Mary Fahl in Echoes Podcast

May 2, 2014

Mary Fahl Talks of Love, Werewolves and Grace Slick in Echoes Podcast

Love-GravityMary Fahl doesn’t sound like any other modern singer. You have to go back to vocalists like Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention and Grace Slick of The Jefferson Airplane to find a reference point for a sound which is more like warrior angels than heavenly angels. She used to sing with October Project and that’s how many people know her, including author Anne Rice. She loved the band so much that she actually put them in her book, The Wolves of Midwinter, as source music.  Mary Fahl has just released her third solo album, Love and Gravity and it tackles themes you might expect from a woman who isn’t a teenager anymore.   It also includes a song written for the audio book of Anne Rice’s The Wolves of Midwinter.  Mary Fahl tells the story behind her werewolf song and about her musical influences from the 60s in Echoes Podcast.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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Badass Music and Rush Tonight on Echoes

May 1, 2014

New Music from Bear McCreary & The Montreal Guitar Trio

Knights_of_BadassdomTonight on Echoes, new music from a film nobody saw, but you’ll definitely recognize the composer. It’s Bear McCreary who scored Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead as well as many films. We’ll hear his soundtrack to The Nights of Badassdom.  This movie was released on January 13 but looks like it went straight to video, or the internet, or wherever films go that only gross $86K.  However, it stars Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Steve Zahn (Treme, That Thing You Do!) and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) and the trailer looks pretty funny.   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00CYP9GKE/echoes

We’ll also hear MG3, which is much cooler than saying the Montreal Guitar Trio.  Their new CD is Der Prinz and they take Rush‘s epic “Tom Sawyer” and turn it into an acoustic guitar epic.  You’ll hear it tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

LRC19-250pxPick Up  TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

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Tycho’s Electronica Rock.

April 30, 2014

Tonight on Echoes Hear an Interview with Tycho’s Scott Hansen

AwakeFor most of the last decade there has been a strain of Rock music that didn’t really rock out, but instead took a more introspective and almost ambient course, often mixing guitars with electronics.  And they usually don’t have singers, at least in a conventional sense.  Explosions In the Sky, The Album Leaf, Hammock and Sigur Ros are among those groups.  Add to that list Tycho.  That’s a project put together by Scott Hansen who started out as an electronic musician but has found himself in a hybrid, Ambient Rock world.  His latest album is Awake.

For Scott Hansen, Tycho isn’t just about music. It works on a visual level as well.  “I tend to think of the project as an audio visual project,” he explains.  “The music always comes first and then I try and illustrate the kind of space that that music represents with the art work.”

Tycho’s Dive

That’s because Hansen is not only a musician, but a visual artist known as iso50. He spent many years doing commercial work as a graphic artist.  You’ve probably seen a lot of it.   “I did a bunch of snowboards and skis and I did stuff for Diesel, some poster art, all this random, all sorts of stuff,” he reveals.  “Twix, and Starburst and all sorts of like ad agency stuff back when I was doing that.”

His visual style is a mix of Bauhaus austerity (the art movement, not the band) and the elaborate San Francisco psychedelic poster art he saw in his parent’s record collection with The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Led Zeppelin.

Echoes John Diliberto & Tycho’s Scott Hansen

“That was my gateway into just kinda of understanding music to be in with the Beatles and all that stuff,” Hansen confesses.  “But also the artwork behind them and the aesthetic that was applied to all those album covers and just the style–down to the way the people dressed and everything.  That kind of informed from then on what I thought was like the architect for bands, and music and album covers and all that.  So yeah, you can see that pop up in my work a lot.”

You can hear how that work pops up in his music tonight on Echoes when we revisit our 2012 interview with Hansen when he came into Echoes to play live.

Tycho recently released a new album, Awake.  We interviewed Hansen back in 2012 when he released the last Tycho album, Dive and came into Echoes to play live.  (You can hear a track from that on our CD,Transmissions. We return to that feature tonight on Echoes.

~© 2012

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  the #1 Echoes Album for April, Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Echoes Top 25 for April

April 29, 2014

Dream-pop Dominates Echoes Top Ten in April

Foy-MirrorThe year is 25% done and here’s some of the music that’s been bubbling to the top of the Echoes playlists during April.  Of course, Lyla Foy’s April CD of the MonthMirrors the Sky is number one and deservedly so.  Look for live performances and interviews with Foy in the next month or so.  She’s followed by six more singers, beginning with Thus Owls, who I happen to be listening to on-air right now doing a phenomenal live Echoes set.

