Tag Archive: Ambient


Savaran brings together a collection of ten new tracks recorded between 2012 – 2014 for the album The Spaces In Between. This is his first full album release on the Ember Music label although previous tracks have been included on the compilation Ember Music Vol.1, on Ember Music mixcasts and in collaborative works with other Ember Music artists including Slaphappy Mortician and TraiSkin.

The album has dual layers of meaning that intertwine. On the one hand this is a personal interpretation of daily interactions with sounds heard and unheard that are fused with processed digital, analog and modular electronics. On the other hand the music reflects the artists emotional response to unfolding events taking place worldwide as a result of the 2008 recession, the rise of religious fundamentalism, the dramatic effects of climate change and the disconnection of humans from nature. Sound and emotion both combine on this album at the spaces in between.

Cover photography by: Mark Walters

All tracks produced, mixed and mastered by: Mark Walters

Acknowledgements: Luftrum for field recorded sounds on Glade, Kurt Lorenz at Ember Music

Ember Music – EMBRlp007

Released 01 September 2014

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Video by: Misha Shyukin
Music by: Offthesky – from the album “Through the Lines” – out now via SEM label: shop.semlabel.com/music

There are 19 tracks of superb remixes here by a phenomenal lineup of artists including Fieldhead, Bryan Ruhe, Loscil, The Remote Viewer, Field Rotation, Pioulard himself, William Ryan Fritch, Graveyard Tapes, Part Timer, and Cock & Swan,  to name but a few. The original Hymnal by Benoit Pioulard was released on the Kranky label and was influenced by religious architecture in the UK and Europe. The remixes hold the reverential tone of the original, but also take it in a dizzying array of new directions. The first CD fuses Pioulard’s delicate vocalizations into most of the tracks while the second CD takes a more instrumental path through the  vaulted aisles of the original.

This is definitely going to be one of my most played albums this year and has already seen lots of rotation.  Highly recommended !

I’ve caught snatches of Bryan Ruhe’s work on various remixes and compilations, but somehow overlooked his full releases until now. Easing was released in January last year on the excellent Cotton Goods label run by Craig Tattersall  (more on that label here http://tape-dust.tumblr.com/cottongoods ). The album sold out fast, but fortunately you can download the digital album on Bryan’s bandcamp page below. Granular synthesis can produce some harsh and jarring sounds in the wrong hands, but the manipulation of real world sounds and acoustic instruments on this album is a lesson in subtlety and the art of patient sound creation. Reality is processed into grains that reform here into expansive, shimmering drones accompanied by fluttering and panning guitar, piano notes, gossamer light hiss and deep distorted churn. Everything is fractured, gauzy and dreamlike, but perfectly realized into a pleasing whole.

Do check out more of Bryan’s work here http://worksbyruhe.net/ and the products of his own label, Clothbound, here http://clothbound.net/

Some new experimental pieces created by Jonathan Siemasko aka Schemawound from Naugatuck, USA. These tracks were originally produced for the Disquiet Junto communal group of artists on Soundcloud http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/ Schemawound’s work explores generative processes with the aid of Supercollider http://supercollider.sourceforge.net/ and these tracks cover output in the ambient, drone, experimental areas of music. He often releases the code for his projects which can be used in your own Supercollider projects and frequently invites people to re-work his pieces.

More on Schemawound and his earlier releases here : http://schemawound.com/releases

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/Schemawound?ref=hl

Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/schemawound

 

Fieldhead – Of October

Fieldhead live in Dordrecht 2012. Video by Marcel van Ast.

Superb track which develops slowly into the classic spacious, gently crackling and heavily reverbed textures of Paul Elam and Elaine Reynolds. The slow muffled beats and delicate strains of electronic violin add to the expansive sound, which perfectly evokes the vast Canadian landscape that inspired the music.

Fieldhead will be on tour with Loscil from 7th – 16th Feb 2014

More info. on Fieldhead here http://www.fieldheadmusic.com/

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A Comet’s Tale originated from early discussions with Emily Ferrell about a release with the Subterranean Tide label. I had mentioned that I always wanted to do a release based around my interests in astronomy and a day later Emily came back with the evocative poem that graces the cover art. That poem directly triggered the idea of following the path of a comet from its origins in the distant Oort Cloud of our outer solar system, to it’s perilous journey past our Sun and return home, if it survives!

