Saturday, December 24, 2011

That was the year, that was...

Tune in to SoundScape on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 this Thursday (Dec 29) or get it streamed live from the website.

The last SoundScape for 2011 will be an eclectic mix of ambient from around the world, with items from the likes of David Gilmour, Dan Hasalik, Anflec, Frank Yamma, Enya and more. We will finish the show with a long piece by Big Toe Productions - 'Piano and Sax with Birdsong'.

The Goons this week will be 'Treasure in the Tower'.

I will be back in 2012 (no break) with more great ambient tracks every Thursday night from 9 pm on SoundScape.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This Mortal Coil

Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 this Thursday from 9 pm for SoundScape, or get it streamed live from the website for some great ambient music.

First up we will feature This Mortal Coil, a gothic dream pop supergroup led by Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of the British record label 4AD. Although Watts-Russell and John Fryer were technically the only two official members, the band's recorded output featured a large rotating cast of supporting artists, many of whom were signed to, or otherwise associated with, 4AD. 

The idea was to allow artists the creative freedom to record material outside of the realm of what was expected of them; it also created the opportunity for innovative cover versions of songs personal to Ivo. About half of the songs released were cover versions, often of 1960s and 1970s psychedelic and folk acts, which displayed those two genres' place in the history and formation of dream pop. On each of the band's three LPs, at least one song would also be a cover of a 4AD artist, and most of the original songs were instrumentals.

Our Goon Show this week will be 'The Great  Regents Park Swim'.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Music to sooth...

This Thursday (Dec 15) tune in to SoundScape on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 from 9 pm or get it streamed live from the website.

We will start with the soothing abient sounds produced by Robert Carty.

Robert Carty is the independent's independent. He has released 41 solo CD's on his own Deep Sky label. Carty's career began in Kansas City, MO, where he founded Deep Sky and began creating his deeply emotional music and releasing CD's. He relocated to Murray, UT (near Salt Lake City) where he has absolutely flourished as an independent artist. From 97 through 99, he created and released CD's at the rate of about 3 or 4 per month.

His list of instruments includes analog and digital synths, Native American flute, didgeridoo, guitars, tingsha, gamelan bells, sampler and various percussion instruments, shakers and rattles.

We will then be able to enjoy a number of selected tracks from Kraftwerk's album 'Radioactivity'.

This week's Goon Show will be 'The Burning Embassy'.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Look to the East

Tune in to SoundScape this Thursday (Dec 8) on YVFM 99.1 from 9 pm, or stream it from the website to catch some wonderful abient music.

We will start with a very eastern flavour with our artist of the week - Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is one of the leading figures in World Music today. She is deeply rooted in Indian classical music, having studied exclusively with her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar, from the age of nine. Thriving as a composer, she has been exploring fertile ground in the crossover between Indian music and a variety of genres including flamenco, electronica, jazz and Western classical music.

She made her performance debut in 1995 in New Delhi at the age of thirteen, and was playing venues such as Carnegie Hall by the age of fifteen, accompanying her father at his concerts worldwide. In 2007 Anoushka collaborated with the talented Indian-American musician Karsh Kale, to create the album Breathing Under Water. Co-produced by Gaurav Raina of the group MIDIval Punditz, this album featured guest appearances by Anoushka’s father, her half-sister Norah Jones, Sting, and others. 

In 2002 Anoushka conducted and performed at the historic Concert for George, a tribute to the late George Harrison. She has also appeared as a soloist with some of the world’s greatest orchestras, and premiered her father’s 3rd Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in 2009, and his first Symphony, with the London Philarmonic Orchestra in 2010. 

Over the years Anoushka has maintained active, creative careers outside of music: in 2002 she authored the book Bapi: The Love of My Life, a biographical portrait of her father, and has served as columnist for prestigious publications like New Delhi’s First City magazine and the Hindustan Times. She earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination from India’s National Film Awards for her role in Dance Like a Man in 2004.

The Goon Show this week will be 'The Junk Affair'.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The one with the mad looking rabbit...

Tune in to SoundScape on YVFM 99.1 this Thursday (Dec 1) from 9 pm to catch the best ambient music. You can also get the show streamed live from the website.

This week we will feature the music of Michael Andrews from that seminal film Donnie Darko.

Michael Andrews (born 17 November 1967) is an American musician and film score composer. Andrews fell into film score composition by chance when The Greyboy Allstars were asked to score Jake Kasdan's first feature Zero Effect and worked on the music for the highly regarded (though short-lived) TV series, Freaks and Geeks. In 2000, Richard Kelly commissioned him to do the soundtrack for the film Donnie Darko. Its original score album went on to sell over 100,000 copies.

