Garrett (garote) wrote,
Garrett
garote

Western Desert, parts 5-8

I was invited to post this on the Ambient Nights website as a guest mixer, but with the site under construction for the last two years and other work stacking up behind it, it's time to get this out on the internet.



This is mix 2 of a musical triptych about starting over - searching for lost identity. (Mix one is here.)

The idea for the particular sound came to me when I was bicycling through the high desert of eastern Oregon in 2009.

I was out by myself in a vast hot space, filled with clean air and shimmering light, with the epic scale of nature and geology laid bare around me. It was brutally inhospitable and deeply comforting and intimate at the same time, and an environment well-suited for self-assessment. It was also scattered with the detritus of older stories, of pioneering settlers and farmers, who engaged directly with this raw landscape to establish a new life and independence for themselves. Those stories wove into my personal thoughts as I traveled, making my little bike trip feel like its own epic expedition into the western frontier.

A few years later I wanted to return to that feeling, and began searching for a way to encapsulate it in music. It was very difficult to find things that were differentiated enough to have character, while still fitting within the mental space I had staked out. Eventually I ended up with a patchwork of heroic - and somewhat corny - Western movie soundtracks, hallucinatory ambient sounds, local background noise from wind and animals, and languid, seductive steel guitar. I wanted something long: A soundscape with different parts telling a loose story, each brief enough to have structure but also long enough to get lost in - to let the mind wander - and use it to meditate on a theme.

That theme is, succinctly: Starting over with nothing.

Parts 5-8 are combined into a one-hour mix:

Part 5: Karma
Part 6: Heat Visions
Part 7: Second Oasis
Part 8: Moving On

Here's an Apple Lossless (ALAC) version, in 24-bit, for all you audiophile types like me. (614mb)
Here's an AAC version, suitable for playing in iPods and almost all other modern music players. (133mb)
Here's an MP3 version, suitable for digital players new, old, and ancient. (111mb)

The cover photo was taken by my father during a trip down the Baja peninsula 40 years ago.

You can click here for the tracklist ... or just skip this link and listen to it without knowing what's in store for you. :)
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

  • 4 comments
If you like this you may also enjoy my other mixes:

Faxanadu Soundtrack (2009) : http://garote.livejournal.com/169134.html
Halloween DnB Mix (2009) : http://garote.livejournal.com/172989.html
Hindi Mix (2014) : http://garote.livejournal.com/238657.html
Hindi Mix 2 (2015) : http://garote.livejournal.com/246886.html
M2's War Of Sound Reconstructed (2007) : http://garote.livejournal.com/126487.html
Murder In The Cathedral Side A (2009) : http://garote.livejournal.com/162242.html
Problems With Reality Mix (2011) : http://garote.livejournal.com/191144.html
Problems With Reality Mix 2 (2015) : http://garote.livejournal.com/254478.html
Techie Mixes 1 and 2 (1997) : http://garote.livejournal.com/216332.html
Tori Amos Mix Rebuild Side A (2011) : http://garote.livejournal.com/190233.html
Tori Amos Mix Rebuild Side B (2011) : http://garote.livejournal.com/190565.html
Tron Mix Side A (2011) : http://garote.livejournal.com/201371.html
Tron Mix Side B (2012) : http://garote.livejournal.com/229064.html
Western Desert Mix 1 (2015) : http://garote.livejournal.com/253661.html
Sad I never went for a walk in those places. Are these ocotillos, Oregon style?
The photo is from about halfway down the Baja peninsula, in 1975.
:) I was confused. Never been to Baja.