Ambient Sunday with: Bruce Brubaker and Max Cooper, California Care Package, and Hugar #Ambient #NeoClassical #Drone #Electronic

Ambient Sunday is going to have a largely neo-classical moment with Bruce Brubaker & Max Cooper, California Care Package, and Hugar. There’s quite a lot of Philip Glass and Brian Eno in these tracks.

Let’s start with pianist Bruce Brubaker and AcidTed hero Max Cooper who take on Philip Glass in The Poet Acts from the album Glassforms. This track is heavily neo-classical resting, as it does, on Bruce Brubaker’s piano which is allowed to run unamended in a melancholic manner for the first part of the track.  Electronics arrive. Slowly at first. And then wheezing and wowing their way into the track. Gives the track an added strangeness and a level of ominous doom. Bruce Brubaker wrote “Usually poets write. Sometimes poets speak. At our current moment in time, in the world now, maybe poets can or must take action.” Although I confess to preferring Billy Bragg’s “Don’t saddle me with your ideals. And spare me all your guilt. For a poet with all the answers Has never yet been built.”

The USA next for California Care Package. And if somewhere needs a care package it’s the US right now. The track is the beautiful Still Life taken from their debut album. The track’s best on headphones.

California Care Package keep themselves hidden but for the track offer the following explanation, “Still Life is an experiment and therapy on the conscious and subconscious mind, as influenced by EDMR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy- a form of psychotherapy used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and many more. EDMR consists of a therapist asking the patient to envision images or thoughts that bring on stress or anxiety, and through side to side eye movement or side to side hand tapping, the patient begins to better process these distressing images or thoughts and can start to overcome them. Still Life employs these same types of “side to side” movements in when listening to the way in which the stereo piano notes bounce back and forth, creating a sense of calmness and unity.

The track is a nine minute piece of therapy. It’s slowly picked piano vies with drone electronics that last and fade. It’s slowly unfolding and revolving. There’s the beauty in small things. The prism of light in a drop of rain. The glee of a double rainbow. Meditative is an over-used word these days. But if we must have meditative healing music let it be this.

And so to Iceland for Hugar. They are Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson. The track is the optimistically entitled A New Renaissance. The track though is a more stately and melancholic affair. It’s taken from their forthcoming second album The Vasulka Effect: Music for the Motion Picture, not out until October. I’d never heard of Vasulka but Hugar explain, “The track is inspired by the creative energy surrounding The Kitchen gallery in New York, founded by Steina & Woody Vasulka in 1971 and has since been a continuous source of new art forms. The constant waves of creativity have been a platform for many emerging artists and we hope that these waves reach the listener through this song.”

The track is a really emotionally affecting one. But it’s built on seemingly simple foundations. A distorted set of electronic piano chords slowly pick their way through the rubble. Of life or reality is up to you. The reverb gives it an almost Last Post trumpet timbre. There’s a little melody plaintively operating in the background. But it can’t quite get in front of the sadness and gloom. Utterly beguiling.

~ by acidted on June 14, 2020.

One Response to “Ambient Sunday with: Bruce Brubaker and Max Cooper, California Care Package, and Hugar #Ambient #NeoClassical #Drone #Electronic”

  1. Still Life, interesting therapy concept. and the sounds is fantastic!

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