Be a Supporter!

Ambient Music - Why?

  • 3,887 Views
  • 43 Replies
New Topic Respond to this Topic
The-iMortal
The-iMortal
  • Member since: Aug. 30, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 04
Musician
Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 03:03 AM Reply

Before I begin, I just want to state that I do not want to sound insultive here.

Okay, I have always wondered, "what is with ambient music?". I know it's great for movies and theatrics, but I know that a lot of people on Newgrounds actually like making ambient music for the sake of making ambient music. The reason I'm so curious, is because most people (myself included) prefer the catchy tunes... and the slow ballads, of course. But ambient music is different again. Hell, it's even more different to slow classical pieces. Personally, I find ambient music to be extremely boring due to lack of interesting and enjoyable melody. Hence, ambient music is like the last genre I'd make a track in. Again, I'm not trying to be insultive here. I'm just curious, because of my opinion above.

So, all ambient musicians, I ask you: why do you compose ambient music?

steampianist
steampianist
  • Member since: Mar. 12, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 04
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 03:11 AM Reply

well for me its fun to experiment with tonal colors and you get to play around with different dissonances

CidiousClef
CidiousClef
  • Member since: Feb. 16, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 03:59 AM Reply

At 7/22/12 03:03 AM, The-iMortal wrote: Before I begin, I just want to state that I do not want to sound insultive here.

Okay, I have always wondered, "what is with ambient music?". I know it's great for movies and theatrics, but I know that a lot of people on Newgrounds actually like making ambient music for the sake of making ambient music. The reason I'm so curious, is because most people (myself included) prefer the catchy tunes... and the slow ballads, of course. But ambient music is different again. Hell, it's even more different to slow classical pieces. Personally, I find ambient music to be extremely boring due to lack of interesting and enjoyable melody. Hence, ambient music is like the last genre I'd make a track in. Again, I'm not trying to be insultive here. I'm just curious, because of my opinion above.

So, all ambient musicians, I ask you: why do you compose ambient music?

Because its good.

Ambient sets the mood, which is exactly what some people want. They want to settle into a certain state of mind, and music helps them achieve that, quite like a drug. Dance wants to make you move, rock music wants to make you "rock out", Ambient is mean't to get you in a mood. Your body can't quite tap your foot to it, but your mind will like it, IF you are willing to let it take you on a journey. The problem is, Ambient is good at taking you on a trip, but takes some mental effort to get into it.

Yes, I am saying you need to meditate a little to enjoy it. Not even the cliche "Ohmm" kind with your legs crossed and your eyes closed, you just need to take a minute to appreciate the music. Just sit down and listen to it, and let your brain do it's thinking thing. In my experience, ambient(And, I should mention, Post-Rock, Jazz and Liquid DnB as well) helps me do anything that needs me to put some thought into it, like reading a good book, or doing homework. It just sorta, relaxes me without quite getting in the way of my thoughts. It's very passive, I'd say. Don't get deluded into thinking it's deep though; Most of it is as deep as any other music, or in other words, only as deep as you make it.

It sets the mood. Listeners want to get there, Artists want to take them there. What Genre of music it is only changes how you get there. Any kind of song can make you happy or sad or pensative. Ambient can get you there rather consistently if you have some patience.

But thats all a highly subjective opinion from an inexperienced someone who has only occasionally dabbled in the making of Ambient and enjoys it every once in a while.

TL;DR: Ambient music is usually good music that can take you places if you take the time to listen to it, but most people are turned away because it takes a while to get into it.


BBS Signature
jpbear
jpbear
  • Member since: Apr. 24, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 03
Blank Slate
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 04:11 AM Reply

i use ambient sections frequently in my stuff,

building simple yet complex evolving atmospheres is really fun and I use it to contrast the heavier sections that are to come.

samulis
samulis
  • Member since: Jan. 3, 2010
  • Online!
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 08
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 11:25 AM Reply

Ambient, much like a lot of Contemporary Classical, is a genre that prefers slowly evolving musical motion... if any evolution comes at all. It takes ingenuity on the composer's part and a good mind on the listener's part to see the full picture.

