost - dissolving into a soft aura of digital reverberation. It is the array of expressive sonic shades and hues that produces the looming ambiance of Downstream Blue and Bygones - which make their expressions through variations in the density, surface and radiance of timbre. Away from the familiar climax and release of the common repertoire somber thematic workings move with a beautiful dreamy deliberation. While some of these (12 in total) compositions feel anguished and stormy, others are sonorous and subdued, merging with chilled waves and rounded pulses in a philosophical deconstruction of Classical Music. The resulting fragile soundscapes will lull many to sleep, but awaken a fine few others to all that is good in the world. The duplet of Downstream Blue and Bygones impart the sustaining atmosphere of Ambient Chamber Music, but with a sense of intimacy and immediacy better known from poets of the Spoken arts. This kind of music sounds and thinks the way we do. It is a language we can use to better understand ourselves - while dispelled in its pleasant diversion. It is true that these two releases offer passages of aural beauty and heartening ascent - which will indeed be pleasing to the ear and restorative to the soul - but both also offer a significant challenge to the listener... to hear and know this music deeply, to have your own thoughts and know your own meanings, and respond in the way that you move through the world.
Please tune in to the 10.18.20 broadcast of STAR'S END Ambient Radio for a music from Downstream Blue & Bygones the recent releases by Mathieu Karsenti
WXPN 2020 Online Auction - STAR'S END Fan Experience - Item #104
Electronic Musician, Concert Organizer and STAR'S END Host Chuck van Zyl has taken part in WXPN's 2020 Online Fundraising Auction with the offer of a unique listener experience. The winning bidder of Auction Item #104 will receive a one-on-one workshop with Chuck van Zyl covering synthesizer basics, followed by a private salon spacemusic concert for the winner and ten friends at WXPN's World Cafe Performance Studio.
WXPN's 2020 Fundraiser Auction ran from 8:00AM on 6 March 2020 to 6:00PM on 26 March 2020. Sincere Thanks to winning bidder Jim Causey for taking part! Your support is sincerely appreciated!
Produced by Public Radio Station WXPN, Chuck van Zyl:Live on Star's End 08.26.18 (63'36") is not a commercial release. It is available only as a "Thank-You" gift to those making a donation to WXPN/STAR'S END.
This album is a conventional silver CD featuring over 60 minutes of the Chuck van Zyl live electronic realizations made in the WXPN performance studio during a private Salon Concert (for Tony Masiello) and live-to-air broadcast of 25/26 August 2018. Its four parts each offer passages of improvised in-the-moment sequencer manipulations, amidst the ethereal yearning of synthesized harmonies and cresting lead lines. The listener is invited inside, to float away as the patterns and textures envelope them - tumbling in circles, spirals and pinwheels, beneath unfurling ribbons of creamy synth melodies and modulated, chirping effects.
Chuck van Zyl:Live on Star's End 08.26.18 may seem more like a spiritual expression than an exploration of a musical form. This work has mysterious power purely on a sonic level. But the miracle of this release is that every time we listen to it, our minds will hear something new - and will so find a different album. Absorbing the full tapestry of the Electronic/Berlin-School experience, and the ideals of live improvisation, we can easily imagine every concert outing serving as a mystic portal for this musician's own spiritual journey.
Whether channeled from the astral plane, or just the transformation of electricity into sound, Live on Star's End 08.26.18 is for those seeking a deeper examination of tone and mood. Anyone in love with Spacemusic and its very specific poetry will want to own this recording. While this musical form may have been established in the 1970s, Live on Star's End 08.26.18 feels made-today fresh. A ceaselessly inventive work, its history begins now.
This edition of The Signal includes notes on five releases from the Projekt Records label.
Please listen in as host Chuck van Zyl reviews:
Phase IX by Lorenzo Montana
MantraSequent by Jeffrey Koepper
Following the Ether Sun by Forrest Fang
Different Spaces by Erik Wøllo
Spiral Revelation by Steve Roach
Selected Ezines - Online
STAR'S END - Site Search
Have you ever been looking for something on this website only to become bogged down by the massive size and enormous content? Now you can find what you are seeking somewhat easier. Searching the STAR'S END Website has become much easier. Look for info on artists, albums, track names, labels, etc. via a Google "site search" - now part of the STAR'S END Website.
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