Michael Andrews has since gone on to compose scores for the movies Out Cold, Nothing, Cypher, Orange County, My Suicidal Sweetheart, Me and You and Everyone We Know, The TV Set, Unaccompanied Minors, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

In early 2000, Nancy Juvonen's brother Jim Juvonen gave Andrews a copy of the script for the as-yet-unmade feature film Donnie Darko. He recalled "everyone knew Donnie Darko was going to be a cool movie. Everyone knew it was interesting."

Kelly was confident that Michael Andrews could do the job: "I met with Michael and I just knew right away that he was really, really talented and that he could come up with a really original score."

Andrews considers himself primarily a guitar player, but Kelly told him he didn't want any guitar in the movie. So, Andrews taught himself to play piano. It's part of the reason that the score is, as Andrews describes, so simple. "The film was pretty low budget so my portion of the money was pretty thin. I couldn't hire anyone, it was just me. I played everything; piano, mellotron, mini marimba, xylophone, ukulele, organ. I also brought in two female vocalists Sam Shelton and Tori Haberman."

As Donnie Darko was not a hit at first, there was little interest in the soundtrack in the US. However, the film enjoyed more popularity in Europe especially in the UK where its total box office was greater than for the whole of the US.

This week the Goon Show will be 'The Mummified Priest'.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hungry Ghosts

Tune in this Thursday (Nov 24) from 9 pm to SoundScape for great ambient music on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website.

This week's feature Ambient group is Hungry Ghosts.

Hungry Ghosts are Melbourne musicians Peter Knight (trumpet); Steven Boyle (percussion).

Knight has worked with Steeleye Span, Way Out West, Tim Hart, Moody Blues, and Frente.

The music of Hungry Ghosts have has been described as lulling minor-key laments that blend a diverse range of stylistic influences into a gorgeous, sad sound built out of electric and acoustic guitars, a variety of tuned percussion, trap kit, fiddle, accordion, and organ. The band takes the Southern gothic sulk of Birthday Party and These Immortal Souls, enlivens it with elements of exotic Eastern-derived sounds layered on top of an instrumental bedding of Dirty Three-style melancholy, and then sends the whole salad out on its own to troop through the spaghetti western world. 

The single "Trying to Lift a Rock With a Bottle on Your Head" builds bullfight-intense crescendos with whining violin cries and subtle hints of percussion into an edgy cinematic atmosphere.

The Goon Show this week will be 'Spon'.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ambient from Canada and Sweden

Tune in to SoundScape on Yarra Valley FM 99.1, or get it streamed live from the website this Thursday (Nov 17) to hear two ambient bands featured.

First up we will have Delerium, a band from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, which was formed in 1987, originally as a side project of the influential industrial music act, Front Line Assembly

Delerium has traditionally been a two-person project, but the only constant member throughout its history has been Bill Leeb. Leeb first worked with collaborator Michael Balch and released their first album, Faces, Forms & Illusions. After Balch left Delerium, Leeb worked with Rhys Fulber, and the two released several albums under the Delerium moniker; these years saw a gradual stylistic change from darker ambient to a more danceable sound. After the release of Karma, Fulber left to pursue other interests, and Leeb teamed up with producer Chris Peterson to release Poem.

Throughout the band’s history, their musical style has encompassed a broad range, including dark ethereal ambient trance, voiceless industrial soundscapes, and electronic pop music.

Our second band will be Carbon Based Lifeforms, a psychedelic ambient music group made up of Johannes Hedberg and Daniel Segerstad, in Gothenburg, Sweden. They have released four albums and one EP: "Hydroponic Garden", "World of Sleepers", "Irdial EP" and "Interloper" as Carbon Based Lifeforms, and "The Path" as Notch.

Johannes and Daniel initially formed CBL as a side project to Notch in 1996. As time went by, CBL became their main focus. The first releases by CBL were made on the old in 1998. CBL has always been open for collaboration with other composers and musicians; for instance, they teamed up with Magnus Birgersson (Solar Fields) in 1999 to write the music for the Swedish dancer Olof Persson's performance "Fusion". 

This week's Goon Show will be 'The Reason Why'.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Its Irresistible

Tune in to SoundScape on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 to catch the best ambient music, or get it streamed live from the website.

This Thursday (Nov 10) we will feature two ambient artists.... the first will be Pianist/guitarist George Winston, (born 1949) is an American pianist who was born in Michigan, and grew up mainly in Miles City, Montana as well as Mississippi and Florida and lives in Santa Cruz, California.