I listen to both genres with the same mindset- that they are tapestries, with parts weaving in and out in a relationship that is less about the traditional ideas of "harmony" and "melody" and more about the simple building blocks of music- tones, overtones, intervals, and the ingenuity of the composer, coming together to form an image.

It's one of the few genres that both electronic and classicalish lovers listen to, as it permeates the cinematic score industry due to its similarities to the traditional "Program Music" that is at the center of Cinematic music.


My Music - Virtual Instruments - Website
Orchestral/Cinematic Composer

BBS Signature
ussraf12
ussraf12
  • Member since: Mar. 22, 2011
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 11:31 AM Reply

Personally and subjectively, i myself make Ambient music because i think it is the easiest music type to make if you are an amateur that doesnt understand notes and stuff. I also think it is a genre that is very easy to bring something new into when it comes to the level of scares, disgust and being rude to the listener (Dark Ambient music).

For instance a disturbing but calm drone that lasts the half part of the tune, then suddently a twisted inhumanly psychotic voice BURSTS in without any respect to the listener, and strings and drums follow etc.........yeah, i like that :D


deedd

samulis
samulis
  • Member since: Jan. 3, 2010
  • Online!
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 08
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 11:46 AM Reply

At 7/22/12 11:31 AM, ussraf12 wrote: For instance a disturbing but calm drone that lasts the half part of the tune, then suddently a twisted inhumanly psychotic voice BURSTS in without any respect to the listener, and strings and drums follow etc.........yeah, i like that :D

Sounds like Russian music in the Romantic Era. :3

See? Similarities!

I beg to differ about the 'being easiest for noobies' thing... sure, anyone can throw some pads down and call it ambiance, but it takes a good degree of skill to actually make the story go somewhere.


My Music - Virtual Instruments - Website
Orchestral/Cinematic Composer

BBS Signature
Breed
Breed
  • Member since: Mar. 23, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 11
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 11:57 AM Reply

Ambient is a vertical genre of music. It's a lot about interesting harmony. Most people are horizontally built and tend to gravitate to melody as the dominant focus which is why ambient may not appeal to them. That's not to say ambient lacks melody or anything, but just that its focus is more likely harmony and the melody is usually too slow to be a discernible melody rather than just part of the vertical structure.

Gario
Gario
  • Member since: Jul. 30, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 06
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 12:06 PM Reply

At 7/22/12 03:03 AM, The-iMortal wrote: Okay, I have always wondered, "what is with ambient music?". I know it's great for movies and theatrics...

Well, there ya go. Remember, this place is as much about writing music for flash artists to use for free as for casual listening. Ambient is also nice to listen to on it's own (vertical textures and soundscapes are fun to listen to from time to time). Either way, it's more than justified to be here.


Need some music for a flash or game? Check it out. If none of this works send me a PM, I'm taking requests.

SineRider
SineRider
  • Member since: Apr. 21, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 18
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 12:22 PM Reply

I like the freedom of ambient music. I mean it's such a broad genre that I can pretty much go anywhere with it. Another reason I like it is to me, one of the most pure forms of music where the entire focus is on the timbre, mood and harmony.

Also, I'm pretty sure there are a ton of catchy ambient tunes out there, examples:
Aphex Twin - Lichen
Stars of the Lid - Piano Aquieu

Chronamut
Chronamut
  • Member since: Oct. 9, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 42
Artist
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 12:58 PM Reply

At 7/22/12 03:11 AM, steampianist wrote: well for me its fun to experiment with tonal colors and you get to play around with different dissonances

the same reason people watch interpretative art films... it's simply another form of creative expression.. so let those that appreciate it appreciate it :)


Want to chat with fellow newgrounders? Then go here & come visit The High Society Club!
ALSO - My sig isnt there just for show - CLICK IT!

