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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two new Ambient music tracks - your feedback welcome

Hello friends,

Over the past week or so, I have composed two new Ambient music pieces. I plan to release an Ambient CD some time before the end of this year. So far I have about 8 tracks completed, I'm going to make maybe 5-6 more of them. (EDIT: I wanted to add here, that I haven't actually made 8 tracks in the past week or so.. I've only made two new ones in the last week. The other 5 or 6 have been composed over a period of more than 2 years, one here and one there). :-)

Anyway, here are the two most recent Ambient works. I could use some input/comments/feedback from all of you, because for one of the tracks, "Ambient 2", I can't think of a good title, and for the other one, "Kaleidoscope", the title is perfect but I have two different versions and I can't decide which one to use!

Let's start with "Ambient 2". I know exactly what I'm trying to "visualize" with this track, but I just can't find the word(s) for it. Something slightly odd, maybe creepy, slow flowing mud, a feeling of experiencing time in a slowed-down state. If any of you have good titles that come to you while listening to this track, please use the "Comment" feature below to let me know! You can hear the track by clicking on it in the Flash player below.

Next up is the track "Kaleidoscope". A Kaleidoscope is one of those toys we had as children, it looks like a little telescope. You look into it and twist the end of it, and different beautiful patterns, colors and shapes appear inside (See pic on the left). :-)

For this track I decided to use NO quantization, but to record everything straight in and leave it exactly as recorded, with no tweaking. I made one version without any drums, and another version with an extremely simple drum track. Even the drums were "recorded" by actually playing the drum notes on my keyboard, and then left untouched, unquantized. I wanted it to be imperfect and "feel live".

I can't decide whether I like the version without drums, or the version with the simple drum track. Again, any feedback, comments, votes would be very welcome. Use the "comment" field below to have your say. All input is appreciated. Thank you!

Here is the Flash Player where you can hear the tracks:

BTW, I am now working on two new albums. One with Ambient music in this style, and another album with more synth/space-rock type music like some of my previous albums. I hope to have at least this ambient album released before the end of this year. Maybe the other one, too, if I can get enough time to work on the music.

Thanks for reading!

- Bjorn Lynne

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Blogger Oddbjørn S said...

My vote goes to Kaleidoscope without drums. :)

June 14, 2007  
Blogger neminem said...

Yeah, it's a copout answer, but... I don't suppose you've thought about the possibility of fading the drum track in and out? I feel like the beginning, especially, could use the no drums, but the piece as a whole is more interesting with the drums in.

June 14, 2007  
Blogger Thomas said...

The untitled track is stunning! Beautiful! I would suggest the title: "Soft Snow At Midninght". Not creepy, but it suits the mood, in my opinion.

June 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My vote goes for "without drums"

Ambient 2 is a very relaxing piece of music especially like the piano.

Kinda of looses it at bit for me at about 3:30 with the "strumming".

As for a name "Daydream", "Fields of Ambiance", "Waiting", "Ambidextral".

Top quality as we come to expect from you.....

June 14, 2007  
Blogger Thomas said...

The track title in my previous comment had an error. It should of course be "midnight", not "midninght".

Of the two versions of Kaleidoscope, the one without the drums is best, imo.

June 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what to suggest for Ambient2. I can imagine this music being used as a soundtrack for a slow panning shot of a desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape. "Post Apocalyptic Landscape"... not much of a title unless you're Thom Brennan.

June 14, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

The word that comes to my mind for Ambient 2 is Quagmire. Whether it be a quagmire of slow flowing mud, time, thought, etc would be left to the interpretation of the listener.

I personally feel the addition of the drums in Kaleidoscope add to the piece as well as to the name and visualization of a Kaleidoscope. The beat adds that little bit of "punch" like spots of black along with the many other colors, enhancing as a whole.

Very enjoyable as always! Chris

June 14, 2007  
Blogger Ryusennin said...

About Kaleidoscope, both versions sound good, but as Adam said, I'd vote for the drums fading in around 2:10.