When growing up his interest in music was listening to instrumentals in the R&B, rock, pop, and jazz genres, especially by organists. When he heard The Doors in 1967 he was inspired to start playing the organ. In 1971 he switched to solo piano after hearing recordings from the 1920s and the 1930s of the great stride pianist Thomas “Fats” Waller.

Winston also is known for his two tribute albums to jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, composer for the first sixteen Peanuts animated films. Outside of his own piano compositions, adaptations of other people’s songs, and performances, he plays blues harmonica (mainly Appalachian fiddle tunes) and solo acoustic guitar. He has released 15 albums so far.

Our second ambient artist is Mixmaster Morris (born Morris Gould, 1965) also known as 'The Irresistible Force' is an English ambient DJ and underground musician. Relating specifically to ambient music, Morris stated "It's exactly what you need if you have a busy and stressful life".

After leaving university, he began working as a DJ in 1985 with his "Mongolian Hip Hop Show" on pirate radio station Network 21 in London - the handle Mixmaster Morris was suggested by the station director. After a year of managing a club called "The Gift" in New Cross, Morris began releasing material as Irresistible Force in 1987, initially in collaboration with singer-songwriter Des de Moor.

In the early 1990s his key residencies were alongside the Detroit masters at Lost, Megatripolis at London's Heaven, and also the Tribal Gathering parties. He became known for wearing holographic suits. Morris has played in over fifty countries at nightclubs and parties, and particularly music festivals such as the Full Moon parties in the Mojave Desert, Glastonbury Festival, Rainbow 2000 and Mother SOS in Japan.

In 2010, he won another Ibiza DJ Award, for the third time. In October that year, he was announced as the new CEO of Apollo Records.

Our Goon Show this week is 'The Histories of Pliny the Elder'.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

To Catch a Thief

Tune in this Thursday (Nov 3) to SoundScape from 9 pm on YVFM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website.

This week's ambient artist is Shinjuku Thief. Founder of the Melbourne-based experimental and ambient label Dorobo, the prolific Darrin Verhagen has recorded under many different guises over the years and drawn from a highly eclectic range of sound worlds including industrial, ethnic and techno music. He is also known as Shinjuku Thief.

Asian samples including some spine-chilling chants are blended with distorted beats, brass, silky smooth bass guitar and sundry other sounds to create an album that's by turns raucous and restrained, amusing and awe-inspiring.

The Goon Show this week will be 'The Missing Boa Constrictor'.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Slow Dancing Duo

This Thursday (Oct 27) on SoundScape, we will explore the music of two ambient artists.

Tune in from 9 pm to YVFM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website.

First up we will hear pieces by Drew Sullivan - AKA Slow Dancing Society. Drew is based in Washington. If ever there was an artist who truly expressed themselves in a way that defies everything music and art expects, and at times demands, then slow dancing society would be that artist.

With influences ranging from classic artists such as Brian Eno, Def Leppard, Tears For Fears, The Cure, Eddie Money, Pink Floyd, Prince, Spandeau Ballet and U2 to contemporary artists like Manual, Charles Webster, Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Rós, Hammock, Red House Painters and My Morning Jacket.

Our second artist is Rena Jones. Rena Jones plays several instruments and is a sound engineer born in 1980. As of 2010 she had collaborated on over 30 albums.

Rena produces downtempo and electro-acoustic music. She records live instruments and manipulates them with synthesis. She also plays drums, cello, violin, and keyboard instruments and programs synth.

Jones slips through the veils of defined sound, weaving cello, violin, woodwinds, rhodes, electronics and sound design through unique instrumentation. She orchestrates her violin and cello over hand crafted beats melding the organic with the electronic.

This week's Goon Show will be 'Ill Met By Goonlight'

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Listen in (and spread the word)

It's not often we have an interview on SoundScape, so the interview with Cr Tim Heenan recently is now on YouTube. Cr Heenan talked with us about the issue of homelessness, which he was high-lighting by sleeping rough in a cardboard box for 16 nights. 

The interview is in three parts and can be found here:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Open Slather :)

This Thursday on SoundScape I will break with tradition and NOT do a feature artist...

This will allow us to hear a greater range of artists during the show.

The Goon Show will be 'The African Ship Canal'.

Tune in from 9 pm on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Room to MOVE :)

Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or log into the streaming from the website to catch SoundScape this Thursday (Oct 13) from 9 pm.

We'll have a fair range of ambient styles on this week as I will only feature one musician, to leave room for a wide selection afterwards.

