Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Piano Day 2023


International Piano Day is March 29th and, as has been the case for the last five years, I've put together a new mix in celebration of ambient piano tunes. I don't do quite as many piano mixes as I once did but when I create these Piano Day sets I find I really enjoy the vibe.

There are a lot of new tracks in the mix, half of them from 2022 & 2023. But there are a few older tunes as well. I really like how this one turned out. I hope you enjoy the latest Piano Day excursion.


[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ a p p l e _ p o d c a s t s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

00:00 daniel.mp3 - green to blue (2022)
02:45 Hania Rani - The Beach(From I Never Cry)  (Music for Film and Theatre 2021)
05:14 Ryuichi Sakamoto - 20211130 (12 2023)
10:02 h hunt - 11e (playing piano for dad 2016)
12:49 Arin Aksberg - In Memory (It Flows Between U 2023)
16:47 Olafur Arnalds - Still, Sound (A Sunrise Session 2021)
20:42 ANNA - Receiving(Jon Hopkins piano version) (2023)
25:15 Hania Rani - Whale's Song (Inner Symphonies 2021)
29:42 Ryuichi Sakamoto - 20211201 (12 2023)
34:37 Library Tapes - Safe Haven (Dusk 2021)
36:41 Bing and Ruth - We Are on the Side of Angels (Tomorrow Was The Golden Age 2014)
42:53 Milieu - Antique Sunlight (Smokebuilder's Woodshop 2008)
47:56 Nebel Lang - Past All Unknowing (Directions For Stopping 2022)
52:43 Lorenz Weber - as time goes by (only the wind 2022)
56:10 Purple Decades - Forest (Journey Test 2023)
59:10 end

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Replicant Memories


Blade Runner is obviously one of the great sci-fi films of all time, with one of the best soundtracks of all time. As a testament to the staying power of Vangelis' work, we still have a artists today that mimic the sound of the Blade Runner score.

The recording that got me started on this mix is brand new from Crows Labyrinth called "Neon Scenes I: Granular Dreams". It's a longform generative ambient drone track with a lead synth that has a great Blade Runner vibe. You can find it here...

As soon as I heard that track I knew I had to create another Blade Runner mix. This is my fourth one. Here are the links to the others:

One thing that sets this mix apart from the others is that many of the tunes are very purposely trying to replicate the sound of the original soundtrack. Some cuts even use rain, voices and effects to mimic the feel. I added a bit of BR sound fx on a couple of tracks to reinforce the vibe. Most of the time though it's that lead synth sound that transports me right back to 1982.

Some folks may have a problem with current artists so blatantly aping a style and sound(some more than others here). But I don't care, I just love the overall sound and feel of these tracks.

Here links to the music used in this mix:


T R A C K L I S T :
00:00    Crows Labyrinth - Neon Scenes I: Granular Dreams(Single Version) (2023)
03:40    State Azure - Nova Sonus (2022)
10:00    Andy Hagerty - Cadalach(Analogue Fantasy Mix) (Cadalach EP 2021)
14:50    The Rosen Corporation - A Good Joe (Pale Fire 2018)
22:12    Owl - Distant Transmission (Infinite Horizon 2021)
25:52    Boards of Canada - Collapse (Tomorrow's Harvest 2013)
28:00    Druid & Jok - Skyline Envelope (Terminals 2023)
31:54    Passengers - Ito Okashi (Original Soundtracks 1 1995)
34:50    State Azure - Folding Space (2020)
42:50    Monolog & Subheim - Colorful Flight (ConVIction 2017)
45:35    Graintable - UnIVersal Ash (UnIVersal Ash 2019)
50:24    Pye Corner Audio - Saturation Point (Let's Emerge! 2022)
53:53    The Rosen Corporation - Passing Thoughts (Neon Lovers 2020)
58:27    Alva Noto - A Forest (A Forest 2020)
61:48    The Rosen Corporation - The Warmth of Death (Pale Fire 2018)
66:20    end

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Strange Dream - The Curious World of the Ondes Martenot

Maurice Martenot with his invention

Last year in my Halloween mix I included a track that used an instrument called the Ondes Martenot. I knew a little bit about it - that it was an old instrument played with a ring on a wire. But that was all I really knew. Then a listener pointed me in the direction of a piece for the Ondes Martenot written in 1937. Yikes, 1937?! I had no idea that "Oraison" by Olivier Messiaen was one of the first electronic pieces of music ever written. Of course, this lead me down a Ondes Martenot rabbit hole and this mix is the result.

The Ondes Martenot was invented in 1928 by the French inventor Maurice Martenot. It sounds very much like a Theremin with it's wavering tones produced by oscillators. The Ondes Martenot can be played with a metal ring worn on the right index finger. Sliding the ring along a wire produces "theremin-like" tones. The music definitely can have a spooky, other-worldly sound. But it can also be quite expressive in the right hands.

Current players of the Ondes Martenot include Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. He uses it on "Kid A" and it appears in Radiohead songs including "The National Anthem", "How to Disappear Completely" and "Where I End and You Begin".

The other artist that is most well known for her use of the unusual instrument is Christine Ott, both in her solo work and with the band Snowdrops. The mix uses four of her tracks and two from Snowdrops. All of her work is excellent and worth checking out.

Here are a few videos for those interested in more Ondes Martenot info:


T R A C K L I S T :
00:00    Olivier Messiaen - Oraison (1937)
02:50    Tomas Bloch - Mare Teno(Michel Redolfi) (Music for Ondes Martenot 2004)
07:31    Christine Ott - Burning (Chimères (pour Ondes Martenot) 2020)
13:44    Snowdrops - Ultraviolet (Volutes 2020)
20:00    Sylvette Allart - Elegie(Darius Milhaud ) (Magie Des Ondes Martenot 1970)
22:46    Tindersticks - Percy's Theme (Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith 2017)
24:40    Peter Kohlmetz Moller - Song for AJ
26:08    Christine Ott - Comma (Chimères (pour Ondes Martenot) 2020)
31:42    Thomas Bloch - Sweet Suite 1 (Music for Ondes Martenot 2004)
36:00    Snowdrops - Firebirds (Missing Island 2022)
41:18    Jeanne Loriod & S. Laurent & P. Duclos - Ondes Spatiales (Ondes Martenot)
42:40    Christine Ott - Sexy Moon (Only Silence Remains 2016)
47:25    Christine Ott - TempĂȘte / the Tabu (Tabu 2016)
53:30    Sylvette Allart ­- Nana(Falla) (Magie Des Ondes Martenot 1970)
55:22    Olivier Messiaen - Oraison (1937)
57:22    end