Elizabeth Alker with music that defies
classification. In this episode Elizabeth looks into her experimental
music crystal ball and picks out some of the best festivals, record
releases and special shows coming up in 2020. She heads to a park
underneath the M4 for the Junction 2 Festival with music by Four Tet; an
old brewery in Potsdam, Germany plays host to a weekend of ambient
music and a special performance by Polish cellist, singer and composer
Resina; and a celebration of Dada and alternative music and art, with
resident artist Hayden Thorpe, takes place in the Lake District for the
first time. Over in the USA, we preview the Big Ears festival with the
spectral electroacoustic sounds of Astrid Sonne and analogue synth
artist Caterina Barbieri.
X so much to Simeon Walker made that possible. You can see him live on stage at this year’s Q3Ambientfest Tickets
Bells for Pony, Prelude
Anganim Arachi Ko
Not An Accident
Full Beam (Raven remix)
Return to 8 (Frances Shelley rework)
How To Decode An Illusion
Strong Calm Slow
Rafiq Bhatia & Ornette Coleman
Elizabeth also has music from a brand new
soundtrack by one of the giants of the Icelandic music scene, Valgeir
Sigurðsson, and an exclusive play of a track from the new record by
Rafiq Bhatia who will perform at Unclassified Live in April.
edición de Cíclope 3.0, programa presentado por Enrique López y que lo
puedes escuchar todos los martes a las 23:00 y en reposición los viernes
a las 17:00. En Cíclope 3.0 puedes escuchar una selección musical que
abarca desde estilos clásicos, electrónicos, pasando por el pop, el rock
y música vanguardista.
I had the pleasure to prepare this mix for you, thanks to the nice proposition of Richard!
this mix, I choose a balance between some of my works (with Snowdrops
or with the hang drum player Torsten Böttcher..), collaborations (with
Tindersticks, Oiseaux-Tempête or This Immortal Coil), classical
inspirations (for example this fantastic piece by Karen Tanaka played by
Joan Jeanrenaud – that I had the pleasure to both meet in Paris, and
sometimes the honor to play this piece ‘live’ for Ondes Martenot) and
recent heartbeats like these tiny bouncing notes by the CEEYS brothers.
CEEYS – Year Change 19-20 Mix by Sebastian Selke listen
Peter Broderick, Anna von Hauswolff, Midori Hirano, Lambert, CEEYS and more.
is Year Change 19-20 Mix by Sebastian Selke. He has compiled this first
part of a double bill mix with his brother Daniel which will be
continued with an upcoming Year Change 20-21 Mix by Daniel Selke at the
end of 2020. A swapping dualism between Alpha and Omega, beginning and
end: „While the world is going crazy we mixed bright and intense
pieces by some of the most inspiring contemporary composers, uploaded in
the beginning of 2020.“ – Sebastian Selke
Compiled by Sebastian Selke at Klingenthal Studio Potsdam.
1 Aidan Baker – The Sea Swells A Bit 2006 (Full Album)
next year Q3Ambientfest will celebrate the 4th edition ticketing starts on Jan 2nd 2020
we never followed the idea of “big stages for known acts” or even small for so called “new comers”. lots of musicians started developing as an artist at Q3Ambientfest.
we never made a rule how many female acts should be there but in fact there are 50% of all performing artists.
we love the approach without building borders.
we feel sorry about the nearly 400 recommended acts on our folders, but
we promise someday you will be part of an edition to show your musical
since the beginning in 2017 the curators and organizers are two brothers, you know Sebastian & Daniel Selke but year by year our team sees lots of more music lovers in the different parts organizing this boutique fest.
take care to all of you. be friendly to your neighbours. let us follow the idea growing an international family without borders in your mind and heart.
much love to all of you and an inspiring 2020 – funny year for 2 brothers.
