1/ Red Veil 09/32
2/ Mystere 10/44
3/ Hidden Away 08:15
4/ Seekers of Truth 14/18
5/ Revelation 14:10
Red Veil ffm•016
Time is a precious commodity. In this hyper connected and information soaked world, a bit of time away from the buzz of the world can be just what the mind and soul need in order to recharge and find our way.
With “Red Veil” Gregg Plummer gives us the gift of time.
Oh, sure, you can listen to this music while tweeting, posting, commenting and sharing (truth be told, I did all of that while preparing this for release). But the gentle harmonious drones and luxuriating pads call you away from all that. They build a time machine that can take you to a time without the incessant rhythm that our yearning beats out upon our keyboards and into the world.
This is meditative music, music for being present, for being in time rather than watching rush past you.
This is something that is crucial to our mental and emotional health, and something which I’m grateful that Gregg has allowed Free Floating to share with you.
So I will ask you to take this music and at some point take some time out of your busy life and just listen to it. Not while working or reading or doing yoga. Or even meditating. Let the music itself and the time you spend with it be your meditation.
Like me, you will appreciate that time and be stronger for it.
About The Artist
Gregg Plummer’s music crosses several genres, among them atmospheric, ambient soundscapes, eclectic experimental tracks, relaxation and easy listening offerings, and contemplative drones and space music. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been creating my own soundscapes, plinking out mysterious chords on the piano or strumming odd patterns of sound on the guitar or keyboard. Since childhood, I’ve dreamed of creating unusual inviting symphonies, mixing harmony with cacophony, juxtaposing bright beautiful sound with dark haunting drones.
“Though I’ve learned much along the way regarding music theory and “right vs. wrong” techniques to creating music, I tend to ignore these basic principles and just allow my fingers to transcribe and decipher the thoughts and inspiration that comes to me as gifts from my muses.”
1. Waking to Solace 06/11
2. I Smiled Because I Knew Death Was But A Door 18/56
3. The Lifted Veil 05/04
4. Far Journeys 08/42
5. Listening to Silence Speak 14/13
6. As Ash Rains 08/49
I Smiled Because I Knew Death Is But A Door ffm•015
The term has lost much of its meaning, being used so often in common speech and advertising hyperbole that it almost passes us by when we hear it. Yet beauty is really at the heart of Free Floating and is expressed consistently throughout this new work by Silvercord.
When something is beautiful it affects us on different levels. At the surface there is something pleasing to the senses, something that draws us in and holds us in a place of simple appreciation. These pieces do that. The subtle shifting chords and drones create a gentle echoing space that feels like a beautiful place to just be.
But more than just pleasing, beauty touches us more deeply and more profoundly. The pleasant sensations are the leaves and branches of a tree with deep roots that reach down to the deeper core of us and grow from those places of richer experience and meaning. The themes explored in this music dig deeply, posing questions of life and death that are at the center of being human.
And so I’m proud to be releasing I Smiled Because I Knew That Death Is But A Door on Free Floating and am happy to welcome Silvercord to the artist roster. This music represents another step in his maturing musical vision and expands the depth—and beauty—of the Free Floating oeuvre.
From the Artist
I started the music project Silvercord back in 1999 with the first release ‘swan on a black sea’. As I was a music major in the university, I started to become very interested in recording music. It wasn’t long before I started listening to ambient music programs on public radio (Echos, Hearts of Space) and fell in love with the new world of sound that I hadn’t had knowledge of or access to in youth.
Recording music started to become to be a very therapeutic process and it remains as such today. In fact, recording (as well as editing and mixing/mastering) is not just my passion, it’s my mainstay of living. I started “Black Swan Audio” here in Seoul and have been helping artists both from Seoul and around the word produce, mix and master their music. It is my dream job and I am deeply thankful I have the chance to do what I love to pay the bills. These days, besides running Black Swan, I am at a University in Seoul studying Korean.
The theme for the new album came from a dream I had. In the dream I found myself in a situation in which my death was imminent. The mood of the dream was no doubt dark and hostile though something special had surfaced in both my dream consciousness and my waking consciousness. As I was still dreaming and about to die in my dream, I somehow was able to perceive death merely as a change in consciousness. I awoke the next morning feeling a greater sense of peace, more free from the noisy broken tape loop that always seems to be endlessly repeating in my mind.
The plans for what would become The Sidereal Cycle took place without any input from me. I first found out about the concept from a post on the Altus blog. As soon as I read it I reached out to Mike (Carss, AKA Altus) with a resounding, “Yes, please! Fans of Free Floating and ambient I’m sure understand my enthusiasm.
Simply put, Mike Carss is a master of ambient music, there can be no doubt about that. Of the ambient artists that I listen to and love, I feel that Altus music is the most ‘composed’. While much of it is decidedly cinematic in structure, even the more minimal and abstract pieces seem to have deeper structures and themes that resonate throughout.