BBS Signature
ussraf12
ussraf12
  • Member since: Mar. 22, 2011
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 02:47 PM Reply

At 7/22/12 11:46 AM, samulis wrote:
At 7/22/12 11:31 AM, ussraf12 wrote: For instance a disturbing but calm drone that lasts the half part of the tune, then suddently a twisted inhumanly psychotic voice BURSTS in without any respect to the listener, and strings and drums follow etc.........yeah, i like that :D
Sounds like Russian music in the Romantic Era. :3

See? Similarities!

I beg to differ about the 'being easiest for noobies' thing... sure, anyone can throw some pads down and call it ambiance, but it takes a good degree of skill to actually make the story go somewhere.

I wrote my subjective opinion, are u strong enough to keep going on with your life and to accept that everyone are different? I would like to keep this diplomatic now, farewell


deedd

SineRider
SineRider
  • Member since: Apr. 21, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 18
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 02:50 PM Reply

At 7/22/12 02:47 PM, ussraf12 wrote: I wrote my subjective opinion, are u strong enough to keep going on with your life and to accept that everyone are different? I would like to keep this diplomatic now, farewell

An opinion can still be uninformed, though ;)

Atlas
Atlas
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 21
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 03:00 PM Reply

I like making ambient music because my personal favorite ambient genre dark ambient is supposed to set a mood. A mood meant to make you feel like your alone, your about to be killed, or just something people don't like to think and talk about. I've been working on an album full of strictly dark Ambient songs. Making Ambient music is fun and rewarding.


Steam | Letterboxd | Formerly Known As J-Rex

BBS Signature
ussraf12
ussraf12
  • Member since: Mar. 22, 2011
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 03:09 PM Reply

At 7/22/12 03:00 PM, J-Rex wrote:

I've been working on an album full of strictly dark Ambient songs

sounds like heaven


deedd

InvisibleObserver
InvisibleObserver
  • Member since: Feb. 9, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 22
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 05:14 PM Reply

This is really a debate of minimalism vs maximalism. One would argue they're potentially one and the same. By having seemingly less in a song you're more able to focus coherently on what is there, which may make the listener have a deeper interaction with the music and its nuances.


BBS Signature
N-Szewski
N-Szewski
  • Member since: May. 31, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 03
Blank Slate
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 08:39 PM Reply

I feel that way a lot of the time with ambient music. I do think that less is (much of the time) more, but sometimes more is good. It really all depends on each artist, like if they're good with using a lot of instruments or if they're good at maximizing a small amount of instruments. I think if you look around, you may find some ambient music that clicks with you beyond just setting the mood for film. Obviously, nothing becomes minimalism when it has X amount of notes or less, because it's a spectrum (or whatever). For instance, a lot of Tangerine Dream's music is ambient and minimal, but I think there's just enough to it that it makes it both good as background music and exciting to pay closer attention to.

stunkel
stunkel
  • Member since: Jul. 14, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 11
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 10:35 PM Reply

I have never made an ambient song before... mainly because I don't know how :(


Check out my pages!
Soundcloud Youtube Twitter Facebook

midimachine
midimachine
  • Member since: Jan. 7, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 14
Audiophile
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 23rd, 2012 @ 06:27 AM Reply

At 7/22/12 02:47 PM, ussraf12 wrote: I wrote my subjective opinion, are u strong enough to keep going on with your life and to accept that everyone are different? I would like to keep this diplomatic now, farewell

are you strong enough to allow someone to disagree with you and not get defensive and whiny? rhetorical question, we both know the answer.

whenever i make ambient music it's usually based around polyrhythms or slowly shifting between tone colours within a single synth or effect. i also don't release or even finish many ambient songs cause it's not a genre that i'm great at, just the odd flash of inspiration.


p.s. i am gay

Sequenced
Sequenced
  • Member since: Feb. 6, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 20
Gamer
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 23rd, 2012 @ 09:17 PM Reply

I will now make Ambient music just because of this new thread and use an alt for it. muahahahaha


lel

TheHeartgrinder
TheHeartgrinder
  • Member since: Oct. 23, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 06
Artist
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 26th, 2012 @ 10:05 AM Reply

For me, the sounds of the world make music. Sure, you could put together guitars, drums, etc. but there is so much more out there than whats already acceptable as music. As Im sure a million other people that replied to your post has pointed out, pleasure can be derived from experimentation in sound. I've tried to find some kind of balance with my music. Others like to go in one direction but in my experience Ive learned to stay flexible.

