Dont ask me why but last night I was wondering about how today's music will sounds in 50 years. I mean, when you listen lets say some 70's prog music, you could easily identify its year, besides you known when the recording was made. Same goes for almost styles, specially electronic music styles.
So rhythmic music includes a kind of time stamp atribute. Think this time stamp as a reflection of the chronologic context in which was created :
Disco music, late 70s. Electro music, early 80s, Detroit techno mid 80s, and so and so. You got the general idea.
My point is : this time stamp thing seems to not always apply to ambient music. I was listening Cluster's 71 (1971) and you can not say when was made. Maybe the album was recording last week. Or +35 years ago.
So (electronic) ambient music doesnt age in the same ways as others styles, Im aware that good music, good art ,doesnt age , but in the electronic made music field aging its a constant, not always related to economical , music industry causes. Non commercial music ages too.
Listen some digital minimal , ( ikeda, alva noto) and you known its back to around 2000. Listen to Lustmord's heresy and this is not so clear. In fact, its not clear at all when that record could be made.
This amazing characteristic of ambient music its reinforced when the sound and process used in the recording are less related to a certain hardware or software processing.
And then we have Dark Ambient, with far less direct relations to concrete contexts than traditional ambient music, maybe due to the sound aesthetic, the structure and the exuberant "aetherialism" ( thats its a good one word, lol) that Dark Ambient exhudes by its multiple sounding dimensions. Could be tracks about about ghosts, about unknown deep spaces worlds or emanations from simply introspection, no matter about from what inspiration a Dark Ambient track is made, its always sounds step aside of chronological measures.
But, almost paradoxically , a good dark ambient track or album goes strong through the years, something that beat based music, ( i mean good beat based electronic music) just cant do.
Maybe in 50 years our music will sounds still as a living, healthy breathing thing, but beat based music will sound dated in a very small fragment of that time. In fact ,electronic dance music suffers from this hyperspeed aging thing, so a track, an album doesnt last for few months or maybe a year with enough luck.
Think on "get lucky" by Daft Punk. Hell of a track, hell of production hell of artists involved, but today its sounds just obsolete and not only due to the hypermegaultrasuper worldwide exposition that track received.
Sorry for such a loooong post, hope i was clear to expose my ideas. I known there are more things related to all this , so im really interested in read yours
comments and views,
by the way : concrete music ( cage, schaeffer..) and traditional electronic music ages perfect. Traditional electronic beat based albums and bands too, ( think on Silver Apples) so now im a bit confused. hahaha
I think, one factor why DA may seem timeless, is because of the missing dependency of certain means of production. Many elements of DA music can be created using tools that are available since half a century or more -- be it industrial & natural soundscape recordings, drones, reverbs,... you name it. The oldest track, I have in the playlist that I would characterize as having DA qualities, is Neptune, The Mystic by Gustav Holst, actually more than 100 years old.
But what drives DA is the fascination of sound rather than rythm of music: Putting sound under a microscope and dive into it, only permutating it just fast enough to evoke a certain tension arc, story, or whatever you call it -- as still music is to capture the listener on an emotional level. Something concrete music seems to have turned away from in its academic harshness, in an attempt to shake off the irrational, seducing, romantic essence of music.
Yes, totally agree,sounds over organized percussion.
Also there is an extra element: our biology . Its organized under the rule of pulses, i mean repetitive and somewhat generally regular patterns adds order in something that could be just a mess of organism : our heartbeat its a good example. Following that, our brain's higher functions by evolving from biology bases are not an exception of this patterns rule. This affects our perception of art , specially music. Beat, rhythm, brings a needed reference point for our mind to organize the experience of being exposed to that aural stimulus.
And then ambient music just arrives to change the whole game by suppressing that beat pattern.
In your face perceptual system. Lol. Suppressing beat...suspending chronological time.
And by other hand with repetive sounds, without any beat you can change your brain state.
btw, through years I was always showing ambient and specially dark ambient music to different people who were regular listeners of beat based music, from rock to electronics. Many of them just showed the expected bored expression ( lets be honest, this music is faraway of being popular, even in musical people ), but others ones were somewhat really captured by the music. I remember an ex gf who always feels very uncomfortable listening dark ambient. She tolds me about this thing of feeling exposed, vulnerable without a more or less rhythmic section.