Each of these sixteen albums is conceptually, thematically or
musically connected to a sense of a particular place or moments in
time. While this is a somewhat common motif in instrumental music
(ambient in particular), it is absolutely integral in these outstanding
works released in 2019. Some are personal narratives and some are
depictions of landscape either real or imagined. Others are sonic
interrogations or interactions inextricably linked to the locations
where they were formed. Whatever their nature, all of them proved
captivating and memorable. One might say they represent the very essence
of stationary traveling…
Ai Yamamoto – Going Home [Dragon’s Eye Recordings]
Originally from Shizumi, Kashiba City in Japan’s Nara Prefecture, Ai Yamamoto
is a composer & sound artist who has been making music in
Melbourne, Australia since the early 00s including work with such
artists as Lawrence English and Ben Frost. Her debut on LA based Dragon’s Eye Recordings
is a welcoming sonic journey back to the quiet spaces, forests, and
rice fields of her hometown presented in a multi-facted three-part long
form track that is both warmly inviting and subtly immersive.
Released on digital only
Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Thomas Bartlett [Real World]
While many of the albums featured here evoke sense of place through textural and atmospheric cues, this delightful excursion by Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh with his 10-string hardanger d’amore fiddle and pianist/producer Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman does it with pure musical expression as they embark on a free-spirited
peregrination drawing inspiration from the locations in which they
recorded, the pioneering photography of Saul Leiter, and a plethora of
musical & literary sources ranging from Keith Jarrett and Van
Morrison to WG Sebald, Roald Dahl and Antoine deSaint-Exupéry. A
life-affirming record and dazzling display of improvisational
Released on 2x vinyl LP, CD, & digital
Ceeys – Hiddensee [Neue Meister]
The final chapter in their triptych centered around growing up in
East Germany and living through the dramatic political & cultural
changes culminating in reunification with the West, brothers Sebastian & Daniel Selke take us to Hiddensee, a small but picturesque holiday island in the Baltic Sea that
attracted some of the most famous artists & intellectuals of the
early 20th century while also serving as a popular family vacation spot
as well as a haven for dissidents throughout the GDR era. Using vintage
equipment and a “cubist” style which intertwines playful experimentation
with traditional classical motifs, the album illuminates a fascinating
period of personal, political, and cultural history.
Released on vinyl LP, CD, & digital
Celer – Xièxie [Two Acorns]
“A week before leaving, I bought a dictionary and phrasebook…”
Will Long’s preternatural ability to capture scenes and emotions in a
kind of musical amber and then turn it into a story comes to the fore
again on Xièxie, in which he takes us on an
excursion from Shanghai to Hangzou on China’s high-speed rail line. Like
a cinematographer who slows fast-moving action on celluloid for
dramatic effect, Long creates a mesmerizing soporific reverie punctuated
by scene-setting cues like the bustle of a busy station or the whir of a
speeding train. To deepen the immersion, he narrates the journey in the
liner notes with all the eloquence of a novelist. Pico Iyer
once said “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next
to find ourselves”. By the time this album drifts to its conclusion, I
felt as I had done a little of both
Released on vinyl LP, CD, cassette & digital
El Conejo – Tempestede Tropicale [La Petite Chambre Records]
“I remember playing my grandfather’s old guitar, tuneless, and the haunting sound that it made…”
Nostalgia is at the heart of the music Bruno Nunes Coelho (Ana, Constantina) makes under as El Conejo, a project inspired by the first chords he played on his grandfather’s old guitar and the memories of the places he has lived. ‘Tempestade Tropical‘
focuses in particular on a short time spent living in the city of Rio
de Janeiro and the loss of his father during that period. Like his
leporine avatar, he is ever the keen observer attuned to the flora &
fauna that surrounds him. While many of us might associate Rio with the
spectacle of its dramatic vistas, sprawling diversity, and colorful
festivals, Coelho, turns inward to gently explore the immutable cycles
of life universal to all places as well as his own memories and losses.
Released on cassette & digital
Erland Cooper – Sule Skerry [Phases Records]
and his talented supporting cast return in 2019 to continue the story
with another transportive musical portrait of one of the planet’s most
enchanting places. Entitled Sule Skerry, the
new album shifts perspective from the sky above the Scottish archipelago
and its avian fauna to the sea below and the people whose lives &
stories are inextricably linked to it. Whereas last year’s Solan Goose was breathtaking in its panoramic sweep, Sule Skerry
charms equally but tacks in a more episodic fashion with more lyrical
content in both the songs themselves and in the interviews with the
locals woven into the compositions. The music remains decidedly
cinematic and subtly imbued with greater dynamism as Cooper is now
painting a portrait of a mighty sea teeming with life, steeped in
mystery, and capable of fearsome power.
