I was contemplating this track the other day and it occurred to me that maybe I was selling it short by having such a brief, offhand description. This particular piece is fairly important conceptually to me in my developing ideas about music.
I have always had a love of ambient music. Probably 70% of the music I own could be described as ambient. Of course I don’t mean this in the strict genrefied version of the term, but sort of my own version.
One of the elements of ambient that I enjoy most but find the most illusive, is it’s loose wandering structure, exemplified by Brian Eno’s more generative work.
I have done generative tape work for some time, but for me it always came down to loops and more of a steve reich on acid kind of vibe. Now however, I am seeing a new kind of way (new to me) to use generative ideas.
I guess it is something that has been common in jazz for a while, but it never really occurred to me, that improvisation around a theme is sort of generative. It is a loose system, set up and carried out. Of course I am bending terms here, but to me it feels the same.
I have also long been interested in playing extremely slow. I like the way it disconnects you from the music in a way in which you are no longer trying to predict patterns or locate them, you are just on the edge waiting to hear what is next. At this point i think your mind becomes open and the music becomes much more exciting.
For this piece it occurred to me that instead of doing pure improvisation (which i have done a lot and am a little bored with) i could come up with a system of related themes. This way if I wanted to improvise a little, I would always have something more solid to come back to. To me, these ideas mixed with a very slow delivery and a loose view of time, make a fairly exciting way to play music. When I recorded this, I played for ten minutes straight and it felt like two. To me it is just composed enough and just loose enough to bring me to that state of openness. As with everything with me, it all comes down to a feeling of psychedelic bliss, and I think this accomplishes it in an interesting way.
I think this is also a demonstration of how minimalism can be psychedelic, where generally maximalism, with it’s everything blaring at once approach is given more credit. I would however like to take this track and add piles more sound to it, just to see.
Anyhow, here it is, I hope you enjoy.