It’s great to see Hiroki Okano return to Echoes with his new .jp album.  He was a fixture on the show in the mid-90s.  And Steve Roach returns to the Echoes Top Ten with Spiral Meditations.

THE ECHOES TOP 25 FOR APRIL 2014

  1. Lyla Foy - Mirrors the Sky (Subpop Records) iTunes
  2. Thus OwlsTurning Rocks (Secret City Records) iTunes
  3. Marissa Nadler - July (Sacred Bones) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  4. S. CareyRange of Light (Jagjaguwar) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  5. Beck- Morning Phase (Capital) iTUnes
  6. DavidgeSlo Light (The End Records) iTunes
  7. The CapsulesThe Long Goodbye (Saint Marie Records) iTunes
  8. Hiroki Okano - .jp (Hiroki Okano) iTunes
  9. Hans ChristianHidden Treasures (Allemande Music) iTunes
  10. Steve RoachSpiral Meditations (Timeroom Editions) iTunes
  11. Jennifer ZulliGoddess Rising (Jennifer Zulli) iTunes
  12. Yasmine HamdanYa Nass (Crammed Discs) iTunes
  13. Natalie Merchant - Natalie Merchant (Nonesuch) iTunes
  14. Mark McGuireAlong the Way (Dead Oceans) iTUnes
  15. TychoAwake (Ghostly International) iTunes
  16. HammockChasing After Shadows, Living with the Ghosts (Deluxe Edition) (Hammock Music) iTunes
  17. Green IsacPassengers (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  18. Ian Boddy & Erik WolloEC12 (DiN) iTunes
  19. Cinema 12 - Cinema 12 (Cinema 12) iTUnes
  20. Quilt - Held in Splendor (Mexican Summer) iTUnes
  21. James HoodCeremony (Edible Sounds) iTunes
  22. That That RevolvesChasing Sunshine EP (Hungry Media) iTUnes
  23. St. VincentSt. Vincent (Loma Vista) iTUnes
  24. Tom Kerstens’ G Plus EnsembleUtopia – (Real World) iTUnes
  25. Lawrence BlattEmergence (Lawrence Blatt) iTUnes

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  the #1 Echoes Album for April, Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Mary Fahl’s Power Singing and Wolf Songs

April 29, 2014

Hear Mary Fahl Talk About Influences from the 60s,  October Project and Werewolf songs tonight on Echoes

Mary Fahl on Echoes

Mary Fahl on Echoes

Mary Fahl doesn’t sound like any other modern singer. You have to go back to vocalists like Sandy Denny and Grace Slick to find a reference point for a sound which is more like warrior angels than heavenly angels. She used to sing with October Project and that’s how many people know her, including author Anne Rice. She loved the band so much that she actually put them in her book, The Wolves of Midwinter as source music.  Mary Fahl has just released her third solo album, Love and Gravity and it tackles themes you might expect from a woman who isn’t a teenager anymore.   It also Love-Gravityincludes a song written for the audio book of Anne Rice’s The Wolves of Midwinter.  Mary Fahl tells the story behind her werewolf song and about her musical influences from the 60s tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

Thus Owls Live on Echoes

April 28, 2014

THUS OWLS THEATER IN YOUR HEAD LIVE ON ECHOES

Thus Owls' Erika Angell live on Echoes

Thus Owls’ Erika Angell live on Echoes

I have been enchanted by Thus Owls.  This Canadian-Swedish band brings a theatrical feel to their songs of life on a Swedish island that is sometimes pastoral but often dark and haunted.  The band is fronted by singer Erika Angell who has a dramatic style that recalls Kate Bush, Tori Amos and a touch of Siouxsie Sioux’s arch darkness. Thus-Owls_Turning-Rocks_cover With husband Simon Angell on guitar, Thus Owls conjures dramatic musical structures that range from gentle autoharp refrains to screaming 60′s style rave-ups replete with Farfisa organ.  Their latest album is Turning Rocks.  You don’t want to disturb the neighbors with this one.  Wear headphones and turn it up when Thus Owls play live on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Aphex Twin’s SAWII in Echoes Podcast

April 25, 2014

Marc Weidenbaum Dissects Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II in Echoes Podcast

Selected-BookHear this interview in Echoes Podcast

I’m in a state right now where 20 year anniversaries don’t seem like such a big deal.  After all, we just commemorated the 30th Anniversary of Steve Roach’s Structures from Silence and the 40th Anniversaries of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.  I think that divide might say something about how you feel about Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II.   If you’re on the far side of the divide, you, like me, might think that it was a fairly slight album, full of obviously derivative influences from Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Philip Glass and old musique concrète and early electronic music.  If you’re on the nearside of the divide however, you might see this as a magnum opus, an album that signaled a new way of approaching music and listening, an ambient manifesto that is still resonating today.

