Six long-form surround-sound ambient pieces with accompanying videos. People who have experienced this have been known to watch and listen for awhile and then go into a deep state of bliss and relaxation...
Seriously, this is a disc full of extremely relaxing (but interesting) ambient music with accompanying abstract videos that actually react to the music. The audio is also available on Doctor X's double-CD set "Crash Dot Burn". This disc sounds grerat and looks great, whether it's playing on a small TV set in the den or extremely loud in surround-sound on a 12-foot home theater screen. Doctor X's titles and descriptions of each piece appear below.
Necessary Beat - the title refers to the fact that my music seems to always weigh heavily on a beat, so my first attempt at these experiments had a beat to it. The piece uses two repeating recordings of a trumpet riff juxtaposed against two repeating phrases from a string section and two notes from a sample of an electric guitar through a wah-wah pedal. Since the song runs at such a slow tempo, it only took three or four combinations of these riffs to fill up thirteen minutes. Even though this one does have a beat and a slightly catchy ambient riff to it, it still stays in the background without annoying. I watched a pianist improvise to a loop of this for forty-five minutes after one of our shows, completely entranced.
Organic - a slow drone piece with the sounds of birds and a tubular bell both drenched in reverb. I also repeat a phrase on an organ while slowly opening the filter. It takes so long to get through this filter that after three or four repeats, we've already reached ten minutes.
The Chimes - Bells and chimes have always been big on Eno's palette of ambient sounds. I recorded about thirty seconds of the wind chimes which have been hanging in my back yard for years now. I sampled this recording, tuned the chimes to concert pitch, and played the sample back an octave down on a hardware sampler from the olden days when samplers actually had to obey the laws of physics - the pitch was lower by an octave and the duration was doubled. I did this again, but two octaves down. I then made a chime-like sound from a synthesizer and tried getting a dialog going with the random notes produced by the chimes. I also mixed in two tracks of the original chimes. The results were breathtaking.
The Garden Of Eden - For the most part, I found that birds played back an octave down sound like ordinary birds, but some of these sounds are slightly otherworldy. Very slow, very dark synths sigh in the background along with a tiny little electronic thingy that seems to enjoy articulating random pitches to itself all day long.
The Long Echo - Another idea from Eno - echoes that take so long, they sound like seperate instruments. I managed to trick Digital Performer into providing me with an eight-second echo; I then fed the output into another eight-second echo, and another, and another. I finally settled on 5 echos for a total delay of forty seconds. I recorded one stereo track of tinkling glass bell sounds and fed this to the echo monster. Then I went through my synthesizers and recorded little snippets of sound that I thought were cool. I then took these snippets and lined them up sequentially on one track with spaces between them and fed this to the echo monster. I also put a non-echoing drone underneath it all to fill up the spaces and make the overall sound less jarring.
S.O.S. - There's too much of a dark side to me to let you go out on a peaceful note! Something about this drone and string combo sounded slightly tense to me, and the telegraph synth and its' occasional whiplash nailed it down. This is the lonely sound of a message that arrived far too late.