NothingLiving
NothingLiving
  • Member since: Jul. 25, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 03
Blank Slate
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 26th, 2012 @ 10:47 AM Reply

Let's just say that there are certain activities during which some good ambient music goes a long way. *wink*

neyus99
neyus99
  • Member since: May. 6, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 02
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 26th, 2012 @ 11:22 AM Reply

Because time stops when you listen to it and makes you think.

EmperorCharlemagne
EmperorCharlemagne
  • Member since: May. 1, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 26th, 2012 @ 11:25 AM Reply

At 7/22/12 02:47 PM, ussraf12 wrote: I wrote my subjective opinion, are u strong enough to keep going on with your life and to accept that everyone are different? I would like to keep this diplomatic now, farewell

What's the point of discussing anything anywhere, if at the first moment there was disagreement, we all reverted to THATS LIKE YOUR OPINION MAN OPINIONS ARE OK JUST ACCEPT THAT WE DON'T AGREEEEEEEEE

The legacy of the internet: no one can actually argue anymore - just give differing opinions!


If you think you might have secret information listening to me, you're lost.
~Morton Feldman
Click on ROGA'S for a good time.

BBS Signature
jpbear
jpbear
  • Member since: Apr. 24, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 03
Blank Slate
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 26th, 2012 @ 12:02 PM Reply

At 7/26/12 11:25 AM, EmperorCharlemagne wrote: no one can actually argue anymore - just give differing opinions!

but i love arguing its like 78% of the reason why i bother to post on any internet forum.

At 7/26/12 11:37 AM, LaForge wrote: learn to respect other genres... just not country.

also fuck you.

KKSlider60
KKSlider60
  • Member since: Dec. 7, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 26th, 2012 @ 12:10 PM Reply

With the premise of the uselessness of genres/labels and their very existence, I can tell you that what is called "Ambient" is nothing but another way of expressing ourselves through sound design and the art of crafting soundscapes. Said sonic worlds can be ignored, but once you start paying attention to them, you realize how the timbral and atmospheric aspects of a well-layered composition is able to hook you up and drag into a state of relaxation, self-discovery, or meditation. Just like any other style, it's purely subjective and pretty much love it or hate it. That's up to you if you enjoy the slowness or even rhythm-less of some tracks.

Personally, it's a style that helps me cope with the absurdity of the world we live in. It's some sort of mind training for me. The more I compose such "healing" pieces, the more I feel satisfied with what I have achieved with my own strengths, and the more I can relate myself to that shard of imagination. You'd be surprised how much some tracks can be so deep to resemble dreams - dreams that anybody can relate themselves to.

Ambient is also an experiment, it's an ever-growing movement. It draws active influences from various styles and it is thus unpredictable. It can be funny, ironic, sometimes sarcastic... Everyone can make "Ambient" by just copy/pasting a pair of notes for 30 minutes and then try to sell stuff online (and believe me, "spambient" makes up at least 80% of the Ambient market, which is already limited by itself). The trick is about giving depth to the track, you mustn't force yourself to make something you can hardly grasp. Be creative, let your mind guide you in a journey that will allow you to unlock the doors to a grander, vast sonic reality.

My personal favorite artists are Solar Fields, Carbon Based Lifeforms and to some degree even the pioneers of Ambient music, including Brian Eno and his "Ambient" series.

It's a funny aspect of music to explore. Somebody could even challenge the very definition of music, by making abstract compositions that seem to defy any common sense, so to speak. In fact, I don't think it's about "making sense", rather... "feeling" what you're listening or making. Trust me, I find this approach to be the most efficient and useful.

