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.