Ambience is an atmospheric genre of music, influenced by everything from movie soundtracks to electronic experimental music to synthesiser technology. There are masterpieces like the analog Blade Runner Blues by Vangelis; and Moments in Love by Art of Noise. And there are many subgenres of ambient music like space music, which conjures up images of drifting through space, to computer game soundtrack-influenced pieces. Brin Coleman’s music uses synthesisers to create atmospheric but intense pieces. As well as Bing Satellites, he also records under the names The Lovely Moon, The Ambient Visitor and Blocker. Currently, he plays keyboards in Daniel Land’s new band, and they have an album out called In Love with a Ghost. See Youtube to listen to some of Bing Satellites’ chilled out but intense tones.
READERSVOICE.COM: In your Bing Satellites album Twilight Sessions Volume 20, your music is totally improvised. Do you picture scenes in your head, like looking out of a passenger jet like on the album cover, and match the sounds to them? How do you compose your songs?
BRIN COLEMAN: For Twilight Sessions and some other recordings, it really is a case of playing a few notes into a long (maybe 90 seconds or so), slowly decaying loop and seeing where the music takes me. They are completely improvised. My mood, the situation and my surroundings will alter what notes I play and how I play them, but I rarely have any preconceived notion of what I want to do. It gives me a great deal of freedom and makes me very productive. I can discover new things this way that I could not in trying to create a particular sound or mood.
The covers for my albums generally follow once the music is complete. In this case, the photo I took of Greenland in twilight on my way back from the US suited the music. The photo was taken four months after the music was complete.
RV: Do you sometimes recreate sounds using synthesisers, like the whining of jets at an airport which I thought I heard on Extensions of Reality?
BC: Not intentionally but I’ll use any sound I think is interesting to listen to. I use the guitar a lot (probably more than many listeners realise) and with that, and synths, I find myself more and more making sounds that’s don’t involve notes as such but are interesting to listen to.
Extensions of Reality is made up of layers of different recordings. The way they interact can also create interesting audio effects.
RV: Did the recording of Twilight Sessions Volume 20 take a lot longer than the album length of time? Was there a lot of editing involved, or did you just do it in one hit?
BC: They are very quick to record which is why there are now twenty of them! Each track is a separate one take recording. In fact, Twilight Sessions volume 20 and Perpetual Motion were both recorded in the same week in August 2016 in my newly rewired studio, in exactly the same way. I just felt that there were two groups of tracks that needed to be on two separate albums.
I might improve the sound quality in the edit and add fade outs and this last Twilight Sessions albums had a few clicks that crept in from somewhere that I needed to smooth out – general mastering, but that’s it – what you hear is what I played.
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-copyright Simon Sandall.