With his focus on thematic elements, the music of Altus is also somewhat painterly, in that the melodies and structures help to draw mental images, especially since each release usually contains a specific topical reference (time, sleep, fire, water, etc.).
And so it is fitting that Altus turns his hand once again to the grand theme of time and the seasons with The Sidereal Cycle.
In this collection, Mike reflects on the transformation of the verdant summer into the dormant browns, oranges, and golds of autumn. Andromeda is really a two-part suite, I would say. The first part explores the gradual changes in color while the second part reflects leaves falling to the ground and the eventually dormant landscape of the impending winter.
The music is at once placid and dramatic, a perfect reflection of the changing season of autumn itself.
Please enjoy this second installation in The Sidereal Cycle and come back in a few months to hibernate with part 3.
All music by Mike Carss
Cover design by Brad Ross-MacLeod
Photograpy by Mike Carss
Download in a number of formats:
MP3 320K, MP3 VBR, FLAC, ALAC, AAC, OGG. Images and liner notes included.
Twilight Sessions Volume Eight ffm•002
Recorded December 2010 to April 2011
I don’t know if there’s something in the water in Manchester or if his house is built above some sacred tomb of Arthurian knights, but I know that Brin Coleman (aka Bing Satellites) possesses some incredible source of musical power that goes beyond what I’m accustomed to.
As I have been listening repeatedly to Twilight Sessions Volume Eight, I find it amazing that seven other volumes (totaling over 15 hours of music) have been released by Bing Satellites in little over a year. And this doesn’t even take into account the other releases, compilations AND the netlabel that Brin runs, BFW Recordings.
I first discovered the Twilight Sessions series in May of 2010 and wrote on my blog of Volume One that I was “really taken by the serene beauty of these pieces.” And I followed along with the series and dutifully downloaded each as I became aware of them. They entered my vast collection and popped up frequently in the playlists for my Stillstream show.
Then a transformation took place….
I believe it was with Volume Four. I don’t know if it was that mystical Mancunian water or Brin simply hitting his stride and letting himself really surrender to his process, but the depth and majesty of the Twilight Sessions leapt to a new level for me at that point. The music was with me throughout the process of moving with my family to Canada. It comforted me on planes and in hotel rooms. It became essential to me. And the trend continued with volumes five through seven.
Fast forward only a few months later and I am releasing Twilight Sessions Volume Eight on my new Free Floating Music netlabel. I am especially grateful to Brin for this, most especially because he already has his own netlabel that has been the home for this series so far. I feel almost as though I were adopting one of his children and am honored that he believes in me and the label enough to share this music with Free Floating.
So listen to these six tracks and follow along the paths that Bing Satellites has laid out for you. They are traced with graceful, floating piano phrases that glide over top of gentle and simple chords. There are some shadowy and melancholy sites along these paths, but there is always the guiding hand to hold you up and move you forward to places both deep and true. Feel the pulsing heat of The Hottest Day of the Year as well as the gentle breezes amid The Colours of Autumn.
And don’t question whether Bing Satellites is tuned into some mystical or otherworldly source. Just know that he is an incredibly talented and hard working artist whom we can all thank for his vision and generous spirit.
From Bing Satellites:
“The eighth album in the Twilight Sessions series and the first to be released by Free Floating.
Like the first seven volumes, this is an album of completely improvised, live ambient music.
Each piece starts as a blank canvas. I have no preconceived idea of what the music will sound like.
The music is built around a long, slowly decaying loop.
I add notes from synths, guitar, clarinet and voice (usually heavily processed) to build sounds and textures that evolve slowly.
These loops are quite long (often around 90 seconds or more) and with very little rhythm to speak of, it is difficult to know precisely where I am in the loop, so I can add notes and sounds where I see fit, but can never know exactly what I am adding these notes to.
Therefore, it must be said that although I am the one making these sounds and creating this music, much of it is down to serendipity.”
*This track list was arrived at randomly. We highly recommend that you listen to this collection on shuffle in order to best explore the many layers and textures of the individual pieces within the whole of the collection.
This compilation is more than just music. It is a mission statement.
As you will see on the website, there is a written mission statement for the label. While those words are an adequate description for what I intend the focus of Free Floating Music to be, words can only express so much. This is, of course, why there is music. And while this music doesn’t speak loudly, it does speak clearly.
It speaks to us of the spaces where we can be free from the accelerated pull of the world. It writes poems to the cloudless, star-filled skies. It gently reminds us perhaps of that patient, sane and compassionate person we deep down wish to be.
I have been a listener and fan of ambient music for over 25 years. To me, the best of the genre has always hovered closest to the edges of silence, being almost barely music at all, but almost a frame that adorns the masterpiece of sound that is silence. When I am looking for a space in which to think or dream, sleep or read–or just simply be–it is this music to which I turn. And it is this music that I have always wanted to create and to spread to the world.