We will hear a number of tracks from Labradford, who is a U.S. post-rock musical group from Richmond, Virginia, founded in 1991. They have released six full albums from 1993 to 2001. Though not officially disbanded, its members have since been active with separate projects. Founded in 1991, Labradford consists of bassist Robert Donne, guitarist/vocalist Mark Nelson, and keyboardist Carter Brown. Their music style is experimental ambient and post-rock.

This week's Goon Show will be "Round the World in 80 Days".

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From The Bat Cave

Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 (or get it streamed live from the website) this Thursday (Oct 6) for SoundScape.

It's not often I get anyone in for an interview on SoundScape. (Most people come in to 'The Bat Cave' which I co-host with Dom on a Monday night). So this week is an exception - we will have local councillor Tim Heenan in talking about why he is sleeping in a cardboard box! No spoilers, you'll have to listen in....
Singer /songwriter and ambient artist Derek Bailey came in to 'The Bat Cave' last Monday, and gave us his latest album 'Never Alone' which features some wonderful ambient tracks that he composed to help people meditate, rest and reflect to. We will be playing items from that album.

I usually focus on 2 or 3 artists, but this week I will play a range of tracks from various artists after the special on Derek Bailey.

This week's Goon Show will be 'Insurance, the white man's burden'.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Two of the best

This Thursday (Sept 29) tune in to SoundScape on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website, to catch some marvellous ambient music.

Our first featured artist will be Bass Communion, having origins in Steven Wilson's earliest work as a musician. Taking influence from German experimental electronic music artist such as Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Conrad Schnitzler.

Bass Communion's albums have often featured collaborations from other musicians, including Robert Fripp of King Crimson, saxophonist Theo Travis, Bryn Jones (also known as Muslimgauze), and Vidna Obmana.

Bass Communion's music is where "ominous monolithic drones, and dark swirling rhythm-less waves of sound slowly evolve, envelope, and then dissipate into vacuous chasms of space. Where whispery traces of icy melodies are sonically layered and processed infinitely across alien soundscapes."

Our second featured artist is Bill Laswell who was born in 1955 in Salem, Illinois, and is a bassist, producer and record label owner.

Laswell ranks among the most prolific of modern musicians, being involved in hundreds of recordings with many collaborators from all over the world. Laswell's music draws upon many different genres, most notably funk, various world music, jazz, dub and ambient styles. He has also played or produced music from the noisier, more aggressive end of the rock spectrum, such as hardcore punk and metal.

According to music critic Chris Brazier, "Laswell’s pet concept is 'collision music' which involves bringing together musicians from wildly divergent but complementary spheres and seeing what comes out."

This week's Goon Show will be 'The Sleeping Prince'.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ambient from England, Canada and the US

Tune in this Thursday (Sept 22) on SoundScape from 9 pm to hear some more of the best ambient music. Get it on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or streamed live from the website.

First up we will hear pieces by Michael Brook. Michael Brook (born 1951 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian guitarist, inventor, producer, and film music composer. He plays in many genres, including rock, electronica, world music, minimalism and film scores. He toured as a member of the Sylvian and Fripp tour group, with the final concert at the Royal Albert Hall in December 1994. He has produced soundtracks for Heat, Mission Impossible 2, Black Hawk Down, and An Inconvenient Truth.

Then we will have music from birthday boy Michael Torke, born September 22, 1961, an American composer who writes music influenced by jazz and minimalism. Sometimes described as a post-minimalist.

Followed up by George Evelyn, better known as Nightmares on Wax and also known as DJ EASE (Experimental Sample Expert), is a DJ from Leeds, UK, Evelyn got his start in the music industry through an interest in hip hop and on joining a local breakdancing crew. He was influenced by Quincy Jones and Curtis Mayfield. In 2009, Nightmares on Wax toured the United States. DJ Ease was then nominated for DJ of the year 2010.

The Goon Show this week will be 'The Mysterious Punch-up-the-conker'.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

From London to Michigan

Tune in this Thursday (Sept 15) to SoundScape on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 - also streamed live from the website.

Our two featured Ambient groups will be:

The Future Sound of London (often abbreviated to FSOL) is a prolific British electronic music band composed of Garry Cobain (sometimes styled as Gaz Cobain) and Brian Dougans. The duo are often credited with pushing the boundaries of electronic music experimentation and of pioneering a new era of dance music. Although often labelled as ambient, Cobain and Dougans usually resist being typecast into any one particular genre. Their work covers most areas of electronic music, such as ambient techno, house music, trip-hop, ambient dub, acid techno and often involves extreme experimentation.

