Soothing Images are a series of albums of live, improvised ambient music built around a particular looping system.
The music is quiet and usually played on one instrument.
Each song is usually between 4 and 10 minutes long and is accompanied by a suitable photograph.
While I enjoy being able to create ambient soundscapes by myself, I particularly enjoy using generative systems (such as on Piano Cascades or my music under the name the lovely moon) or elements of chance.
When I record music for Twilight Sessions, I improvise layers of music fed into a long, slowly decaying loop. So I never quite know what I'm adding new notes to.
Soothing Images are similar, in a way, but every note is played at the start, before the first loop repeats itself. The two loops then interact but nothing is added to these loops after the initial notes are played.
The idea for shorter, peaceful ambient pieces accompanied by various equally peaceful photographs originally came from the BBC TV series of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.
How the music is created:
A 16 bar phrase is played.
That phrase is fed into a slowly decaying 16 bar loop, similar to the one used in Twilight Sessions.
That loop is fed into a slowly decaying 6 bar loop which repeates the first loop every 6 bars, so that soon, there are several layers of the original phrase that interact and create new themes and melodies.
They seem to appear from nowhere, but these new melodies are destined to happen as soon as each note is played in the original 16 bar phrase.
Listen to Soothing Images 31-47
Click the album covers for more info and links to download each album.
Soothing Images albums so far...
with Daniel Land
the ambient visitor
the lovely moon
album in a day
I heard something in the distance - a BFW recordings sampler