Selected-II-200Author Marc Weidenbaum falls on the near side of that equation. He’s a music journalist who was an editor of Pulse Magazine for several years where I was a writer.  Now he publishes the Disquiet webzine.  Born in 1966, he’s perhaps just slightly too young to have experienced firsthand the early ambient music of the late 1970s and early 80s.   But Weidenbaum is an erudite and voracious music listener who knows his music history.  He thinks  Selected Ambient Works Volume II is so significant, that he’s written an entire book on it in the 33 1/3 series, also just called Selected Ambient Works Volume II. You can hear him talk about it in Echoes Podcast

Here’s one of the stories that was too long for the feature piece.  If you bought  Selected Ambient Works Volume II when it came out, there were no titles.  Only a matrix of enigmatic pie charts matched with enigmatic photos, usually very tight fragments of larger objects.  In print, the titles were simply “Track 1: (Untitled),” “Track 2: (Untitled)” etc. or just “#1,” “#2,” “#3″ etc.  But now, when I put that same 1994 CD into the computer, Grace Notes actually pulls up track names like “Rhubarb” and “Grey Stripe.”  This is one of the stories Marc Weidenbaum tracked down.

MW: Yeah it’s funny, it depends generationally as to when you experience the record as to how prominent those titles are. The story of the titles, for people who are unfamiliar with the record, the way it’s structured is that when you purchase the album physically and it just came out on CD, and cassette and vinyl, there was a large image in the center spread that was a bunch of circles. And each circle, you figured out, correlated with a side of the album and the relative size of a piece slice of that circle helped you figure out which track was associated with it. In fact, it didn’t technically have word titles, one of the tracks, “Blue Calyx,” retained a title from being released previously by him as a single. But all the other tracks are, and including “Blue Calyx,” are associated with pictures that appear on this same center spread. And each of those pictures is of an object.
Early on in the record’s release, some fans recognized what those objects were and produced a list of them, and very quickly they became, for certain types of listeners, the way those tracks were referred to because it became very difficult online, which is where a lot of communication about esoteric music too place in the early and mid ‘90s, especially, to identify the pieces. There was, there became a shorthand, so you could refer to a track as “Domino,” you could refer as “Rhubarb” or “Radiator.”

And as for Grace Note, I was so fascinated by the way that those track titles are distributed that I tracked down someone from Grace Note, a very senior person on the editorial staff there. And she talked me through the process. And what’s really interesting is that the way that Grace Note manages that data kind of privileges these fan titles over the original titles because it’s very difficult in their database at the way it’s been structured since the ‘90s when it was first developed, to deal with null entries. And so it actually privileges names over null entries, so these words have gotten out there.

And just one little side note, as I was working on the, when I was working on the book, I looked at iTunes and in fact on iTunes in the middle of last year, the titles were still reproduced with these name titles, not with the original factual titles. And I tried to contact Apple to get an explanation and I never heard back from them, but very shortly after I got in touch with Apple about this, the album Selected Ambient Works Volume II disappeared in America from the iTunes record store and was gone for quite some time. And eventually it came back with blank titles. I don’t know if it was just coincidence or what, but it was fascinating that it went away.

Hear more stories of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II in Echoes Podcast

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

From the 80s to Infinity

April 24, 2014

Cosmic DubsDid you miss out on the 1980s? A band called The Big Bright has a CD of covers from the new wave decade called I Slept Thru the 80s. We’ll hear a surprisingly mellow Duran Duran track from that.  But if you want to stay in the 21st century, get ready for new music from Bluetech and his album Cosmic Dubs. It’s coming up tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

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Join the Echoes Sound Circle and keep the soundscapes of Echoes flowing!

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Vol II at 20

April 23, 2014

Selected-II-200I’m in a state right now where 20 year anniversaries don’t seem like such a big deal.  After all, we just commemorated the 30th Anniversary of Steve Roach’s Structures from Silence and the 40th Anniversaries of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.  I think that divide might say something about how you feel about Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II.   If you’re on the far side of the divide, you, like me, might think that it was a fairly slight album, full of obviously derivative influences from Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Philip Glass and old musique concrète and early electronic music.  If you’re on the nearside of the divide however, you might see this as a magnum opus, an album that signaled a new way of approaching music and listening, an ambient manifesto that is still resonating today.

