Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Martial Ambient?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Martial Ambient?

    I was wondering where to start this thread: Ambient Chat or Sound Design? If I put it to wrong section, sorry.
    Do You know Legionarii, Striider, Fasci di combattimento? These projects are (totalitarian) martial ambient. The point is to create an atmosphere of past, war, politics of XX century (sometimec tagged as soundtrack for Holocaust :(). It's a synthesis of Martial Inustrial and Ambient. Samples, speeches etc. There often are drums, which denies the "traditional model" of ambient. What do You think about this genre? Is it ambient or abomination?
    https://soundcloud.com/somberdawn

  • #2
    going to look it up and see what I think...

    Comment


    • #3
      I was already somewhat familiar with this subgenre; I did some browsing on youtube a few years ago to catch up with the latest trends in Ambient land ;-) and I must say: certainly not my cup of tea but I don't think it really is an Ambient subgenre because it's actually quite obtrusive, pompous and bombastic. Those are all qualities I don't associate with Ambient. Call me a purist (to a certain extent I am)... An abomination? No, not really: to each his own except in those cases where political ideologies (fascism) are upfront but that's beyond the point of this topic I think.
      Boqurant | Boqurant on Soundcloud

      Comment


      • #4
        I think it's ambient if we look at it from other point of view. It's ambient because it creates an ambience... of war. That's all. It's the matter of naming.
        https://soundcloud.com/somberdawn

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Somber Dawn View Post
          I think it's ambient if we look at it from other point of view. It's ambient because it creates an ambience... of war. That's all. It's the matter of naming.
          Well, in that respect every genre can be called ambient music. Grindcore creates an ambience... of aggression and Polka creates an ambience... of happiness. No really, I'm serious :biggrin:

          One of the key aspects of Ambient music is "unobtrusiveness". You may or may not agree with that but if you don't, you're broadening the definition which may be fine (because that already happened in the last four decades) but there must be a limit somewhere... If not, eventually all music will be ambient music by definition in which case the definition has become useless.

          Anyways: to say a genre is ambient because it creates an ambience is a bit too broad IMHO.
          Last edited by Boqurant; 06-25-2015, 12:45 PM.
          Boqurant | Boqurant on Soundcloud

          Comment


          • #6
            I am listenning to Legionarii's "The New Era" right now. I hear some dark synths, drums, Goebbels... As I wrote: ambiance of war, politics of those times. It's not ambient as we all understand this genre. It's something diffrent, but it has ambient in its name. We have a similar situation in Industrial music. The electronic danceable, (forgive that word...) party sound many goths listen to is still classified as industrial (example: Angelspit). And it's not the only style of this genre and does not sound like Industrial sounded in its origins. The same thing with metal. I hate nu metal, but I agree: it is metal. I don't classify m.a. as ambient, but exactly "martial ambient". Something linked with ambient music but having other purpose. Diffrent that "conservative" model of ambient. That's why it's so hard to define.
            https://soundcloud.com/somberdawn

            Comment


            • #7
              Yup, I agree it's hard to define. Take for instance the definition of music: there are a couple of official definitions that are not too different but if you ask a hundred people what music is, you'll get very different opinions. Some really conservative people think pop music is not even music but other people say Cage's 4'33" is even music.

              Same with ambient: it once started with an "official" definition. It started (the definition) with Eno ofcourse but was stretched over the years; I witnessed the introduction of beats in the early nineties (The Orb) which was quite shocking for someone who grew up with Eno's "Music for Airports" or "Discreet Music". I suddenly have to think about someone on Soundcloud who asked me if I did listen to his ambient track really loud (because there were so many subtle sounds in it; I told him I have a set of good speakers and a quiet room). Loud ambient is also a no-no for me; ambient "has to be" listened to at a relatively low volume (because that's what grandaddy Eno once proposed ;-). Too obtrusive... So yeah: I'll stick to that. Well, not because of Eno ofcourse but I do think it works best when listened to at a moderate volume.

              Enough rambling.
              Boqurant | Boqurant on Soundcloud

              Comment


              • #8
                But did Eno really propose that ambient music had to be quiet, rather than, as per the liner notes of MfA, 'ignorable'. Personally, Ive lived in a ground-floor flat (ie tenemant), ten feet away from the traffic on one of the busiest roads in Glasgow (post-industrial heart of Scotland) and been able to ignore that. I can easily manage to find 'levels of listening' in the 'harshest' variation on ambient, and I can manage to ignore it sufficiently while I read or concentrate on work, while it certainly provides more interest to me than some of the more 'pastoral' work under other parts of that umbrella.

                Anyway, I'll cherry pick from the liner nots of Music For Airports to run with...


