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Two Flavors of Ambience by Craig Padilla

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Craig Padilla has been doing electronic music for several years. Here we see two different examples of his inventive approach to ambience compositions.

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CRAIG PADILLA: The Light in the Shadow (CD on Spotted Peccary)

This CD from 2006 offers 64 minutes of languid ambience.

Joining Padilla on this release is Skip Murphy, who contributes additional synths and sequencing.

This music unfurls with fragile patience, generating ethereal atmospherics punctuated by slightly denser electronic effects. As the piece progresses, substance accretes with feathery determination, augmenting the soundscape and frequently driving the harmonics into a more demonstrative presence. Despite these periodic swellings, a heavenly air is maintained. The mood is one of constant subtlety, designed to infuse calm and inspire introspection.

A luxurious disposition is generated by sighing textures and gently sweeping tones. Chords of crystalline demeanor are gradually introduced to the mix, injecting instances of release to the generally passive structure. The soundscape oscillates with expansive elegance, streaming to saturate the environment with its comfortable ambience.

Although presented as one long track, the composition possesses a series of stages that are nearly indistinguishable because of the song's seamless structure. While the vaporous foundation endures, various suggestive embellishments generate a gradual evolution that flavors the current with languid keyboard riffs and intermingling tones.

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CRAIG PADILLA & SKIP MURPHY: Phantasma (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2006 features 72 minutes of slightly more lively ambience.

Stately keyboards establish a soothing climate of divine consistency, expansive and nebulous. As additional electronics surface, the gentle tone remains undisturbed. A lazy sense of vigor grows with pensive determination until the soundscape has become a lattice of gently surging tones seasoned with gurgling rhythms created by more insistent electronic patterns.

As the music continues, vitality creeps out of the mix in the form of swifter cycles and soaring tones of celestial demeanor. While still soothing, the music is adopting a more forceful manner that remains craftily repressed. Shriller notes appear, but they are not piercing enough to disturb the heavenly stability.

The title track is a 26 minute epic that embraces a more mysterious mood with ascending choral elements and darker tonalities which bestow a mystical edge to the flowing melodies. Grittier notes are utilized to attribute a seething drama that struggles to overwhelm the celestial airs with a sense of passage over an ominous abyss.

These compositions achieve a degree more vigor than conventional ambient music, but the comportment remains moderate and unhurried. The tracks maintain an amiable tranquillity regardless of their denser palette. At the same time, the music displays a strong presence, highly melodic and capable of saturating the environment with an undercurrent of animation.

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