While I occasionally dabble in creating this music myself (I am the C.paradisi represented here), I find that I have a greater knack for discovering this music by others. And so I was led to blog about the music and eventually to broadcast a show on Stillstream ambient radio. But I wanted to be more involved in the creative process and so I finally decided to start a netlabel devoted to this gentle drifting music that I love.
As you can hear, the focus is on the serene, the simple and direct. I have lived with this music for weeks–playing it in my sleep, in the shower, in my car, at family dinners and walks by the shore–and I have only just begun to explore its depths and nuances. While the tracks on ‘conception’ share a similar dynamic range, each artist has infused their work with their own unique instrumental and compositional voice. Some are firmly grounded in the silence, while others glide above it, occasionally touching its surface. Some are abstract and textural, while others explore closer to orchestral territory. But each and every one builds their own room in this collaborative temple to silence.
I would encourage you to wander aimlessly through the spaces that they have created. In all the times I listened to this collection, I did so randomly, shuffling the playing order each time. In this way I was able to allow the created space to lead me where it would, and each time I discovered a new place for repose. Pieces that I had heard multiple times became new as I approached them from a different direction. (I tried to resist providing a track order at all, but I know that the technology would impose one (alphabetical, most likely) anyway. And so the numbering of tracks that is embedded was arrived at completely randomly and I encourage you to always listen to this collection as a shuffled playlist.)
I could not have asked for a more articulate conception for the Free Floating Music label. If you are curious about what Free Floating Music will sound like in future releases, you have this mission statement that makes it abundantly clear.
A ‘mission statement’ from the brilliant Free Floating record label and a compilation that reflects a vision set out by label owner Brad Ross-Macleod. “If you are curious about what Free Floating Music will sound like in future releases, you have this mission statement that makes it abundantly clear” – a great way to start a label and a high standard to be maintained, going by the textural ambient contained here. There’s nothing more exciting that seeing a tracklist you only vaguely recognise (i.e Bing Satellites, Altus, Benjamin Dauer) and knowing plenty more is to come with even more artists to explore.
The Benjamin Dauer track is actually one of the best on here, and if it’s sending you off into a spaced-out, welcoming tunnel, then I suggest you also download his free album on Distance Recordings, ‘Burning of Wine‘.
There will be a close eye or two on Free Floating in the coming months, as I have a feeling this won’t be the last time they are mentioned on ASIP…
Not only because Earlyguard’s track “Monoku” on the yesterday released new Free Floating compilation »Conception« is a wonderful new track and a perfect addition to the shiny Earlyguard discography, but also because there are so many stunning good artists I know and love (Bing Satellites, Benjamin Dauer, Altus) and so many more to discover, do yourself a favour: Get »Conception«, it’s good, it’s free and it is a friendly companion for your travel through the day. A brilliant start for an interesting new netlabel with a clear vision.
Simply put… I want to do what Brad Ross-McLeod has done. He has assembled 22 uniquely talented and wonderfully individual artists and asked them to provide tracks for a compilation album. This compilation – entitled ‘Conception’ – showcases the very best in the ambient electronic genre… and he has managed to do so in a manner that has ensured a sense of consistency and a feeling of together-ness which suggests a single cohesive whole rather than 22 separate parts. ‘Conception’ is a wonderful compilation of ambient electronic soundscapes that has a real depth and substance to it. It really does showcase the very best in this genre and it has become the soundtrack to my life since I was given a pre-release copy (thanks to Earlyguard for the introduction) earlier this week.
It features 22 artists and lasts 201 minutes (yes… 3 hours 21 minutes). The tracks can be played sequentially or you can shuffle them. In fact, Brad recommends you do randomise the playing order… and I can only agree with this sentiment.
Each track is self-contained but works, at a higher level, as part of the collective whole. It is a saladbowl of sound… where each element is uniquely itself (e.g. a tomato or onion) but works together to make a nourishing salad.
Whilst part of me is loathed to single any specific tracks out… because they are all so good… the other part of me would consider it amiss not to mention personal favourites: Earlyguard, Benjamin Dauer and Philip Wilkerson; who all bring their very best produce to this communal salad.
That said… the compilation has brought to my attention some new (to me) artists that I am eager to follow up on. Andrew Lahiff, Elypixa, Mooma, & Crystal Dreams; to name but a few, are truly excellent and I will be on the hunt for their work. ‘Conception’ was released yesterday and I would thoroughly recommend you pick it up… for free… from Free Floating Music.
Free Floating Music exists to release and promote serene, peaceful ambient music–music that grows out of and flows through the silence around it, sculpting spaces for reflection, repose and rejuvenation.
All music released through Free Floating Music is available for free download via Creative Commons non-commercial licenses.
3915 SE Sunrise Drive
Camas, WA, 98607 USA
Phone: (360) 213-9601
All Material is released under Creative Commons Licenses. Music copyrights belong to the original artists.