                "Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting
                Humans do ignore sound; in fact our brains are hardwired to do so. It doesnt need to be quiet or loud to be ignorable, just sufficiently familiar or predictable. Its how we listen for other sounds; the unexpected or interesting ones.

                An ambience is defined as an atmosphere, or a surrounding influence: a tint...


                Not all atmospheres need to be cosily pastoral, rural or cathedral. Im personally more inclined to the 'surrounding influence' of a rusting city, or the tint of sandstorm myself. ;)

                My intention is to produce original pieces ostensibly (but not exclusively) for particular times and situations with a view to building up a small but versatile catalogue of environmental music suited to a wide variety of moods and atmospheres.
                Obviously what's been read here is a somewhat placid, more gently set of moods and atmospheres, but that would be incomplete; I utterly believe that there's a clearly defined place for the erm, more 'unsettled' atmosphere and mood.

                Ambient Music is intended to induce calm and a space to think.


                There's a reason white noise generators are recommended to help babies sleep. If ambient is a 'masking' factor in allowing one space, it really doesnt matter whether that's delicate pads or distorted feedback; if its what one is inured to, if one has that expectation, then it can be calming.
                The distorted feedback also clears people out of the office faster, and that helps me think. ;)


                ObSC : http://soundcloud.com/viablehybrid

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by viablehybrid View Post
                  But did Eno really propose that ambient music had to be quiet [...]
                  In fact he did. Well, he stated it had to be listened to at a very low level which more or less implies the music itself is quiet. He "discovered" ambient music because he was bedridden in a hospital and the harp music that was playing was very quiet and at an almost subliminal listening level but he couldn't get out of bed so he kept listening.

                  Later on he explicitly stated on his "Discreet Music", the music had to be listened to at a very low level (“listening to… at comparatively low levels, even to the extent that it frequently falls below the threshold of audibility”). So, that's more or less a yes ;-)

                  Originally posted by viablehybrid View Post
                  If ambient is a 'masking' factor in allowing one space, it really doesnt matter whether that's delicate pads or distorted
                  There is a difference between "masking" factor and creating a certain ambience. I also use some form of white noise to be able to sleep to mask my
                  neighbours dog's barking but that serves another purpose so it does matter. I'd rather listen to ambient music in the daytime then to white noise :-)

                  You used the word "unsettling" but if something is unsettling how can it be ignored? It's unsettling ("cause to feel anxious or uneasy; disturb.")... So: it distracts, it's obtrusive. Yes: I do listen to some very obtrusive and noisy music sometimes but none of it I consider ambient... But I have to admit: what's obtrusive for one person is maybe very easy listening/background music for someone else... But then again: obtrusive is by definition not longer ambient. You see what I'm getting at?

                  I have to admit that most of my "ambient music" on Soundcloud I don't consider real ambient music myself because it's e.g. to dissonant or to emotional. So what am I doing here on this forum anyway :nuts:
                  Last edited by Boqurant; 07-15-2015, 08:50 AM.
                  Boqurant | Boqurant on Soundcloud

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Boqurant View Post
                    In fact he did. Well, he stated it had to be listened to at a very low level which more or less implies the music itself is quiet. He "discovered" ambient music because he was bedridden in a hospital and the harp music that was playing was very quiet and at an almost subliminal listening level but he couldn't get out of bed so he kept listening.

                    Later on he explicitly stated on his "Discreet Music", the music had to be listened to at a very low level (“listening to… at comparatively low levels, even to the extent that it frequently falls below the threshold of audibility”). So, that's more or less a yes ;-)
                    I'd be surprised if anyone didnt know the hospital bed story, but the subliminal thing is a part of my point. Im going to have to contend that that's actually a 'no', Im afraid, sorry. Playing something quietly and making it quiet in the first place are not the same thing. And more dissonant, harsher work can still be played quietly.
                    In a loud environment, it can even be played loudly and be subliminal. ;)

                    But again, that comes back to a notion of 'environmental'; not all environments are quiet. That's why 'ambient' fitted as a name for Eno; an ambience is somthing that surrounds, not just something quiet or 'placid'.

                    Originally posted by viablehybrid View Post
                    If ambient is a 'masking' factor in allowing one space, it really doesnt matter whether that's delicate pads or distorted
                    There is a difference between "masking" factor and creating a certain ambience. I also use some form of white noise to be able to sleep to mask my
                    neighbours dog's barking but that serves another purpose so it does matter. I'd rather listen to ambient music in the daytime then to white noise :-)

                    You used the word "unsettling" but if something is unsettling how can it be ignored? It's unsettling ("cause to feel anxious or uneasy; disturb.")... So: it distracts, it's obtrusive. Yes: I do listen to some very obtrusive and noisy music sometimes but none of it I consider ambient... But I have to admit: what's obtrusive for one person is maybe very easy listening/background music for someone else... But then again: obtrusive is by definition not longer ambient. You see what I'm getting at? [/quote]

                    Oh, yes, absolutely, I just having a different working interpretation. Explanatory of my own reflection of it, hitchhiking on the back of certain things Ive read, eg The Ambient Century and Noise Music : A History. I just think the accepted definition is less loose than the 'manifesto' actually gave room for.


