Ascendant p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. The members of ambient group Ascendant, Don Tyler and Chris Bryant, are big on reading, and many of their favorites are mentioned in this interview. Check out Ascendant albums like Meridian and Particle Horizon on Youtube.

Chris Bryant and Don Tyler read everything from science fiction novels to esoteric and zen philosophy, to anthropology and Beat generation writers. Some of this reading inspires the scientific and esoteric themes that underpin their music. Their electronic soundscapes take the listener on an intriguing, transcendent journey. Don Tyler and Chris Bryant also founded Synphaera, a record label which releases some of the best ambient music available today.

READERSVOICE.COM: When you look at people’s comments on Ascendant albums on Bandcamp, it seems like everyone has different favorite songs from each album. (And some like different albums the most.) But what to you makes an interesting and good piece of music when you create it?

DON TYLER: A piece that makes you feel something. That initial feeling has to be there — there has to be a connection. We often have a story or concept in mind before we start, and the execution of that intent needs to be felt by the listener.

CHRIS BRYANT: Many times, the best pieces are the ones that just magically happen, so to speak. Minimal effort required. Almost like you were writing something that has already been written in the stars. It’s a very transcendent feeling. We become sonic archeologists of the past while writing music in the future.

RV: Do you try to create definite pictures in listeners’ minds with particular songs or do you like people to see whatever they want to see regardless of the subjects of the songs? Like in Glass Desert, from the singles album Outlets of the Sky, you have one effect that to me sounds like some kind of reptile in the desert at night, then another effect sounds like a satellite or stars passing overhead.

DON TYLER: Yes. This is widescreen, panoramic music. We’ll decide on a place, time, or concept, and then come up with the sounds and music that paints that picture, or evokes the scene or concept. By the time we’re done with an album, we’re seeing the big picture, but we don’t spell it out – the subjective interpretation of the listener, that discovery, is all part of the journey.

CHRIS BRYANT: Don is the conceptual guy in the duo…I’m more of the inspirational one with the astrological insight. Together we create these worlds. Sometimes they are very visible especially if we have a concept going in. When we go deeper, we channel worlds yet unseen and let our travels through the void bring out those details. From the darkness and the unknown, that’s where our creativity lies.

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