Then we will hear from Deepchord (real name Rod Modell), an electronic music producer from Detroit, Michigan. He worked with Mike Schommer to produce music under the Deepchord moniker as well as create a similarly named record label; however, currently the artist name of "Deepchord" represents only Modell. The musical style of Deepchord is similar to both the minimal Berlin sound of artist like Basic Channel and the techno tradition of Detroit. Modell might be best known for his collaboration with Stephen Hitchell (Soultek) as Echospace. In 2007, they released the album The Coldest Season on the record label Modern Love. Modell has also performed live with Hitchell as Echospace.

The Goon Show this week (at 10 pm) will be 'The Moon Show'.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's on again!

...and it won't be easy to beat last week, but I'll try! Tune in this Thursday (Sept 8) to SoundScape on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website.

I'll start the show with O Yuki Conjugate, an organic ambient musical group, formed in Nottingham in 1982, now sometimes based in London. Their music has variously been categorized as darkwave, industrial, ambient and tribal-ambient. Members of the group vary, but include C. Elliot, R. Horberry, T. Horberry, A. Hulme, D. Mudford, P.A. Woodhead & R. Jenkins. Currently in their 3rd incarnation, their music is often hard to find and released in limited editions.

O Yuki Conjugate use include tongue drums, roto-toms, bongos, congas, "big bean," "found percussion," drum machine, wind chimes, loops, frying pan, bass guitar, samples, keyboards, fractal guitar, e-bow, flutes, chants, radio, wildlife, tablas, berimbau, nose-singing, and vocals. Their music, as apparent from this list, is percussive and inventive, but it is also atmospheric.

That will be followed up by four pieces by Mira Calix, (real name Chantal Passamonte), an artist signed to Warp Records, specialising in mixing her intimate vocals with jittering beats and experimental electronic textures.

Mira Calix's earlier music is almost exclusively electronic. However, since 2003 she has incorporated orchestration and live classical instruments in her performances and recorded work. More recently she has concentrated mostly on collaborations and commissions. There have been several installation pieces, film soundtracks and works for theatre.

..and this weeks Goon Show will be 'Shifting Sands of India' on at 10 pm.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Voice of Eye (and more...)

This Thursday (Sept 1) on SoundScape we can enjoy some more wonderful ambient music. Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website.

First up we will have Voice of Eye, an experimental ambient music duo whose members are Bonnie McNaim and Jim Wilson. Formed in 1991 in Houston, Texas, their sound is one that blends electronic soundscapes, drones, and world music, particularly with Middle Eastern overtones, and tends to evoke an atmospheric or shamanistic quality. Many of the instruments used are home-made or heavily modified. Using this "odd palette of instrumentation," their music has been described as "largely indescribable, but totally inviting."

A local ambient/electronic artist, Mike Baum, once gave me a cd of his computer composed music. Untitled and unreleased, we will hear a couple of his numbers.

We will also be playing some music by KK Null, who was born Kazuyuki Kishino in Tokyo, Japan. Composer, guitarist, singer, mastermind of ZENI GEVA and electronic wizard. One of the top names in Japanese noise music and in a larger context, one of the great cult artists in experimental music since the early 80's. In 1981 KK NULL studied at Butoh dancer, Min Tanaka's "Mai-Juku" workshop and started his career by performing guitar improvisations in the clubs in Tokyo. Null joined the noise/progressive rock band Ybo2 in 1984, issuing several albums and EPs throughout the remainder of the decade. Later he founded more bands, such as Absolute Null Punkt (aka ANP) and his most well known one, the self-described "progressive hardcore trio" Zeni Geva. Altogether Null has released more than 100 albums.

The Goon Show this week will be "The Rent Collectors" at 10 pm.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tim Burton

This Thursday (August 25) on SoundScape we will celebrate Tim Burton's birthday with some great soundtracks from variety of his films.

Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 from 9 pm or get it streamed live from the website.

Music (and songs) from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas', 'Corpse Bride', 'Alice in Wonderland', 'Edward Scissorhand', 'Batman' and 'Sweeny Todd'. 

Tim Burton was raised in Burbank, California. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons and watching old movies (he was especially fond of films with Vincent Price). Tim Burton's early film career was fuelled by almost unbelievable good luck, but it's his talent and originality that have kept him at the top of the Hollywood tree. 

Tim Burton began drawing at an early age, going on to attend the California Institute of the Arts, studying animation after being awarded a fellowship from Disney, for whom he went on to work. Although he found that the mainstream Disney films he worked on (The Fox and the Hound (1981)) were far removed from his own sensibility, Disney let him have the freedom to work on his own personal projects, the six-minute animated black-and-white Gothic Vincent Price tribute Vincent (1982), and the 27-minute live-action Frankenweenie (1984), which was judged unsuitable for children and never released. However, Paul Reubens (aka Pee-Wee Herman) saw it and decided that Burton, still only in his mid-twenties, would be the ideal person to direct his feature debut, Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985). 