A comet is basically a large boulder-like mass of ice, gas and dust, which closely resembles the smaller rocky asteroids in form. Very slight gravitational forces from nearby stars, including the Sun, can pull these objects out of their normal orbit and onto a new path which sends them careering into our solar system. The Oort Cloud is the most distant home of comets and forms a sort of spherical shell of objects orbiting our solar system way out beyond Neptune. The musical journey follows a typical long-period comet (a comet that takes more than 200 years to complete it’s orbit), which has been dislodged from the Oort Cloud and is on an incoming trajectory around our Sun. Aphelion is when our comet is at it’s furthest point from the Sun, coasting in through the outer solar system, it’s dust tail streaming majestically behind it and increasing in speed all the time. As it reaches it’s point of closest approach to the Sun, or Perhelion, the speed picks up and the comet faces it’s most dangerous time buffeted by the solar wind and in a constant tug-o-war with the powerful gravitational pull of the Sun. A special group of comets, the Sungrazer’s, are the adrenaline junkies of the comet world and either survive, or die by evaporation, as they skim close to the Suns upper atmosphere. If a comet survives this passage around the Sun and passes close to Earth on it’s way back out to the Oort Cloud it can turn into one of the most spectacular objects seen in the night sky. The sun heats up the comet and triggers the expansion of internal gasses, which explode through the surface. The comet then goes into an outburst phase where it dramatically increases in size and brightness and becomes visible to us with small telescopes, binoculars or the naked eye. One of the common gasses vented is Cyanogen and this can give the comet’s coma (head) and tail a lovely green hue. The dust left behind in the trail of an orbiting comet makes up most of the material we see as meteors flashing through the sky during a meteor shower as the dust burns up in our atmosphere. Many of the main meteor showers can be directly linked to a particular passing comet or asteroid. The comet then passes out of our visible range to return again in a few hundred, or perhaps thousands, of years and is therefore truly a once-in-a-lifetime object to see.

If you get a chance this winter do follow the story of Comet C/2012_S1 (ISON) as it becomes visible from November onward http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C/2012_S1 This is a newly discovered sungrazer comet which has the potential to be one of the most spectacular comets visible this century…if the Sun doesn’t melt it!  Edit 27-12-13 – which it sadly did, Comet ISON is no more 😦     ~Savaran

Cover Image: No Copyright, courtesy of NASA. The cover image is from the ancient Chinese Mawangdui silk which is a ‘textbook’ of cometary forms and the various disasters associated with them. It was compiled sometime around 300 B.C.

Subterrannean Tide ST03. Released July 2013. Savaran: A Comet’s Tale – Download from Archive.org here http://archive.org/details/ST03ACometsTaleSavaran or from Bandcamp here http://subterraneantide.bandcamp.com/album/a-comets-tale

All tracks composed & mixed by Mark Walters
Mastered by Wil Bolton
Artwork & Poetry by Emily Ferrell

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Assembly Field Label AF02. Released April 2013

The Halcyon Days tracks evolved over five months between November 2012 and March 2013. For some reason my most subtle, deep, emotional and dark works always seem to be produced in the suppressed light of Winter. Perhaps the enforced isolation and incarceration in the studio due to the inclement weather figures in this, but I know that I also take a lot of visual and audible cues from the landscape and nature at this time.

The EP essentially describes a number of locations visited during the Winter months in the UK and my response to them in musical form.

Sojourn was born from a visit to the hills and lakes above Betws Y Coed in Snowdonia on a bright November day. On descending back down to the village the acoustics of the valley floor suddenly opened out in a few places and the rocky hillside behind us acted like an amphitheatre sucking in sounds from distant locations. We could clearly hear people talking and the bustle of activity on the playing field combined with distant calls from the whistle of the steam railway – you can hear these sounds, and others, under the ambient guitar melodies. Arra Venton by contrast is an altogether more mysterious piece.

Arra Venton is a Landmark Trust house you can rent near Morvah and Zennor in west Cornwall. It started life as a Wesleyan chapel and blacksmith’s workshop with dwelling above, but has now been carefully and sympathetically restored. It’s granite hewn walls reside next to a forbidding bog topped by blackthorns leaning away from the seaborne wind. There’s an old well in the grounds and the glowering torrs of Carn Galva look down from above. It is a place steeped in history and sense of place with a definite character that is surprisingly welcoming – I love this sort of place. We spent Christmas 2012 here with constant wind and rain battering the sturdy walls. The wind howled in the chimney and swirled around the roof trying to find a way in for most of the time we were there, it was a constant soundtrack to the holiday. I was recording a live improvised track with the Korg Monotron analogue synth late one night and could hear the wind howling through the headphones and mournful drones coming out of the Monotron. It seemed to be competing with the music, trying to be part of it, so I let it in and that is how this track came to be.