Released on CD & digital
Glåsbird – Glåsbird [Whitelabrecs]
The first full-length album from the anonymous Glåsbird majestically
explores the the sprawling ice-capped island country of Greenland. As
if commissioned to score a documentary soundtrack and informed by hours
of immersive research, the artist turns violin, cello, guitar, and
filigreed tape effects to form a musical lens through which we can take
in the sweep of a wondrously imagined geography. You can easily envision
the icy shimmer and glinting light of its stark landscape and the feel
the profound sense of isolation and tranquility.
Released on CD & digital
Josh Mason – Coquina Dose [Florabelle]
“Coquina Dose is the book on your
nightstand under a lamp with a 40 watt bulb. It’s driving alone at night
up and down the strip looking for a pool to crash. It’s the endless
lights of luxury, hotels, oceanfront dining. It’s dogs barking, the wind
off the water, dead friends, and sunsets that are no longer free.
Everything humming, everything buzzing. It’s a new day, in the same
circuit. Short interesting rides, followed by a loss of momentum. Notes
of grass, lychee, pineapple, burnt sugar.”
A collage of warm guitar lines, sonic ephemera, and wistful melodies
that evokes the hazy torpor of Florida summers past through a nostalgic
lens, a motif Josh Mason has beautifully staked out as
all his own. You can practically feel the mugginess in the air and the
ennui that settles in during the long, humid days. Like a lean, but
well-written novella, it’s gift for eloquent understatement beckons you
back over & over to pick up on new details, gain a different
perspective, or simply to enjoy the comforts of its growing familiarity.
Released on vinyl LP & digital (a few limited test press editions may still be available)
Kinbrae – Landforms [Truant Recordings]
As Kinbrae, twin brothers Andrew & Michael Truscott mix brass, acoustic guitar, percussion and musique concrète to paint a panoramic portrait of Scotland’s longest river, the mighty Tay,
while reflecting on the impact of growing up along its banks. The album
unfurls like a cinematic travelogue that takes in the river from its
origins on the slopes of Ben Lui
in the west to its eastern tidal reaches near Perth as it approaches
the North Sea. It is a meandering 120 mile journey through a vast
catchment presided over by iconic bridges, sprawling countryside, and
bustling towns. To help create an expansive sound worthy of the album’s
central protagonist, the Truscotts collaborated with Ben Chatwin (aka Talvihorros)
who provided additional instrumentation as well access to his Edinburgh
studio where they were able to experiment with adding modular
synthesizers and effects into the mix.
Released on vinyl LP & digital
M. Grig – Mount Carmel [12k]
A composer & multi-instrumentalist originally from the Pacific
Northwest, who now lives in Durham, North Carolina, Michael Grigoni aka M. Grig specializes
in dobro, lap steel guitar, and pedal steel guitar. Having produced
several EPs and done a fair amount of film & session work, Mount Carmel
is his first full length album as well as his debut on the venerable
12k label. Using an approach that derives from his introduction to
ethnography while studying at the University of Washington, Grigoni
creates an impressionistic memoir of time spent exploring the hills of
Los Peñasquitos near San Diego, California while growing up. Rather than
attempt to recreate this environment sonically, he evokes a halcyon
state of mind through fine-grained textures and warm acoustics to
sublimate the contours of landscape and memory into something universal
Released on CD & digital.
Michael A. Muller – Lower River [Beacon Sound / 1631 Recordings]
Co-founder of Austin-based ensemble Balmorhea, Michael A. Muller makes his full-length debut as a solo artist with Lower River,
an album which began as a sound experiment in 2018 that spans from the
Oregon coastline all the way to rural southern Italy and the remote
fishing villages of southern France. It is an engrossing musical
travelogue that is both abstractly referential and deeply introspective,
a self-described exploration of “place where time, space, and self are
occluded”. The music has a distinctly filmic quality, at times, acting
like a sort of camera panning slowly across landscapes frozen in the
amber of memory. While Lower River may have
been inspired by very specific scenes and locations, Muller has molded
his impressions of those places into rewarding inward journeys unbound
by the specificity of place or time.
