Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ambient Kitchen

So what does Stan do when the girls are in the front room indulging in "Strictly Come Dancing" ?

Well, tonight he's at the kitchen table, drinking beer and listening to ambient music on Magnatunes while trying to brush up on his PHP and Perl programming.

My laptop now has a choice of Windoze XP and Linux Fedora 9, and I've got to say I'm spending increasingly more time in Linux. One of the main reasons I hadn't moved over before was that previous versions of Fedora didn't recognise my wi-fi card - Fedora 9 worked straight out of the box. Another reason was that Yahoo Music doesn't work with Firefox, but I've now found Magnatunes, so that's less of an issue.

The thing about the Magnatunes site is that they don't work with the major labels - it's a very direct way for independent musicians to get their music heard (and potentially sold). This is fine by me - if I wanted to listen to the current top 100, I'd put on some commercial radio station - personally I'd rather listen to something a bit off-centre - something that might actually surprise me.

Like "Requiem" by Robert Rich from the "Below Zero" album, which is described as "consisting of turbulent organic atmospheres". I don't know about that, but is very much worth a listen. He sounds an interesting guy - according to Wikipedia :-
At an early age he thought he disliked music. However, at age 11 or 12, he began growing succulents as a hobby. He would leave a radio tuned to static at a low volume for his plants. This experience influenced his interest in avant-garde and minimal composition....

... He began building his own synthesizer in 1976, when he was 13 years old ...

... around this time, he attended Stanford University. During his tenure there, Rich became well-known in the San Francisco Bay area for giving live night-time performances for somnolent or sleeping audiences. These were experiments to influence REM cycle sleep with auditory stimulus. They were usually nine hours long and lasted from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.. During these performances, he would generate abstract drones and atmospheres while the audience dozed in sleeping bags that they brought themselves. In the morning he would end the concert with piano solos. He would then serve tea to the audience.
You really couldn't make that stuff up !

Anyway, much more fun than reality celebrity dance contests - and perfect music to drink beer and cut code to.

You can listen to the whole album for free here - and if you think it sucks, then you've lost nothing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog mate. Keep it going !