                    Anyways, 'unsettling' may have been an unfortunate word to use, it was meant less in a literal sene than as the oppositional to the 'traditional' notion of ambient. But dont forget my original point about traffic noises; our attention is both selective and dismissive. Its easy for us to ignore something we might otherwise consider unsettling or obtrusive once we're used to it. And its also entirely possible for us to be 'intruded upon', in terms of attention, by something melodic/pastoral/<insert other adjective for traditional ambient here> when its out of place. Even out of place silence can be intrusive... dog that didnt bark in the night and all that.

                    Anyways, its no big deal. Just thought I'd offer my opinion on how it actually still fits within scripture, even if the reading isnt orthodox.

                    Its all ambient to me. Well, as long as there's no 'beat', that's heresy plain and simple. ;)
                    ObSC : http://soundcloud.com/viablehybrid

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Eno also expanded, or clarified his definition a few years later by describing ambient as (paraphrasing) something where the edges of the music are blurred and it becomes difficult to distinguish between the material and the surrounding environmental noises.

                      I suppose one could argue that playing Reed's Machine Music at 11 in the middle of a steel mill might fall under that definition, but I also think an important or integral part of many ambient sub-genres are the open spaces within the compositions which allow the listener room to think..or to be.

                      In looking up a source I came across this interview from 1982 (and Eno is certainly not the sole arbiter of the definition of ambient, but since he was sited in the thread and arguably is one of the grandfathers of ambient...) where he discusses the definition:

                      I like it as an ambiguous term. It gives me a certain latitude.

                      It has two major meanings. One is the idea of music that allows you any listening position in relation to it. This has widely been misinterpreted by the press (in their infinite unsubtlety) as background music. I mean music that can be background or foreground or anywhere, which is rather a different idea.

                      Most music chooses its own position in terms of your listening to it. Muzak wants to be back there. Punk wants to be up front. Classical wants to be another place. I wanted to make something you could slip in and out of. You could pay attention or you could choose not to be distracted by it if you wanted to do something while it was on. I can’t read with a pop record playing, or with most classical records.

                      They’re not intended to leave that part of the mind free – my mind, anyway. Ambient music allows many different types of attention.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by viablehybrid View Post
                        Anyways, its no big deal. [...]
                        Its all ambient to me. Well, as long as there's no 'beat', that's heresy plain and simple. ;)
                        I agree to both ("no big deal" and "no beats") although I know some folks who are quite willing to discuss the latter with you :biggrin:


                        Originally posted by aoVI View Post
                        I suppose one could argue that playing Reed's Machine Music at 11 in the middle of a steel mill might fall under that definition, but I also think an important or integral part of many ambient sub-genres are the open spaces within the compositions which allow the listener room to think..or to be.

                        I like the part of Reed's Machine Music :razz: and your remark about "open spaces" is perhaps a nice starting point for a new discussion :eek:
                        Last edited by Boqurant; 07-16-2015, 01:01 AM.
                        Boqurant | Boqurant on Soundcloud

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Listening to Legionarii's Knights of a New Age and while it definitely has an ambienty vibe to it, it'd definitely have to be on an extreme end of 'ambient'. But I can almost see it, almost. It's not too far off from 'experimental' or 'noise' (in some ways/cases) or 'dark' variants of the genre.
                          Meh.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Its another one of those "have to categorize music" type of threads...

                            Aside from being descriptors for possible listeners, I have little use for pigeonholing music into categories. From a compositional point of view, music categories can be limiting restraints.

                            That said, martial ambient, martial industrial, military pop, some neofolk...stuff that is all part of the "post-industrial scene", so to speak...there are some interesting musical ideas in some of it. I'm no stranger to that culture; however, the dead political agendas, military fashion, and uniform fetishism behind most of it are rather boring though, in my opinion.
                            "The only thing that means a thing in the end is what you loved, and who you loved, and you let it take you home..."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              hmmm....listening to legionarii right now.

                              you would think that this stuff would be right up my alley (i would think that too), but its not. it all sounds like laibach without a danceable beat, and not as creative.

                              i wouldnt classify it as ambient though, if classifications even mattered. it has too many jarring moments for me to call it ambient.

                              theres a lot of stuff i might refer to as ambient that others might not (rhythmic noise being the most obvious), but not this.
                              http://chaoswyrm.com
                              http://soundcloud.com/chaoswyrm

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X