Released on vinyl LP & digital.
OHIO – Upward, Broken, Always [12k]
One of the highlights of a truly resurgent year for 12k, not to
mention the musical year overall, is this stunning collaboration by
label found Taylor Deupree and composer/musician/multimedia artist Corey Fuller.
The name of the project is dual reference to the US state where both
artists were born as well as the first song they developed for it, a
cover of the Damien Jurado indie classic. There is a
special aura to this record, the kind of which is ultimately hard to put
into words, but which can be keenly felt in the listening. Blossoms of
cathartic intensity provide the most breathtaking moments while the more
delicate sections are equally powerful, albeit in a different way.
Also not to be missed is the companion album Interludes in which Deupree & Fuller offer up three gorgeous long-form ambient ghost trails of the original pieces.
Released on vinyl LP & digital.
Rafael Anton Irisarri – Solastalgia [Room40]
“The homesickness you have when you are still at home.” That is how Australian environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht pithily explains the meaning of solastalgia,
a word he coined as a way of conveying the “feeling of chronic distress
caused by negatively perceived changes to a home and its landscape”. A
suite in six movements, Rafael Anton Irisarri‘s
musical interpretation of this concept is a potent sonic brew on a
colossal scale that puts us in the eye of the hurricane, so to speak,
wide-eyed and self-aware even as we are surrounded by forces with a
power we can scarcely comprehend. It is an impressive musical
distillation of being awe-struck, angry, sad, and helpless all at once
and a masterful fusion of composition, artistic expression, and sound
design that will leave you pondering its impact long after the storm
clouds have dissipated.
Released on vinyl LP, cassette, & digital.
Richard Skelton – Border Ballads [Aeolian / Corbel Stone Press]
Having recorded over 30 albums & EPs as well as creating music
for exhibitions, performance, feature films and documentaries, Richard Skelton
offers up one of the most lyrical recordings in his canon with this
collection of songs inspired by the well-watered border country where
Scotland and England meet. It is an evocative place and that makes
fertile territory for Skelton’s vivid sonic explorations while favoring
concise melodic structures over the sprawling, glacial soundscapes that
feature in much of his recent work. Only someone who has inhabited the
place he is portraying – walked in it, lived in it, felt its undersong,
and pondered its history – could produce something that resonates so
Released on CD, & digital.
Tim Linghaus – We Were Young When You Left Home [Schole Records]
“In a nutshell, “We Were Young When You Left Home” is about kids
and their struggle with divorce, separation, loss and finding a place in
this world. I believe we cannot help it. We are bound to cope with the
repercussions of our parents’ decisions forever”. – Tim Linghaus
Born in the GDR in the early 1980s, musician Tim Linghaus has spent the past few years releasing understated but beautifully crafted albums exploring themes of childhood and memory. We Were Young When You Left Home
continues in this vein while displaying a sophisticated level of song
craft only hinted at in more ambient leaning albums like Vhoir (2016, Moderna Records), Memory Sketches(2018, 1631 Recordings), and About B.
(2019, Sound in Silence). Having developed a fondness for the style of
those records, it took a little acclimating to get used to the more
prominent vocals and strong indie pop undercurrent, but on each listen
the appreciation grew more & more for the sheer beauty, musical
dexterity, and raw emotional honesty of what Linghaus created.
Released on vinyl LP & digital.
Vargkvint – Hav [Piano and Coffee Records]
Sofia Nystrand named her solo music project Vargkvint
after a dissonant musical interval known as the “wolf fifth”, an apt
metaphor for her enigmatic sound which offers sweet enchantment
permeated with an aura of ancient & primal forces. On Hav, Nystrand weaves a spellbinding tale of the sea that embraces all of “its beauty and its menace, its life-giving and its life-taking”.
Sounds of lapping surf, howling winds, and creaking masts vividly evoke
a maritime setting while the music itself has the very ebb and flow of
the tide and the salt air on its skin. Such an epic tale needs narrators
and these come in the form of folk instruments like the harmonium,
zither, and saw, a male choir, and of course Nystrand’s own own
arresting voice. A unique and captivating journey.