Sonis  R. | Ambient Lounge 3

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Electronic: Ambient Electronic: Down Tempo Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Ambient Lounge 3

by Sonis R.

Subtle System is melodic ambient with indian classic music influences,dreamy soundscapes and ethereal melodies,
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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1. Acient Rivers
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4:40 $0.99
2. Drops
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4:33 $0.99
3. Deep Sea
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4:02 $0.99
4. Shiva Ananda
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6:15 $0.99
5. Swadistana
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4:31 $0.99
6. Waterfall
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4:48 $0.99
7. Thurya
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4:59 $0.99
8. Chandra
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5:24 $0.99
9. Dreams
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3:50 $0.99
10. Ethernal
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4:24 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes

My latest music project was created following my aspirations for contemporary music. The main idea behind my project was to create an instrumental and electronic album with ethnic influences.
In particular I tried to combine Indian, Bolivian and ancient Irish ethnic instruments, like the sitar, Bolivian flutes and Irish percussion respectively. I used the sounds recorded from these instruments combining them with my electronic midi compositions. While the genre of electronic music used is principally ambient I decided to create a very atmospheric album with many ambient sounds and ethereal melodies, I chose the chakras and the Indian philosophy as the key subject.

It has been decided to choose this title because the album will have a philosophical meaning as well. In ancient Indian philosophy the subtle system is the name given to subtle energetic centre’s present in our body. For this reason is called the subtle human body. Each centre has a precise position in the body. Their position corresponds to the position of each plexus. The total number of Chakras is seven is why I did seven tracks.

Project content suitability:

With this album I wanted to show my abilities in studio recording, sequencing, midi and sampling in the complete ion of this project. I used my skills in recording for the recording of 3 ethnic instruments. First of all I recorded the sitar, a classic Indian instrument used in the Swadistan and Nabhi track. Then I recorded a Bolivian flute, in track 5 the Vishuddhi. For track 5, I also recorded the Bodran- an ancient form of Irish percussion commonly known as the Irish Celtic frame drum.


During the first recording of the sitar I used 5 microphones: the akg 212, and 414, a dynamic sm 58, the Synnaiser , and using a spaced pair attached to the top of the instrument. I wanted to experiment with this instrument by trying to record it as best as I could. I listened to the various recordings and I have chosen my best recording. I used a akg 414 for the Bolivian flute and a akg 212 cardioioid for the Bodhran.
So the main techniques used for the recording were direct microphone and stereo spaced pair. All the recording was done in the university studios using professional desks like the audio analogue desk . I used the studios to master the final tracks using both the hardware compressor and very famous plug ins. My abilities on midi and sampling and sequencing are really evident in all the tracks, To show these abilities I used a combination of different software including Logic 8, Pro Tools, Reason, and Ableton Live in either rewire or stand alone mode. Ableton Live was used for sampling some of my bank sounds, the soft synthesiser used was mainly from Logic and Reason, from were I used some granular synthesizers too. The drum sequencing and the various combinations of midi sounds where mainly done using Reason Redrum, drum machine and Synths.


Research:
During my research I tried to find a connection between some of the characteristics of the ethnic instruments used, for example for the sitar I researched its use in Indian classic music.
The music in which the sitars are used is called ragas

In my research I found out that each raga has a precise melody form. They each have their own ascending and descending movement (sindhi and baraviv-). They are composed of subtle touches and the use of microtones and stresses on particular notes. Most of the time, ragas are constructed with the addition of an instrument in the background like the tambura.

Ragava R Menon (2007 pp 107,108)

During the composition of my tracks I have considered and used the continuous instrument in the background. I used synthesised sound instead of the acoustic instrument used in the traditional ragas, for example in the track 2 Swadistan the instrument is the synthesiser part that is used as sound texture in the context of the song. In this song using the sitar, applies another important element of the raga, that is the ascending and descending movement of the scale to add an extra level of significance to the track.

In some ragas, there is also a free improvisation called Alap and another also known as Tala. It is possible to choose between many Talas as they have a rhythmic cycle of 16 beats or Chaptal which has 10 beats.
A example used in my track of this rhythmic cycle is the song called Agnya which was structured using a Chaptal, or a music cycle of 10 beats, 1234567891. The bodhran is a Irish Celtic percussion that derives from south American natives. I tried to incorporate this sound using a Tablas’s raga structure.
The Bolivian flute was used in the breakdown of the Vishuddhi track. The beauty of this instrument is especially evident when is used acapella(on its own) that’s why I decided to use it in the breakdown of the Vishuddhi . I found out that the Bolivian flute was used principally in ceremonial rural festivals. Both the sitar, the Bodhran and the Chockela have philosophical meaning that can be connected to the context of my album.


In the traditional Indian ragas, the Tabla is the drum in the background, evolving and enhancing the leading instrument that is often the sitar. Most of the times they both play a long rhythm that patters and returns to the first beat simultaneously. The role of tabla is relatively free in that it is the leading instrument that directs the improvisation.


The ancient sounds and melodies of these instruments is strictly related to the ethereal atmosphere that I tried to create in most of my tracks. There are some clear examples of break beat, in the rhythm created in the track Agnya, where the rhythm has some similarities with this type of electronic music.

It has been very hard to find a tabla player, but at the end I found a very original and ancient percussion called the bodhran instead.

The bodhran has different forms that are both polygonal and square. It was a very common instrument used in rituals and ceremonies in Egypt and Sumeria. This instrument was mainly used mainly by women’s in cults and magic rituals in pre-Christian ceremonies when the sound of these drums was used to connect to the divine. After the barbarian invasion this instrument would develop all over Europe. Whereas in the beginning it was only played with hands, it later was played with drumsticks. In modern times this instrument became very famous in Ireland where it became a traditional ethnic instrument. The great history of this instrument and his mystic meaning, finds a special place in the philosophical context of my project.

I decided to choose this particular type of music because ambient music is a type of music that focuses largely in the timbre characteristics of the sound that is usually organises and performed to evoke an atmospheric and visual attributes. In my project I utilise these characteristics to construct most of the tracks. I also used natural occurring sounds like water and wind to demonstrate the main characteristics of ambient music even more.




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