As I spiral ever deep into the realm of ‘wave’ music (new wave, synthwave, vaporwave etc) I stumbled upon something very strange and esoteric. It is called lowercase music and it really pushes the idea of what constitutes music as a form of ambient minimalism that focuses on unheard quiet sounds amplified to extremes. Some critics call it sound art rather than actual music
I love this idea. Taking something that is as mundane and everyday as shuffling papers and by taking an aural microscope to it really focusing and abstracting it to create melody of the sound. This idea is why I love collage–honing in on a small part to create something bigger.
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In my recent excursion into synthwave–my new favorite music genre that is an retrofuturistic mix of synthesizer and driving rhythms typical of many 80’s movie soundtracks, I have stumbled across a micro genre called minimal synthwave–or minimal wave.
Minimal wave tends to focus on electronic, pre-MIDI new wave instrumentation and contains minimal musical structures and uses analog synthesizers and drum machines from the 70’s abd 80’s. It has a sense of artificiality as obviously synthesized repetitive drum beats are offset by thin melody lines. Entrance System, a Canadian minimal wave group from the 1980’s is my favorite thus far– with it’s repetitive synthesizer lines it has a vague echo of Vangelis and Tangerine Dream, but is more anchored with it’s voice over tracks. It’s slightly political but that hasn’t bothered me from enjoying the music itself. I really enjoy the expansive sound of this music juxtaposed with the reality of the spoken words overlaid.
In the past few years my music consumption has slowed–as in, my ravenous search for new composers and musicians has slowed. I still have a 40 minute commute so music is ESSENTIAL to keeping my sanity (and it keeps my girls happy!) However, occasionally without even trying I come across a wonderful musician and I fall madly, deeply in love.
One such artist is Bruno Coulais whose soundtracks for Book of Kells and Song of the Sea are beautiful, haunting and all those other cliche adjectives you would use to describe pretty music! Ha! Really though, his music is otherworldly but built on solid rhythms that drive the melodies. He is a prolific French composer but his grasp of Irish tunes and melodies and nuance is fantastic on these two scores.
I am so thrilled I came upon these as I watched these movies and would recommend these for anyone wanting soothing yet driven writing music with a dark edge to them.
I hope your Monday is going swell! Hooray for caffeine!
I love remixes. When it takes something classic and nostalgic and flips it on edge with futuristic synergy it gives me the chills every time. I guess you could say this remix in particular represents the dual sides of my personality: vintage and low key, and hyperactive dance crazed. Retro futuristic some call it.
One of my favorite singers is Nina Simone. Her voice is silk velvet in crimson–soulful with an undertone of cold steel. Add to that my favorite dubstep remixers Bassnectar with their impeccably timed beat drops and syncopated grooves on an old classic and you’ve got a honey dripping popalicious remix that never fails to make me… feel good! Ha!
Art by https://poodlefuzz.tumblr.com
There is so much darkness in the world right now that it makes it hard. I often feel guilty feeling sad over one person’s death when so many others have perished in such tragic ways but the small lights of the world shine more brightly for the darkness and thus when they are extinguished the shadows become that much darker.
I have wanted to write a post about Tom Petty since this blog was created but I could never find the right words. With his passing I feel compelled to write despite the lack of proper words so I apologize ahead of time if this just comes across as incoherent blather. He was a light–at least to me and this is a small tribute to him.
His voice was gravely but sincere and had a twang that was purely American without being pinned to one specific area of our country. A laid back drawl that made you feel like everything was going to be alright. My first encounter with him was watching his video for Don’t Come Around Here. You know–the weird Alice in Wonderland themed video that was in a cube of some kind and then Alice ended up being a cake. It was trippy to say the least and Tom as the Mad Hatter just always stuck in my mind–it echoed in his voice: mischievous and sly but a little melancholy at the same time.
I am saddened by all the darkness in the world and will try to keep the light glowing as I listen to his music and stay inspired.
“Inspiration is all around you if you just look for it.” -Tom Petty