Selected-BookAuthor Marc Weidenbaum falls on the near side of that equation. He’s a music journalist who was an editor of Pulse Magazine for several years where I was a writer.  Now he publishes the Disquiet webzine.  Born in 1966, he’s perhaps just slightly too young to have experienced firsthand the early ambient music of the late 1970s and early 80s.   But Weidenbaum is an erudite and voracious music listener who knows his music history.  He thinks  Selected Ambient Works Volume II is so significant, that he’s written an entire book on it in the 33 1/3 series, also just called Selected Ambient Works Volume II. You can hear him talk about it tonight on Echoes.

Here’s one of the stories that was too long for the feature piece.  If you bought  Selected Ambient Works Volume II when it came out, there were no titles.  Only a matrix of enigmatic pie charts matched with enigmatic photos, usually very tight fragments of larger objects.  In print, the titles were simply “Track 1: (Untitled),” “Track 2: (Untitled)” etc. or just “#1,” “#2,” “#3″ etc.  But now, when I put that same 1994 CD into the computer, Grace Notes actually pulls up track names like “Rhubarb” and “Grey Stripe.”  This is one of the stories Marc Weidenbaum tracked down.

MW: Yeah it’s funny, it depends generationally as to when you experience the record as to how prominent those titles are. The story of the titles, for people who are unfamiliar with the record, the way it’s structured is that when you purchase the album physically and it just came out on CD, and cassette and vinyl, there was a large image in the center spread that was a bunch of circles. And each circle, you figured out, correlated with a side of the album and the relative size of a piece slice of that circle helped you figure out which track was associated with it. In fact, it didn’t technically have word titles, one of the tracks, “Blue Calyx,” retained a title from being released previously by him as a single. But all the other tracks are, and including “Blue Calyx,” are associated with pictures that appear on this same center spread. And each of those pictures is of an object.
Early on in the record’s release, some fans recognized what those objects were and produced a list of them, and very quickly they became, for certain types of listeners, the way those tracks were referred to because it became very difficult online, which is where a lot of communication about esoteric music too place in the early and mid ‘90s, especially, to identify the pieces. There was, there became a shorthand, so you could refer to a track as “Domino,” you could refer as “Rhubarb” or “Radiator.”

And as for Grace Note, I was so fascinated by the way that those track titles are distributed that I tracked down someone from Grace Note, a very senior person on the editorial staff there. And she talked me through the process. And what’s really interesting is that the way that Grace Note manages that data kind of privileges these fan titles over the original titles because it’s very difficult in their database at the way it’s been structured since the ‘90s when it was first developed, to deal with null entries. And so it actually privileges names over null entries, so these words have gotten out there.

And just one little side note, as I was working on the, when I was working on the book, I looked at iTunes and in fact on iTunes in the middle of last year, the titles were still reproduced with these name titles, not with the original factual titles. And I tried to contact Apple to get an explanation and I never heard back from them, but very shortly after I got in touch with Apple about this, the album Selected Ambient Works Volume II disappeared in America from the iTunes record store and was gone for quite some time. And eventually it came back with blank titles. I don’t know if it was just coincidence or what, but it was fascinating that it went away.

Hear more stories of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Eleven Earth Day CDs

April 22, 2014

Today is Earth Day.  Tonight on Echoes we’ll celebrate with an Earth Day Soundscape, but you create your own soundscape any day with these 11 recordings that are drawn from nature.

Sonic-Seasonings1 Wendy CarlosSonic Seasonings
Released in 1972,  Sonic Seasonings was ambient before ambient was coined. Taking the form of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” Carlos orchestrated four side-long soundscapes designed to be “part of the decor.” Carlos weaves gentle, often reedy synthesizer melodies through chirping birds on “Spring,” phase-shifted church organ drones across crystalline bells and wind on “Winter,” and she seems to simulate an alien space landing on “Summer,” mimicking nature with her synthesizer.

Nest2 Robert RichNest
It was close between this album and his 1989 album, Rainforest. On that album, Rich synthesized his own virtual rainforest, but on Nest he uses environmental recordings he made in Australia where he was inspired by the nesting of tree frogs there. He weaves synthesizer textures, spare piano, gongs and flutes in a slow motion dusk that floats like mist on the forest floor.

