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Ambient Music: Alio Die & Sylvi Alli, Meg Bowles, Forrest Smithson

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ALIO DIE & SYLVI ALLI Amidst the Circling Spires (CD on Projekt)

This release from 2014 features 58 minutes of stately ambient music.

Atmospheric electronics and celestial chorales generate dreamy soundscapes.

The electronics are mostly textural in character, rarefied tonal waves that establish a vaporous vista of soothing definition. These tones are delicate and unintrusive, harmonic flows crafted to fill an environment with peaceful sentiments.

Additional electronics serve to add depth to the textural flow. These auxiliary electronics are restricted to pacific effects that blend perfectly with the overall minimalism. Some keyboards appear, but in a very subdued fashion, embellishing the melodies rather than defining them.

Operatic vocals of a gentle nature provide the tuneage with a heavenly majesty. While some foreign lyrics are involved, the vocals are often presented in tonal mode. This languid crooning simmers like smoke amid the tender aural milieu.

Some other instruments are employed, such as moderately plucked strings, delicately stroked chimes, and mildly buzzing zithers.

These compositions are intensely fragile and mellow, crafted to create moods of regal relaxation. While the music is mostly harmonic in nature, melodic traces lurk within the mix. Overall, a realm of placid calm is evoked in which the airy tunes drift on soft breezes.

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MEG BOWLES The Shimmering Land (CD on Kumatone Records)

This release from 2013 features 60 minutes of gentle ambient music.

Pleasant electronics craft alluring tuneage of an ambient nature.

The electronics are gentle and shimmering. Delicate texturals set a pensive mood that is then tempered by dreamy auxiliary electronics. Sighing pulsations generate a holistic flow that exhibits a subliminal twinkle. On a few occasions, deeper, bass tones are utilized in a remote manner, to induce forth passages of a celestial nature.

Keyboards are often used to guide lead melodies through the harmonic pastiche established by the vaporous tonalities. The keyboard riffs are soothing, unhurried and pacific, designed to increase the music's fluid character. The chords reside in peaceful niches in the auralscapes, sashaying with a sinuous flair.

No percussion is used.

These compositions are geared to calm the listener, seducing them into a state of intense relaxation. While the main gist of this tuneage is harmonic, touches of melody slither through the mix, coaxing the audience's attention into a dreamstate. Hints of classical structure lurk in this music, bestowing the tunes with a tasty cerebral flavor.

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FORREST SMITHSON Dreaming Time (CD on Smithson Music)

This release from 2013 features 76 minutes of melodic ambience.

Lithesome electronics generate pleasant ambience.

The electronics are calm and mellow. A variety of elongated tones establish textural threads that interweave to create a lush auralscape of vaporous definition. These threads sigh and gently pulsate, merging to form a soothing flow of tenuous definition.

Keyboards begin to play more vital roles as the music progresses, introducing twinkling sequences to the dreamy auralscapes. Eventually, amid heavenly chorales, the keyboards achieve a mature fullness that guides the music into more melodic flows.

Some light e-perc is featured in a background manner, lending a subtle undercurrent of rhythm to the flowing music. Gradually, the rhythms slide into a more pronounced presence while retaining their unintrusive character.

The use of environmental sounds throughout this music (as in birds and children-at-play) lend an organic, often friendly touch to the tuneage.

These compositions are designed to sedate the audience, releasing the consciousness from external stimuli and forging a union between the soundscapes and the subconscious. This union fosters introspection and relaxation. The tuneage tends to be mostly harmonic, constructed of sighing oscillations that stretch into long passages of ethereal definition. As the album continues, the music grows more complex, introducing keys and more melodic elements to the compositions, mutating from harmonic ambience to contemporary electronic music rich with emotion and depth.

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