Formlessly Evolving Ambient Openings – 2015

Dear listener,

Completed in the fall of 2015, the title track of this project began as an accompaniment for an installation of oil paintings. However, as is often the case, the project took on an unanticipated life of its own as a musical composition. Subsequently it led to the “Hummingbird Fantasies” composition. The result of following these impulses as they occurred is the completed overall project in its present form. What follows is a brief description of the processes involved in the realization of each of the two pieces contained herein.

Formlessly Evolving Ambient Openings consists of five tracks that are related in several ways. First, and perhaps most notably, the same set of six samples was used for each. Additionally very similar algorithms were used to synthesize the scores for them. They were rendered using Csound and the same, extremely versatile, Csound instrument. Many themes that are exposed in “Init”, the first track, are developed and revisited throughout the other sections. On the other hand, the processes were also widely varied between tracks. For instance, “Monofilament” is a single mono track that was re-mixed for multi-channel diffusion. The others were generated as 8-channel sound files natively. “Temporal Inference” was rendered as an hour-long sound file that was edited to the final ~twenty-seven minute version. The other tracks consist of much shorter sound files that were mixed and edited together.

Hummingbird Fantasies, in three movements, began with field recordings of the playful and aggressive hummingbirds that visit the feeder on our back porch. A mic was placed very near the feeder and the recordings obtained were combed for the ideal samples. Ultimately three samples of approximately six seconds in length were selected. Three other complimentary samples were generated, using Absynth… all six were utilized in the process. The final composition was generated as an 8-channel sound file using score synthesis techniques that employed tendency masks and the Csound instrument mentioned above.

Overall, this project is meant as a meditative experience that creates an environment. Allow the music to wash over you and to move you where it wants to go. You may not recognize the scenery but it is lush with unforeseeable colors and vistas. The listening act, in this case, is one of trust and of letting go. Do not resist but instead allow the journey to unfold. In the end this is good advice for one’s life in general. For our intentions are often confused by our desires. As powerfully creative beings this confusion leaves us bereft of any positive movement. It is as if the tires of our car are trying to move in opposing directions thus canceling each other out. By developing an attitude of “allowing” we move with intention… an apparent, but nonetheless appropriate, contradiction.

The images included in this booklet are photographs of a few of the 28 paintings that were completed concurrently with the composition of this project. Moving from the painting studio to the music studio and back again provided a pleasurable release from a fixation on either thus enabling a fresh perspective as each was engaged. Whether mixing and applying colors of oil paint or those aural in nature, the approach is the same… letting the quiet mind move.

May the results bring you joy.


Formlessly Evolving Ambient Openings
Track 1:
Track 2:
Track 3:
Track 4:
Track 5:
Temporal Inference     
Hummingbird Fantasies
Track 6:
1st Movement     
Track 7:
2nd Movement     
Track 8:
3rd Movement     
Download a pdf of the CD/DVD booklet here.

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