I love being immersed in the dense sweeping spectral swirling sound as frequencies are filtered in and out and patterns progressively overlap each other creating a gradual, ever changing sonic soundscape. (please forgive me the abundant alliteration.)
Simon Slator was there at the beginning, back when I first became interested in free ambient music on the web. I'm not sure exactly when I discovered his music, but I know that several of his releases (notably Skylight, 6AM, and Four Patterns) became staples of my ambient music library.
I spent many hours in those days trolling websites to find the kind of ambient music that I loved most--gently drifting pads of subtly shifting tones, very minimal and harmonious. I would download almost anything that labeled itself as 'ambient'. I quickly learned, however, that the term is very fluid and at times I found it difficult to find the kind of music I was searching for. In this context, Simon's music was a treasure.
This hunting is part of why I started the Free Floating blog, then radio show, then netlabel. It was to provide a place where like-minded listeners could find the treasures I had unearthed in my digital digging. And I feel that I have been successful in helping connect listeners to this music.
And so it is time to come full circle.
In re-releasing Simon Slator's Four Patterns as part of my In Hindsight project, I have the opportunity to connect Simon's music with new listeners, a task I am very proud to undertake.
As you will hear, Simon has a wonderful sense of atmosphere and subtle tonal progression. He creates a lush and serene soundscape in which to lose oneself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
From The Artist:
This piece, my third official ambient release, was the first time I’d looked at creating something more mathematical and theoretical - my two previous ambient works both had a theme of some kind. As the name suggests, the piece consists of four distinct patterns of a few minutes each. Each pattern is repeated four times using four different synthesizer patches, but no two patterns were playing at the same time. It was about a weekend’s work in all – the Saturday spent composing the patterns and getting the right sound, the Sunday spent mixing and mastering, and it was released on the Monday!
released March 20, 2014
All music by Simon Slator
Cover design by Brad Ross-MacLeod
I’ve been composing music on-and-off for almost twenty years, starting back when I was in my late teens. For the first few years, it was all melodic instrumental music created using very amateur technology; but around 2002, I started learning how to use virtual synthesizers and Digital Audio Workstations. Fortunately, this also coincided with my first experiences of Brian Eno and Steve Roach; and within months, my first proper Ambient piece, “6am”, was born. On release, I hoped that around fifty people in total would download it – the target was smashed in three days! Over the next two years, four more ambient ‘soundscapes’ appeared; but after that, life and family took over and I wouldn’t record anything new for almost ten years. Last year, armed with better technology and a greater musical knowledge, I started making music once again.