As for the ambient title, I'd suggest "Entropy".

June 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the Kaleidoscope with drums, although the crash cymbals are kind of overpowering. If they were more distant or had some more reverb or something they'd stand out less.

June 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi bjorn!

That was 2 wonderful trax youve put togheter.

For the unnamed one, i got to think about a cave ful of crystals, dont no why but it just poped up. A gigantic cave filled with blue crystals, so my name suggestion is: Entrence to the anciet crystal cave

For your Kaledioscope - No drums, this was truly a realaxing and peacful tune, with the drums it looses its peacefulness.

Take care!

June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ambient 2 creates an idea of some traveller on an epic journey, plodding mile after mile over cold and desolate tundra in search of some higher purpose maybe. As a title: 'Magnetic North' comes to mind. That square wave synth pad in the background seems to reinforce this idea of subtle static electricity. Then we move onto a Mellotron type pad that adds even more emotion towards the end.

With regards Kaleidoscope I think it works fine with or without percussion because it is such a minimalist piece. However, I feel the percussion helps to highlight the changes in movement and so adds a little more interest. So personally I quite like it with percussion.

Maybe to add further interest and to develop the piece onto another plateau, it might be an idea to experiment with a pad sound that kinda lifts the whole arrangement towards the end? At the end of the day it all depends on what you're personally trying to convey.

All in all, they're very atmospheric and beautifully thought out pieces and I've really enjoyed listening to them. Hope you come to a successful conclusion with both. Good luck.

June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you tried Kaleidoscope with the drums at about 50%? I like them, but they seem to overpower the rest a little.

Untitled evokes so many things.
Dance of the Shadows
Lava Waltz
A Rose Dies

Good stuff as always.

June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's better in my opinion without drums.

June 15, 2007  
Blogger David Lundy said...

For "Ambient 2", the first thing that came to mind was "Requiem". It evoked images of a sad, dark conclusion to a tale. Of course, I'd just watched a murder mystery, but I still had visions of a camera slowly panning around the grief-stricken widow whose husband was killed in his prime. The scene was black & white and she was sitting in the graveyard in front of his tomb. Maybe not the response you'd expected to get, but that's what I saw in my mind's eye.

I'm torn on Kaleidoscope. It's a very nice track with or without the drums. Without drums, it's almost minimalistic, like "Empty Spaces"; the focus is on the melodies themselves. With the drums, the piece is more "complete" or "fuller". There's no focus on any particular part of the piece, but the whole blends together as a nice, complete package.

I would equate the two to a painting of a sunset over the ocean. With drums, the painting is full of color, with sailboats silhouetted, vapor trails in the sky and the sun dipping below the horizon. Without drums, it's just the sun sinking into the water, casting brilliant waves of light across a cloud-strewn sky, with nothing to distract from the "kaleidoscope" of color.

Ultimately, I'd say stick with whatever you were going for...minimalist or more complete.

June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd suggest Monuments of Time for the untitled track.

I much prefer the version of Kaleidoscope with drums to be honest, but that's partly because it provides an appropriate contrast to the "Ambient 2" track. It would depend a little on where it was placed on the album and what the mood preceding it was, but the version without drums feels like it needs to go somewhere... perhaps into the drum version! That said, I don't think the cymbal crash adds anything.

June 15, 2007  
Blogger Juanita said...

Good Evening, here in the USA anyway,
Beautiful , beautiful pieces.

A title for your track I think "Melancholy Midnight" fits perfectly.

Kaleidoscope with drums is my choice.

June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice tracks, Bjorn!

For the ambient track I suggest "Lonely Footprints". I get the impression of someone walking alone through a grey, sandy landscape leaving a long trail of footprints behind them.

For "Kaleidoscope" I will second Adam's comment. The drums do add interest, but it's also nice to have just the tonal instruments in places too. The "Unquantized" notes are very effective.

