Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Abstract Atmospheres

Rimbaud spoke of intentional derangement of the senses, and, metaphorically, these long-term experiments in tone and technology (1996 to present) have brought about works that subtly evoke a similar aesthetic of auditory perception.

In general terms, ambient music as made by musicians adheres to the standard musical paradigms, and listening makes that clear-- its design and execution is admirable for these qualities. From much listening, it appears the popular "new age" stylings are mostly of the elegant and "mellow" sort, while the "dark ambient" takes the opposite tack, and other approaches are akin to jazz or novelty music, some pieces interesting and experimental, others a bit trite. This is oversimplification of a rich and dynamic genre, to be sure, but the point is self-reflection, not academic or pop cultural analysis.

In contrast, to listen to Black Mountain School is to hear Cubism, Impressionism, and Abstract Expression engaged through generative manipulation. It tends to be a bit on its own, somewhat anomalous, and, perhaps, remote.

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