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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Reviews, Reports and Interviews
dreamSTATE - Between Realities
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mosc
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Joined: Jan 31, 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 10:45 am    Post subject: dreamSTATE - Between Realities Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Between Realities
Between Realities is a pure ambient music CD by dreamSTATE, Canadian artists Scott McGregor Moore and Jamie Todd. I say "pure" ambient because there are no beats, melodies, grooves, dramatic gestures; just a continuous wash of beautiful relaxing soundscapes.

The interesting thing about this CD is that it was a live recording of a gallery presentation using the Calrec Soundfield microphone. This microphone is quite unique; capable of recording in 360 degrees for full surround using a technique called Ambisonics. I don't believe the Ambisonic technique was used for this CD, but instead a figure 8 pattern was employed; a good choice for a stereo recording.

The piece was performed at the H5 Project, a holographic gallery on Queen Street East in Toronto's Beaches area. The recording was made in 1997. The music was played through four monitors. The sounds were played on 3 minidisk players that played tracks randomly creating unplanned polyphony, but the tracks were designed for this. The resulting sound is quite good; there are no wacky unexpected combinations.

Recording Configuration
Making recordings of music played back through speakers in a reverberant room is risky business. One would normally expect to get a very muddy and highly colored result. But this recording exceptional; its an example of very refined recording skill. I'd even have to say that the "room tone" adds to the texture of the soundscapes quite nicely.

Not only is the room tone pleasant, but there are great additions made
by the ambient sounds natural to the gallery. These include the sounds of distant traffic, spoken words, birds, etc. When listening to this CD in my studio, I found it hard to determine if sounds I was hearing were from the composers' sources, the ambience of the gallery, or the ambience of my own room. I've got birds outside my windows too. This makes the recording interesting, something I find lacking in many ambient projects.

I think Between Realities may go down as a classic ambient recording of this period. Check out dreamSTATE's web site for more information.

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