An enormous (and surprise) box-office hit, it led to the supernatural comedy Beetlejuice (1988), which in turn led to Burton being entrusted with the reins on the hugely expensive Batman (1989). Although his least personal film, it was one of the most successful films of all time, and gave him unprecedented power in Hollywood considering the originality and adventurousness of his work thus far. 

Edward Scissorhands (1990), another hit, saw him at the peak of his creative powers and established a fruitful working relationship with actor Johnny Depp. Batman Returns (1992) was a far darker and quirkier film than the original, a reflection of how much creative freedom Burton had won (though Warner Bros were reputedly unhappy with the final result).

This week's Goon Show will be "Wings Over Dagenham" at 10 pm.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cool Man.....

Last week, I played one track by Pete Namlook (Bedouin Love). This week (August 18) we will be able to hear some more of his ambient music. You can tune in from 9 pm on Thursday to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website.

Pete Namlook (born 1960 as Peter Kuhlmann in Frankfurt, Germany) is an ambient and electronic-music producer and composer. In 1992, he founded the German record label FAX +49-69/450464 .

He is inspired by the music of Eberhard Weber, Miles Davis, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Chopin, Wendy Carlos, Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd, he also composes his own albums.

Pete Namlook has released many solo albums, as well as collaboration albums with notable artists such as Klaus Schulze, Bill Laswell, Geir Jenssen (alias Biosphere), Atom Heart, Richie Hawtin, Tetsu Inoue, Dr Atmo and Tying Tiffany. (“Namlook” is “Koolman” spelled backwards, which is the German pronunciation of his real name.)

Pete is one of the pioneers of electronic music, and focused on the untapped potential of analogue synthesizers, often developed or extended in his laboratory.

We will be playing 'In Heaven', 'State of Mind', 'A million mile to Earth', and 'Silent Intelligence pt's V & VIII (with Richie Hawtin).

 This week's Goon Show will be 'Emperor of the Universe'.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

More Delay

Karl Verkade is from Southern California, and describes his music as Ambient / Soundscape / Post-Rock / Instrumental spiritual, or 'dystopian guitar noise originating from an obsession with '80's post-apocalyptic cyberpunk movies' - take your pick.

All compositions are created with guitars, and recorded without any post-effects. The sound you hear, is the sound coming out of the amps. Karl says "Life is not how we would have it. But it is all we have. This is the basis and nature of the spiritual. A beautiful and repetitive tune meant to bring hope to our tired and wearisome lives. The spiritual isn’t afraid to be honest or raw about the dystopian things of life, or its honest questioning of God. Though the advent of spirituals is thousands of years old, the angst, pain, and joy of life has remained exactly how it has always been. Using modern instruments and vintage recording techniques, I attempt to bring a rebirth to the spiritual". Karl loves using the delay pedal with his guitar!

We will hear 'Things We Lost', 'Awake', 'Before Summer Had An End', 'Through Broken Clouds', 'But Not To Last' and 'Homeland'.

You can check out Karl at

The Goon Show this week will be 'Six Charlies In Search Of An Author'.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Three of the Best

This Thursday (August 4) on SoundScape, we will hear some pieces by three modern ambient artists.

Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 from 9 pm or get it streamed live from the website.

Our first artist is Woob. Woob is the stage name of Paul Frankland, an acclaimed British ambient musician of the 1990s. Woob’s albums combine elements of ambient, dub and world music, with samples from field recordings, movies and television. Frankland has also recorded under the names of Journeyman and Max & Harvey. Woob's first full length album, Woob 1194, was released by Em:t in 1994 and was immediately regarded as a milestone in ambient music.

We will hear Odonna, Fourteen Thirtythree and On Earth.

Our second artist is Boards of Canada. First off, Boards of Canada aren't Canadian, they come from Scotland! BoC are a Scottish electronic music duo consisting of brothers Mike Sandison and Marcus Eoin.

Boards of Canada's music is reminiscent of the warm, analogue sounds of 1970s media and contains themes of childhood, nostalgia and the natural world.

We will hear Twoism, Tears from the Compound Eye and Music is Math.

