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Interview

Ascendant p5

Ascendant musicians Chris Bryant (also a music producer) and Don Tyler (mastering engineer) talk about the Ambient Music Conference, and finding and developing new ambient artists for their label Synphaera Records…

READERSVOICE.COM: What was it like playing and attending the 2014 Ambient Music Conference in Helsinki and Espoo, Finland, where Ascendant made its European debut?

CHRIS BRYANT: I was actually co-organizer of this event! The AMC 2014 was created by myself and fellow ambient musician Steve Hart (Ambient Indigo) from Helsinki. Steve and I met online through the forum I run, ambientonline.org and decided it would be a good idea to hold an event that brought ambient musicians, enthusiasts, and fans from across the globe together to not only listen to ambient music, but to educate each other as well. We chose an exotic and beautiful environment (Finland) and invited the best artists we could find from Finland, USA and other places around the world.
From a musical, educational, and enjoyment perspective, our event was a total success. Don was unable to make the journey, but playing there, in front of my peers in that environment was a total honor. We chose an amazing venue and the main event went off without a hitch. Everyone who was there (and even those who weren’t) has asked when we are doing it again. Putting on events like this are a ton of work but perhaps when time, money and other factors align in the future we can do it all over again. Ultimately we’d like to make the AMC a series and travel around the world hosting it in different parts of the world. Someday…

RV: How do you find out about artists for Synphaera, like Mihail Glukhov from St Petersburg, Russia?

DON TYLER: It’s a combination of approaching people whose music we like, and then also people coming to us – some come direct, and some are introduced to us via other artists or labels. We’ve been fortunate with the artists who have trusted us with their music. We only release music that we believe in and stand by 100 per cent. It’s a collaborative relationship we have, and it’s become an extended group of family and friends. We bounce ideas and works-in-progress off each other. You couldn’t ask for a nicer bunch of people to share a mutual goal.

CHRIS BRYANT: Not only do I work with our current roster of artists, but I also seek out and train our “B-team” of artists who I believe have the talent to be on our label, but need “coaching” to reach the next level. This is a process I truly enjoy, and take pride in seeing an artist come from the outside, work hard honing their craft, and then eventually release on Synphaera. Our latest example of this was Synphaera artist Echo Season who I scouted from an Ambient Online Compilation album. I approached him, gave him some advice to improve his music and ten months later he released his debut album through us. His album Periphery has become one of our top selling albums of all time! That’s why I always say, if you think you’ve got what it takes, send us a demo! If it’s even remotely close to what we’re looking for, we can help you get there.

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