Range 3 S. CareyRange of Light
It’s hard to bring naturalistic imagery into song without sounding like John Denver, but S. Carey does it on his ethereal second album, Range of Light. The title comes from the writings of naturalist John Muir and many of the lyrics are drawn from his inspiration, even when Carey is writing gorgeous love songs to his family like “Alpenglow.”

Aquas 4 UaktiAguas da Amazonia
The collaboration of composer Philip Glass and the Brazilian new music group, Uakti, is a natural. Uakti plays instruments that are a cross between the PVC pipe percussion of The Blue Man Group and the exotic sound sculptures of the late Harry Partch. They play PVC pipe covered with skins, a wooden box with latex strings, marimbas made from glass bars and violins made from gourds. Marco António Guimaráes created these instruments and arranged them for Glass’s charming compositions inspired by Amazonian rivers.

Driftwood5 Rena JonesDriftwood
Rena Jones’ 2007 album, Driftwood, follows the life of a tree from “From Star to Seed” to “Driftwood.” It’s an entrancing album that’s as much about Jones’ translucent laptop compositions as her gifts on cello, guitar, violin and clarinet. Compositions like “Photosynthesis” and “Driftwood” have an almost classical flow as her strings and clarinet articulate Arvo Part-like lines of liquid inevitability while rhythms pulse, shudder and ping through the melodies.

Equator 6 Bernie KrauseEquator
Bernie Krause was one of the early pioneers merging electronic music and environmental sounds, most famously done on In A Wild Sanctuary by Beaver & Krause in 1970. But in the 1980s, Krause committed himself to sonic ecology, recording environments across the globe. He would orchestrate these natural sounds into compositions, sometimes purely natural sounds, other times reinforced with some gentle synthesizer underpinnings ala Sonic Seasonings. That’s what he does on Equator.

Earth-Voices7 Paul Winter - Earth Voices of a Planet
The Godfather of environmental music, it’s hard to pick a CD from Paul Winter. But his 1990 album, Earth-Voices of A Planet seems a perfect merging of Winter’s chamber jazz folk sound merged with environmental sounds. Spotted owls, elephants and whales (many recorded by Mickey Houlihan) are joined by Winter’s soprano sax and musicians like Glen Velez, Rhonda Larson and Eugene Friesen in ecstatic songs like “Cathedral Forest.” Winter rises above New Age clichés for this genre.

Bali8 Jalan JalanBali
Jalan Jalan was a studio project from the Japanese Pacific Moon label. They took the sounds of Balinese gamelan and combined it with pianos, flutes, small percussion and environmental sounds into gentle refrains.  It owes much to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, with its sense of elegiac repose and resigned melancholy, particularly tracks like “Firefly Sanctuary.” The canon form in which most of these pieces are written and the stately pace they follow make this music seem like it could go on forever, and you wish they would.

Our-Beloved-Land9 R. Carlos Nakai & Keola BeamerOur Beloved Land
In this meeting of Native flute and Hawaiian slack-key guitar, these two artists create a music born of their native landscapes. Though most of the tunes are Hawaiian in origin and largely arranged by Beamer, he lets Nakai take them out into the deepest southwest desert, tumbling them through canyon echoes and ancient chants of his own. Nakai and Beamer’s voices, despite intoning different sounds, come together as one. The rhythms, played on percussion instruments from Hawaii, the southwest and Africa are trance-like and ceremonial.

Forest10 George WinstonForest
There are no nature sounds here, but George Winston has always been great at evoking seasons and landscapes with his piano. This was his first post-seasonal CD and it found him exploring new modalities on songs like “Tamarack Pines” where Winston extracts from the minimalist canon of Steve Reich with a nod to Terry Riley’s “In C” in constructing a cyclical journey.  On “Forbidden Forest” he plays with inside-the-piano effects while “The Cradle” draws from the jazz harmonies of Larry “Khalid Yasin” Young, the late jazz organist.

On_Land11 Brian EnoAmbient 4: On Land
This is possibly the most surreal use of environmental sounds ever. Eno used nature sounds mixed with acoustic sounds and some synthesizer, but blended them using musique concrete techniques to create imaginary landscapes. Many of them are named for geographical locations, but in this sonic transubstantiation, the locations are completely in the mind, even when born from nature.

Hear An Echoes Earth Day Soundscape tonight.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

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TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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