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'.