Archives for posts with tag: field recordings
Maria Papadomanolaki (Dalot) & Nhung Nguyen (Sound Awakener)

“Night-time, Long Paths” is from the album “Departures”, the second joint release between Greek sound artist Maria Papadomanolaki (Dalot) and Vietnamese composer Nhung Nguyen (Sound Awakener). 

The first Dalot & Sound Awakener collaboration album “Little Things” was a more upbeat and optimistic collection of soundscapes. “Departures” also combines field recordings from cities and natural surroundings with synth sounds, but this time to create unsettling atmospheric soundscapes; darker, more mysterious, reflecting on themes like migration, and the challenges/ uncertainty of human movement around the world.

“Night-time, long path” has a pulse of sorts, a kind of propulsive breathing loop, woven through with sounds, drones and textures. It seems partly terrestrial, with hints of human voices in the fog, but also somehow not of this Earth. The field recordings here – as they are throughout “Departures” – seem smudged, giving them a kind of soft-focus dream-state quality that hints at their settings and conveys a sense of movement, exploration, dislocation, tension, and uncertainty.

That disorienting and subtle interweaving of the mechanical with the more organic sounds, drones and textures of nature and human city-scapes and travel hubs is at the heart of all the tracks on “Departures”. The album delivers something quite special, evocative of the uncertain terrain of our current altered reality as much as it is of alternative realities and journeys through space and time. It’s a place to close you eyes and let your mind wander on a journey into uncharted worlds from the safe confines of your own home. “Departures” is as fitting a way to end 2020 as anything.

nhung-nguyenHere’s PopLib’s 8th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “For June (Forever Summer)” from the EP “For June” by Hanoi, Vietnam based sound artist Nhung Nguyen:

“For June (Forever Summer)”, with its glorious combination of field recordings of birdsong mingling with other-worldly hypnotic chiming, is a great way to escape the noise and stress of the world for a moment. Or play it on a loop and let that moment last forever. The whole EP is a perfect survival capsule of ambient soundscapes… as is the entire Bandcamp catalogue from this artist.

Recommended to send as a gift to anyone who needs a break from the madness for a bit. That’s all of us isn’t it?

Nhung Nguyen

Playing David Bowie’s “Low” last week I got lost again in that second side of sweeping cinematic instrumentals. Those paths lead me back to Brian Eno’s “Music For Films” and the Fripp & Eno album “Evening Star” – but also started me off exploring forward to an ever-expanding universe of imaginary worlds created by new generations of musicians working with ambient music, combining instrument sounds, field recordings and textures. Here’s one stellar recent example of that universe from Hanoi, Vietnam musician/ sound artist Nhung Nguyen.

It is almost impossible to pick just one track, but “Evergreen” – hinting as much of early Tangerine Dream as much as ambient Eno – is as good an entry point as any.

Continue on to listen to the whole collection, particularly “For June (Forever Summer)” with its glorious combination of field recordings of birdsong mingling with other-worldly hypnotic chiming.

Her latest release “Music For Quiet Souls” is different again, taking a minimal piano composition approach, like an experimental Erik Satie ‘Gymnopedies’ collection, but mixing field recordings with the delay-effect piano.

So impressed by these works I’ve just bought the full digital discography.