June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ambient 2. The piece is so sad and beautiful.
I would suggest to call it "The Last Tear"

Kaleidoscope, definitely without drums!
Some light percussion like cymbals,
cor angels, etc would be suitable for this lovely piece of music.

Med vänliga hälsningar
Hans Antonsson, Kungälv, Sverige

June 15, 2007  
Blogger Nexuriant said...

Hi Bjorn,

About "Ambient 2" ~ I'm not a native english speaker, but one word just came to my mind for that item : "Dwell". That word has a sound and a meaning, both in accordance to this beautiful piece of music.


June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bjorn,

... so many good titles, the folks gave to pick from. I have added some to help:

Melting Empire, Out into, Kunjom

June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About Ambient 2: When listening to this song, I had to think about some things in my life that I feel sorry about. So the title that came into my mind was: Regrettable Memories.

As for Kaleidoscope, I like the version with drums more than the one without.

June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work Bjorn.

I prefer "Kaliedoscope" with drums because it gives the song more character and variety.

Also, I think "Ambient 2" should be called "Lavender Winds" or "Magic Forest"

June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My vote goes to Kaleidoscope with drums. :)

June 15, 2007  
Blogger Space Fractal said...

Kaleidoscope without drums.

But the drums can come middle in the song, if you ask me.

June 15, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Ambient2 track is so very much like a film score that I can't help but think of it in terms of storytelling when I listen to it. The concept that pops into my mind can be expressed by the following two titles:

"Shadow Revelation"
"Dark Disclosure"

As for the Kaleidoscope track, I can see how you are torn. It sounds good with or without the drums. I think it's a interesting concept that others have suggested- starting out without the drums and then perhaps adding them in towards the 2nd half of the song? Maybe it's worth a try at least.

Out of just these two choices forever, I think I personally prefer the one without drums. But it isn't a easy choice.

June 15, 2007  
Blogger alexjdunn said...

Hi Bjorn. I really like Ambient 2! When I heard those two alternating minor chords at the beginning I thought of a man walking down a crowded town street in the pouring rain having just found out something terrible. As he looks at the seemingly care-free people around him he starts to see everything in slow motion and feels totally and utterly alone. Maybe it could be called 'The Lonely Man'. Hope that's of use!

June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Day Bjorn:)

Ambient2 is very sad indeed. It is a very beauiful track! I envision someone looking for some indication of hope and finds glimmers of it throughout the track. "Plea of Hope" or "Illusions of Hope" for my title suggestions.

Kaleidoscope in either version is most wonderful and soothing but if I "HAVE" to choose, with the drums is my choice!

June 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many visions seem fitting for the unnamed ambient track. Inspired by the music and your suggestion of some slow flowing stuff, my vision was one of an Indiana Jones type adventurer having just discovered an ancient underground temple. He's standing in the midst of the moss and plant covered stone walls, his torch held high. A lone ray of light penetrates visibly through a crack in the vaulted ceiling of the roof. Everything is still - peaceful yet foreboding. A closer look at the walls and the ceiling reveals some kind of thick greenish liquid slowly flowing, dripping down ...

One possible name that comes to mind for this track is "Oozes", although I really like many of the other names suggested here as well. Anyway, this is one of my favourite tracks ever since the two Witchwood albums. I just love fantasy type music :)

As for Kaleidoscope, I second the suggestion someone else made here to fuse both variants of the track into a single track, having the drums appear in the second half. This will allow you to add both versions to the CD (as they're both good), and in addition it will add some variation to the track.

June 17, 2007  
Blogger George Myers said...

How about "Kronborg" the west coastal fortress at Elsinore (Danish Helsingor) on the "Oresund" the "sound" between Denmark and Sweden. Stop at Elsinore or at Helsingborg, pay the "sound dues" or be fired upon. (Wikipedia) If they bring back a Sarah Bernhardt as "Hamlet" you could use it in the film.

Kaleidoscope sounds a little like a Christmas gift shop without the drums I thought. It has more soliloquy to it with the drums paradoxically.