I will let the listener conjure up their own stories from the rest of the tracks. Each track does have a story and point of origin in the landscape, but you will have to navigate your own way from now on.

This EP is dedicated to Tess, who is no longer with us, but whose presence during field recording trips, holidays and recording sessions in the studio is very much a part of these tracks..

Written and produced by Mark Walters

Mastered by Wil Bolton

Photography by Mark Walters

Savaran: Halcyon Days EP – Download here – http://archive.org/details/Savaran-HalcyonDays_113

The new Savaran CD-EP featuring vocals by Barbara De Dominicis and Francesca Genco is now available and shipping early next week from Somehow Recordings http://www.somehowrecordings.co.uk/page20

This was originally intended to be an instrumental ambient release utilizing my own field recordings and photography to enhance the coastal theme, but I was then introduced to the amazing vocal improvisations of Barbara De Dominicis from Rome in Italy http://www.soonapres.com/  Barbara is a talented sound artist, musician and professional sound recorder with a string of previous album releases on Schema Records (Cabaret Noir, 2004), WM Recordings (Anti-Gone, 2009) and most recently on the Baskaru label with Julia Kent and Davide Lonardi (Parallel 41, 2012 http://www.par4llel.org/ ).  She has collaborated widely with ambient and experimental music artists across the world and I am really happy and grateful that she agreed to do a couple of tracks with me on this five track EP as her vocals add hugely to the texture and atmosphere of Strandline.

The music fuses sampled acoustic instruments, processed electronics and synthesizers mixed with some of my own field recordings made in coastal locations of Scotland and Wales over the last two years. The photography which forms the cover and CD art on this release includes images taken on Harlech Beach, North Wales  and the Dumfries and Galloway coast, Scotland. As ever with my music, it was the environment which informed the musical process that followed, with all cues being taken from visual and audible references in the landscape.

The EP is dedicated to all those people who can see the bigger picture in life by looking billions of years back in time as well as far into the distant future – they are life’s true explorers….

It’s release day for my new EP ‘Resonances’ over at the FeedbackLoop label here http://feedbacklooplabel.blogspot.com/2011/05/fbl014-savaran-resonances.html Do make sure you grab the seperate PDF download too as this provides some detailed background info. on the inspiration behind each track. Hope you like the sounds and all feedback is most welcome. I will leave you with the excellent release notes/review by Michael Waring………

Welsh electroacoustic artist Mark Walters aka Savaran comes to Feedbackloop with a five track EP ‘Resonances’ after a number of netlabel releases over the past year. Utilising both digital and analogue instrumentation with field recordings, samples and an array of effects, Mark develops refined micro-soundscapes, tightly knit into granular textures which demand an attentive ear. In Resonances he marks waypoints in the contours of his own life, describing personal experiences – memories of events and locations – and his own interests in history, astronomy and geology.

Opener ‘The Forest’ is closely grounded in nature, a perpetually moving and shifting piece – being more and more ethereal. ‘Aurora’ cinematically depicts the sound of the lights in the sky created by particles passing through the atmosphere. A granular focus that is present also in the micro movements suggested in ‘Tectonic’. Constructed literally from the vibrations of earthquakes through a custom built digital effect, the track offers a kind of cathartis, made all the more relevant with the recent happenings in Japan. ‘Graaw’ is a childhood place remembered and revisted, illustrated with a careful eye, and representative of Mark’s unique observational style.

In last track ‘Delphic’ we’ve travelled as far from earthly groundings as we can, to otherworldly dimensions set within Greek mythology. Delphi was the seat of the oracle, housed in the temple of Apollo. Inspired by this historic reference – Mark translates these dramatic visuals into an exciting sonic experience.

Resonances is deeply personal, born from historic and personal interest which reveals itself to be emotionally evocative and intriguing for the listener. By allowing us this intimate insight
into these parts of himself, Mark achieves a brilliant expression of his own history, memory and self.

Savaran – Facebook Artist Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Savaran/119943491371699?v=wall

Savaran – Soundcloud http://soundcloud.com/savaran

Savaran Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/Savaran_Music