Tuesday, July 20, 2004One genre of music I really enjoy for background listening is "downtempo ambient"...okay, you can call it "sleeping music." No words, just the ebb and flowing of liquid sound transitions. Laraaji's Flow Goes The Universe, Steven Halpern's Spectrum Suite and many of Brian Eno's Ambient works are wonderful examples. But this one takes the prize: Robert Rich's Somnium utilizes the large capacity of DVD format to contain 7 hours of ambient mellowness on a single disc, enough for a full night's sleep for many:
Instrumental sounds include analog and digital electronics, processed flutes and acoustic piano, lap steel guitar with Sustainiac Model B, chimes and bowed metal. Environmental sounds recorded by Robert Rich in California, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington and Mexico. Additional sounds include electric fish (Apteronotus leptorhyncus) recorded at Scripps Institute with the assistance of Calvin Wong, and processed environments from the library of Andy Wiskes.I've just heard Part 3 on streaming radio this afternoon, and I'll probably have to get this disc because I want to know what an electric fish [pdf] sounds like.
So, what's up with the fishiness? Let's just say the previous snapper story made me have a little flashback: about two years ago, I received a frozen red snapper (okay, it's probably a lane snapper) as a birthday present, to cook Chinese-style. Unfortunately, once I looked at its little eyes, I didn't have it in me to bone and filet the poor thing - so to this day it remains entombed in hoarfrost, in a Ziploc™ bag, in the coldest part of our freezer. So when I dig periodically into the recesses of Deepest Freezer, looking for a waylaid bag of peas or strawberries, I occasionally say "hello" to our permanent kitchen resident, The Snapper.