June 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to say this, but I wasn't very inspired by the untitled track. However, the name Stasis came to mind, based on the type of mood you were going for.

I think Kaleidoscope is quite nice! I'd bring in the drums after a couple of measures rather than right away, but it is much richer with drums.

June 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bjorn!

Here are some of my ideas for a title for the Ambient 2 song:

- Dungeon
- Aeon
- Tension
- Final hour
- After... all

I think the song reflects time slowly passing by, with a fatal end.
Very well done by the way!

As for Kaleidoscope, I also vote for the drums kicking in in the middle. And fading out near the end again.

Have you been listening to Porcupine Tree's latest album? The beginning of Kaleidoscope reminds me of PT's "My Ashes" and the Ambient 2 track reminds me of both "My Ashes" and a bit of "Sentimental". That's a good thing of course! I love your influences!

Keep it up!

June 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say that Kaleidoscope with drums is the best. A title for the song: Waiting for an Angel.

June 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What came to mind while listeing to the Ambient 2 that needs a title was:

Sensitive Dreams or Sensitive dreaming

Just a thought of mine own.
It is lovely music~! Thanks so much for sharing.

Put your troubles in a pocket with a hole in it.

June 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The untitled track made me think of walking in the fog at night.

June 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being as a kaleidoscope is generally a light instrument, I'd go without the drums. The drums give it a heavier feeling not in keeping with the light play of a kaleidoscope.

June 19, 2007  
Blogger pmarin said...

For untitled, I first pictured a shallow bay before the sun rises. The tide is low, it is a bit foggy and damp. The main colors are purple and grey. The fog and water are grey but there is there is light coming from the horizon and it's reflecting in the water and wet sand. It might be a bit of Winter but not frozen.

It is interesting that some other suggestions also mention a similar picture. I don't know if there was any suggestion from you affecting us sub-consciously, since you mentioned mud in your description.

So I am at maybe "Winter sunrise" (but this doesn't mention the water.) Or maybe "Purple and Grey."

Kaliedo.. I would vote no drums. At least, not at the beginning -- when they came in, I felt it was conflicting with the mood of the song. But maybe I like the suggestions of it coming in later.

Thank you again for sharing your music with us.

June 19, 2007  
Blogger Bjorn Lynne said...

Hello everybody,

Thank you so much for all your comments and your input. It's all VERY much appreciated. And so many great track titles have been suggested here, I might never again have a problem with thinking of a track title, because I can just look here, and find one that suits! :-)

I will experiment with "Kaleidoscope" and make a version where the drums come in about halfway through the track, and then play till the end. If the result is good, I'll use that version on the CD. But right now I'm probably leaning towards the version without drums, because the theme of the CD will be AMBIENT and I'm also going to make a different CD with much more up-beat music. So since the track will be used on a CD of Ambient music, maybe I'll go for the version without drums.

Stu, with the nameless track when the guitar strumming first comes in, I've noticed that the *first* strum is way too loud. I will fix that, and that will make the whole guitar entry a lot less powerful. I think that will make it come together.

For the ambient2 track, there were SO many things suggested here that I would have liked to call it. But I think I'll with with Stu's suggestion "Waiting".

Thanks again for all your participation.

June 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, its nice to think that you take our comments on board and am honoured that you liked my suggested name.

Look forward to the release.

June 24, 2007  
Blogger BitShepherd said...

'Ambient 2' would be a nice fit for a video of some natural processes, that take a long time like: thawing snow, drying earth, the tide or erosion. That part where the strings set in evokes rain slowed down to match the pace of that part. My imagination therefore suggests the name: "Gaia's breath".

My vote goes to the public. Why not release both (amiestreet perhaps? ;) ) and see which one people like best? That's a win/win situation, isn't it? :)

For me there's no clear favourite version. My choice would depend on the mood I'm in. At midnight (as I write this comment), the version without the drums wins.

July 16, 2007  

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