I've been thinking a lot about how and why ambient music became such a huge part of my life. It's been something I've been interested in since high school, though at the time, that was mostly because I didn't understand it and wanted to know why I didn't understand it. But it's only in the last few years that it has become a driving force. Watching this video, which is mostly just abstract flashes of movement and light, and is soundtracked by an excerpt from Marsen Jules’ album The Endless Change of Colour (out March 5th on 12k), I feel calm. It's not what I'm always looking for from ambient music, but when it's able to approximate meditation without going full-blown new age, I think it creates an interesting effect. For some, Jules' music might actually be unsettling, tense. I know the high school me would try ambient music and I'd sit there waiting for something to happen; when it didn't, I'd feel weird, incomplete. Maybe blame Radiohead's Kid A for that one (that's a whole other topic—but what a gateway that album was), or maybe just blame my relatively unformed mind. But Jules bypasses that by creating full-blown, lush compositions that have a sense of motion to them, even as they explore one texture infinitely.
February 06, 2013