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How do you find a title for an ambient piece?

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  • How do you find a title for an ambient piece?

    The subject of the thread says is all: how do you find a title for an ambient piece?

    To me this is always a pain, so my tracks on soundcloud are just numbered in ascending order (with some gaps - this are those experiments, which are not worth to be published...). If I would sing about my last summer vacation or a broken leg or whatever, I would have plenty of ideas for titles, but ambient music is not narrative, it tells about nothing that could lead (me) to a title...

    One of my tracks always evoked feelings of a cold, windy and barren polar landscape to me, so I called it "Ellesmere Island", but usually, I have no phantasy...
    :hmmm:

    What about you?
    Last edited by betadecay; 10-22-2015, 08:11 AM. Reason: typo....
    Latest Album (Sept. 2020): Tenth Region Of The Night
    Soundcloud - Bandcamp - Youtube - Essentia Mundi - Winter-Light

  • #2
    Go for anything, the last piece I created was called 'Accrington car park idiot'

    D.N.P web presence https://dnpdarkness.wordpress.com
    D.N.P...Dona Nobis Pacem...Grant us Peace
    D.N.P web presence

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    • #3
      I try to find what kind of feeling/imagery the track brings me. If possible, I do a shout out - when it comes to ambient, it's mostly to Lovecraft.
      If I can't find a good title, I just name it "Track 1", "Part 1" or something similar.
      I don't know who I am, but I'm still alive.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by l_awdur View Post
        I try to find what kind of feeling/imagery the track brings me. If possible, I do a shout out - when it comes to ambient, it's mostly to Lovecraft.
        If I can't find a good title, I just name it "Track 1", "Part 1" or something similar.
        Similar here, but my results are usually poor or smack of trying too hard. For the recent ambient online comp I let the file names be the title, which is usually just a map to where the source material came from.

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        • #5
          Some intersting ideas so far.

          I thought long about opening this thread (I desparetly hoped for some useful input), but now, that it is open, it seems a bit silly to me: the question is a like "how do you create a melody"... I know how, but I cannot explain it. :hmmm:

          There is no simple receipe "how to be creative". And if I find one, I will sell it and make lots of money with it!!! :biggrin:
          Latest Album (Sept. 2020): Tenth Region Of The Night
          Soundcloud - Bandcamp - Youtube - Essentia Mundi - Winter-Light

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          • #6
            Originally posted by betadecay View Post
            (...) but ambient music is not narrative, it tells about nothing that could lead (me) to a title.
            Ambient is not narrative? I think that's the first time I've heard someone say that. I suppose you mean it doesn't tell a specific story, rather than producing a mood or feeling, which ambient music does so well.

            I work in a completely opposite manner. The trackname(s) are thought up first, and that guides me to write the music. Tracknames will come to me at random times and I'll write them down for use later.
            Mike Carss -- Altus : aural journeys for the mind's eye
            altusmusic.ca
            Bandcamp

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            • #7
              [QUOTE=Altus;28919]
              Originally posted by betadecay View Post
              I suppose you mean it doesn't tell a specific story, rather than producing a mood or feeling, which ambient music does so well.
              Exactly: no lyrics - no story. But moods or feelings, of course.
              Latest Album (Sept. 2020): Tenth Region Of The Night
              Soundcloud - Bandcamp - Youtube - Essentia Mundi - Winter-Light

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              • #8
                MetaDronos has a technique which may interest you
                Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by seismic1 View Post
                  MetaDronos has a technique which may interest you
                  Oh yes! His titles are always very interesting, although I have massive problems to pronounce them... may he reveal the mystery??? :daydream:
                  Latest Album (Sept. 2020): Tenth Region Of The Night
                  Soundcloud - Bandcamp - Youtube - Essentia Mundi - Winter-Light

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                  • #10
                    Titles appear in my mind, mostly after finishing a piece.
                    ahornberg.bandcamp.com
                    soundcloud.com/ahornberg

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                    • #11
                      I write down random phrases that catch my interest in a field notebook, and use those. For example 'Dracula Clock' was the punchline to a joke in a podcast I listen to. 'call -380' means 'set normal video mode on an Apple II. All things I stumble across and find amusing.

                      Alternately, I use girls' names. 'Beth' 'Mara', etc.

                      Even more alternately, I rip off Autechre-esque naming conventions with some aspect of the track - 'key_md_LOCK' was named because it was in the key of d minor, locrian mode. And sometimes I combine two of these methods. 'CS_CAL' is an Autechre rip off of a girls' name. Easy, right?
                      Last edited by Toaster; 10-24-2015, 12:31 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Toaster View Post
                        I write down random phrases that catch my interest in a field notebook, and use those. For example 'Dracula Clock' was the punchline to a joke in a podcast I listen to. 'call -380' means 'set normal video mode on an Apple II. All things I stumble across and find amusing.

                        Alternately, I use girls' names. 'Beth' 'Mara', etc.

                        Even more alternately, I rip off Autechre-esque naming conventions with some aspect of the track - 'key_md_LOCK' was named because it was in the key of d minor, locrian mode. And sometimes I combine two of these methods. 'CS_CAL' is an Autechre rip off of a girls' name. Easy, right?
                        This is really interesting!

                        Random phrases.... that reminds me of the surrealistic automatic writing - perhaps I should try that in the future - "Prisoners of drops of water, we are but everlasting animals"... Ok, that's not me but Breton/Soupault)
                        Latest Album (Sept. 2020): Tenth Region Of The Night
                        Soundcloud - Bandcamp - Youtube - Essentia Mundi - Winter-Light

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by betadecay View Post
                          Originally posted by seismic1 View Post
                          MetaDronos has a technique which may interest you
                          Oh yes! His titles are always very interesting, although I have massive problems to pronounce them... may he reveal the mystery??? :daydream:
                          The secret is: http://sourceforge.net/projects/namelur/

                          I've used various mixed text sources for Namelur's n-gram dictionaries: Latin Vulgate, old English chronicles, French translation of Decameron and more.
                          SoundCloud // FreeSound // Twitter
                          Get exposure for your electronic music through WEATNU.COM independent promotion network.
                          "Shortwave" - collaboration album with Ager Sonus

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                          • #14
                            Ha, I almost advised you to use an online random name/title generator until I read Metadronos' reply.

                            Anyway, that's not my method. Ambient music is often very impressionistic and for me personally, my own music automatically evokes certain associations. It could be a certain feeling, an emotion but I also draw from certain methods I used in the music. Like in my last track https://soundcloud.com/boqurant/slow-ripples-fading the title refers to the rippling quality and decreasing density (fading) of the musical material in the latter half of the track.

                            And ofcourse sometimes the best ideas for a title (or a piece of music for that matter) spring to life when in the toilet doing a simple number one :razz:
                            Boqurant | Boqurant on Soundcloud

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MetaDronos View Post
                              Originally posted by betadecay View Post
                              Originally posted by seismic1 View Post
                              MetaDronos has a technique which may interest you
                              Oh yes! His titles are always very interesting, although I have massive problems to pronounce them... may he reveal the mystery??? :daydream:
                              The secret is: http://sourceforge.net/projects/namelur/

                              I've used various mixed text sources for Namelur's n-gram dictionaries: Latin Vulgate, old English chronicles, French translation of Decameron and more.
                              That's cooll!

                              To mee it seems, that your titles are a mixture of finnish and and some obscure, nearly extinct, baltic dialects...
                              Latest Album (Sept. 2020): Tenth Region Of The Night
                              Soundcloud - Bandcamp - Youtube - Essentia Mundi - Winter-Light

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