Hope I've been of help. :)
KKS

BlazingDragon
BlazingDragon
  • Member since: Feb. 4, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Jul. 26th, 2012 @ 04:30 PM Reply

Ambient music appeals to me because it often provides an atmosphere conducive to concentration.

I find it difficult to study while listening to most music because my brain is constantly analyzing it. Strong melodies distract me and take my mind off of the task at hand. Ambient music, however, enables me to really tune into what I'm doing. It calms my mind and tunes out the distractions around me. The genre lends itself to deep thinking.

Not to say that no ambient music is melodic, but I'm speaking in generalities here.

AmbientDanny
AmbientDanny
  • Member since: Sep. 5, 2011
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Aug. 3rd, 2012 @ 12:31 AM Reply

At 7/22/12 03:03 AM, The-iMortal wrote: Before I begin, I just want to state that I do not want to sound insultive here.

Okay, I have always wondered, "what is with ambient music?". I know it's great for movies and theatrics, but I know that a lot of people on Newgrounds actually like making ambient music for the sake of making ambient music. The reason I'm so curious, is because most people (myself included) prefer the catchy tunes... and the slow ballads, of course. But ambient music is different again. Hell, it's even more different to slow classical pieces. Personally, I find ambient music to be extremely boring due to lack of interesting and enjoyable melody. Hence, ambient music is like the last genre I'd make a track in. Again, I'm not trying to be insultive here. I'm just curious, because of my opinion above.

So, all ambient musicians, I ask you: why do you compose ambient music?

i make ambient music because for me it calms me down and i get this relaxing feeling. i'd rather have that than listening to lil wayne or nicki minaj when you get this careless mindless drunk feeling like all you care about is gettin drunk smoking w**d and having s** all day. i'd rather be calm or hell be meditaded. ambient music can sometimes get boring, but i dont mind because of how relaxing it is and how awesome its instruments sound like.

Onderwish
Onderwish
  • Member since: Jul. 14, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Aug. 3rd, 2012 @ 02:38 AM Reply

At 8/3/12 12:31 AM, AmbientDanny wrote:
At 7/22/12 03:03 AM, The-iMortal wrote: Before I begin, I just want to state that I do not want to sound insultive here.

Okay, I have always wondered, "what is with ambient music?". I know it's great for movies and theatrics, but I know that a lot of people on Newgrounds actually like making ambient music for the sake of making ambient music. The reason I'm so curious, is because most people (myself included) prefer the catchy tunes... and the slow ballads, of course. But ambient music is different again. Hell, it's even more different to slow classical pieces. Personally, I find ambient music to be extremely boring due to lack of interesting and enjoyable melody. Hence, ambient music is like the last genre I'd make a track in. Again, I'm not trying to be insultive here. I'm just curious, because of my opinion above.

So, all ambient musicians, I ask you: why do you compose ambient music?
i make ambient music because for me it calms me down and i get this relaxing feeling. i'd rather have that than listening to lil wayne or nicki minaj when you get this careless mindless drunk feeling like all you care about is gettin drunk smoking w**d and having s** all day. i'd rather be calm or hell be meditaded. ambient music can sometimes get boring, but i dont mind because of how relaxing it is and how awesome its instruments sound like.

I compose ambient music myself, and people wonder what is this genre right, composing ambient music is my way of expressing my emotions, there is just more then the simple sounds, its just way way more then that, i always like to compare it like water, for me ambient music is that water that flows in your imagination almost like purifying it like that water that streams on top of a untouched river slowly streaming down the mountain.

Gah i cant event describe, you have to really dig deep into your mind when you listen to a piece of ambient music , thats how you have to listen ambient, for every song has its own little adventure and mysteries

You really have to listen to one of my ambient songs to get it really...all my emotions coarse through ambient music.

here it is http//soundcloud.com/onderwish

Gobblemeister
Gobblemeister
  • Member since: Sep. 19, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 11
Musician
Response to Ambient Music - Why? Aug. 3rd, 2012 @ 02:44 AM Reply

If you like a genre of music because it 'helps you focus' on something that isn't the actual music then you probably don't really like it that much.