Our thirad artist will be Riley Lee, an American-born Australian-based shakuhachi player and teacher. In 1980 he became the first non-Japanese person to attain the rank of Dai Shihan (grand master) in the shakuhachi tradition. He is a recipient of two of the most revered lineages of shakuhachi playing, descending from the original Zen Buddhist 'priests of nothingness' of Edo. From 1973 through 1977, he toured internationally as a fulltime performer of taiko (festival drums) and shakuhachi with Ondekoza (now called Kodo), a group of traditional Japanese musicians. They performed with such groups as the Boston Symphony Orchestra

We will play Return of the Fishermen and San'an.

This week's Goon Show will be 'Operation Christmas Duff'.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's all about Penguins...

This Thursday (July 28) on SoundScape I will be featuring music from the wonderful Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Tune in from 9 pm on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website.

The PCO (Penguin Cafe Orchestra) was the brain child of Simon Jeffes and Helen Liebmann. The PCO recorded and performed for 24 years until Jeffes died of a brain tumour in 1997.

After becoming disillusioned with the rigid structures of classical music and the limitations of rock music, Simon Jeffes wanted to have a medium for exploring and creating music with more freedom. A variety of musicians have played in the PCO over the years, both live and in the studio. The band played its first major concert on 10 October 1976, supporting Kraftwerk at The Roundhouse. The PCO went on to tour the world and play at a variety of music festivals as well as residencies on the South Bank in London. Between 1976 and 1996 they played in the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, and throughout Europe and the UK.

After Simon Jeffes' death, members of the orchestra continued to meet up occasionally to play together, but there were no new recordings or public appearances for over ten years.  Simon Jeffes son Arthur Jeffes formed a new group without the original PCO members. This he initially called "Music from the Penguin Cafe", but later this was shortened to simply "Penguin Cafe".  

The Penguin Cafe Orchestra's most famous piece may be "Telephone and Rubber Band", which is based around a tape loop of a UK telephone ringing tone intersected with an engaged (busy) tone, accompanied by the twanging of a rubber band. The tape loop was recorded when Jeffes was making a phone call, and discovered that he was hearing a combination of a ring tone and an engaged signal at the same time, due to a fault in the system. He recorded it on an answering machine.

This week's Goon Show will be "The Flea", played at 10 pm.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Visual sounds

This Thursday (July 21) from 9 pm on SoundScape, we will be featuring the music that goes with some of the visual theatre that we enjoy, both on the small and large screen.
Ambient music from the likes of Babylon 5, Black Hawk Down, The Rock, Kill Bill, Dr Who, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Fist Full of Dynamite, Zabriskie Point, The Mission and Picnic at Hanging Rock.

The Goons this week be 'The Telephone'.

Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


The classical music world has many fine examples of music that is a response by the composer to the grandeur of God, as envisioned in the various roles of Creator, Ruler, Friend, Saviour, Artist and more.
A number of Ambient composers have also wanted to express their spiritual faith and thoughts in their music. This Thursday (July 14) we will be able to be inspired by compositions by the likes of Hildegard of Bingen (yes, we'll start that early), Israeli singer Ofra Haza, Dead Can Dance and Kevin Braheny.

Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 from 9 pm, or get it streamed live from the website.

The Goon Show this week will be 'What's My Line?' at 10 pm.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Universal music

This Thursday (July 7) on SoundScape we will be able to enjoy music inspired by Space and the Planets. Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 Thursday from 9 pm or get it streamed live from the website.

An ambient Russian musician going by the name of Algol has produced some wonderful tracks based on space. I will be playing Aware of the Universe's Inevitable Collapse, Last Minutes Of Dying Star and The Total Siberian Eclipse.

I will also be playing a sound track recorded by NASA - the actual sounds from the planet Jupiter, captured by the Voyager satellite.

Our Goon Show this week is 'Robin Hood And His Mirry Mon' played at 10 pm.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ambient Clarinet and more...

This Thursday (June 30) on SoundScape, we will hear some music composed by Jorge Peixinho, who passed away on that day in 1995.

We will also be able to enjoy pieces by Dire Straits, Brian Eno, John Stanford and Karl Verkade. Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 from 9 pm or get it streamed live from the website.

Jorge Peixinho (born in 1940) was a Portuguese composer, pianist, and conductor. Upon having completed both his music courses: "Piano" and "Composition", by the age of 16 he received the Diploma for Composition - and by the time he was 18 he received similarly the Diploma for Piano, at the National Conservatory of Lisbon.

In 1970 he created the Lisbon Contemporary Music Group
his music gives the dimension of time as it were a three-dimensional space where musical objects float and evolve - so as to provide the listener with a "view" of the musical piece from different angles.

His presenting of John Cage's music in Lisbon - in the early 60's - caused great scandal in Portuguese society, as did his 'multi-media happenings 1965, 1967. We will hear three of his pieces, including the haunting Metamorphosis concerto for clarinet

This weeks Goon Show will be 'Mystery Of The Fake Neddie Seagoon', played at 10 pm.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, I presume..."

This Thursday (June 23) we will have another trip into the ambient world by hearing the music that was inspired by a best-selling book...

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull will be remembered in different ways - as a wonderful soundtrack by those who first watched the movie, and as a philosophy by those who first read the book written by Richard Bach.

Richard David Bach (born 23 June 1936) is an American writer. He is widely known as the author of the hugely popular 1970s best-sellers Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, and others. His books espouse his philosophy that our apparent physical limits and mortality are merely appearance. He claims to be a direct descendant of Johann Sebastian Bach.

He served in the United States Navy Reserve, then later in the New Jersey Air National Guard's 108th Fighter Wing, 141st Fighter Squadron (USAF) as a F-84F pilot. Afterwards, he worked a variety of jobs, including technical writer for Douglas Aircraft and contributing editor for Flying magazine. He later became a barnstormer. Most of his books involve flight in some way, from the early stories which are straightforwardly about flying aircraft, to Stranger to the Ground, his first book, to his later works, in which he used flight as a philosophical metaphor.

In 1970, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a story about a seagull who flew for the love of flying rather than merely to catch food, was published by Macmillan Publishers after the manuscript was turned down by many other publishers. The book, which included unique photos of seagulls in flight by photographer Russell Munson, became a number-one best-seller. The book contained fewer than 10,000 words, yet it broke all hardcover sales records since Gone with the Wind. It sold more than 1,000,000 copies in 1972 alone.

In 1973, the book was turned into a movie, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, produced by Paramount Pictures Corporation. The movie included a soundtrack by Neil Diamond.

Tune in to SoundScape on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 Thursday from 9 pm to hear some music from the movie, or get it streamed live from the website.

This week's Goon Show (at 10 pm) will be "The Personal Narrative Of Capt N Seagoon".

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Scary Monsters and their music...

This Thursday (June 16) from 9 pm on SoundScape, we will hear the music composed by Murray Gold for the BBC series of Dr Who.

Many shows, like Dr Who, are remembered for their special effects, or their main characters, however, music is an integral part of the atmosphere of the show. Some characters even get their own music as a theme.

Murray Gold has done much of the music for the series since 2005. Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website to catch this special feature.

This week's Goon Show will be 'The Great Bank Robbery'.

Take a few seconds also to have your say in the Poll (just there on the right) about whether you prefer Ambient or Classical music.

Friday, June 3, 2011

To boldly go where no-one has gone before...

This Thursday (June 9) on SoundScape, we will celebrate the message of diversity, coming to a solar system near you!

In 1977, two Voyager satellites were launched, and after their short-term goal of doing fly-by's of some our neighbouring planets, they were unleashed onto the wider universe with messages for any inquisitive aliens out there.

Each Voyager satellite has a 'gold record' on board. And on each record was a sampling of music from a variety of cultures around the world.

We will have time to listen to quite a few of these tracks, which were chosen by a panel led by Carl Sagan.

The Goon Show this week will be 'The Sleeping Prince'.

Tune in from 9 pm on Thursday to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get it streamed live from the website.

Take a moment also to have your say on our Poll of Classical and Ambient music (just up there on the right...)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Inaugral SoundScape

..and a welcome to the new Classical and Ambient show, 'SoundScape', on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 each Thursday from 9 pm. SoundScape can also be heard streamed live from the website.

June 2 just happens to be the birthday of several interesting composers. Two big names are Michail I Glinka (1803), and Edward William Elgar (1857).

However, we will be featuring a couple of lesser known composers on SoundScape this week. We will start with Robin Orr, who composed hundreds of liturgical pieces, and we will hear a very fitting piece for SoundScape.

The second composer takes a different tack, having composed some very well known pieces for stage shows and musicals. We will hear an interview and music of Marvin Hamlisch.

This week's Goon Show will be the 'Spectre Of Tintagel'.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Welcome to SoundScape

SoundScape is the revamped classical music show on Yarra Valley FM 99.1

Recently called 'Roll Over Beethoven', SoundScape has been updated to include the music of Ambient composers. SoundScape is on each Thursday from 9 pm to midnight, with the Goon Show on at 10 pm.

Please take the time to have your say on the Poll (just there on the right) about classical and ambient music.

You can listen in on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 or get SoundScape streamed live from the website. SoundScape will be launched on June 2 2011. If you are local, you can even call me during the program on 59 615 991.