It has been a while since I’ve posted about new music here. Some of you may know that while I’m primarily a writer, I also tinker with ambient music. I release solo works as Venus Vulture, but I am also one half of the band Shadows on the Snow, with Kendall Keeler of December Nightskies. We trade files back and forth, building up tracks that way (Kendall’s based in the U.S, I live in New Zealand. Our plans to meet up earlier this year were put on hold thanks to the pandemic).
We have two new releases, available now from Bandcamp.
The first is Shadows in the Architecture. One long, evolving track, complemented by three shorter tracks.
I really like this one. Unusual. Experimental. Quirky, even.
I’m especially happy with the cover. That’s taken from a building near where I live. Photographed around sunset, with the strange light and shadows highlighted. It feels appropriate for the release.
The second is Vapor Release. Again, a long evolving track that goes through several phases.
Kendall and I are fans of dark, moody tracks and I feel that this one really exemplifies where we’re at with our approach to music.
Kendall also collaborates with Charlie Naked, release music as Something Like Squids – check out those releases, all available through the December Nightskies Bandcamp page.
Naturally, most of the words I post here are about my writing. That’s my main focus. But from time to time, there are other creative things that happen.
It’s been a while since Kendall and I had some new music out from out Shadows on the Snow project. Things have slowed down as we’ve both focused on other things.
But here we are, with a new album out on Studio 4632.
The Bristol Morton Equation is three tracks of long, evolving patterns, subtle repetition and, we hope, surprising moments.
Thanks to Candy from Studio 4632 for putting the release out. Available now to stream or download from Bandcamp.
In the meantime, I am working on writing always. Lately I’ve been producing lots of short stories. It’s an interesting shift from novels. Also working on preparing the files for the updated releases of The Hidden Dome trilogy. Plan to have all those out at the start of August. Also working on final edits to Gold Embers, the third of the Chronicles of The Donner series. Yes, I have too many series, and I need to do a better job of tracking them.
I’m still writing a post a week for Pro Writers Writing, which keeps me on my toes. I’m going to be away for a while later in the year, so I need to get well ahead on that to have a few posts in the bank. Heading off to Papua New Guinea, Korea and Taiwan. Should be able to do some great story research there. Looking forward.
Thanks for reading.
In between all the traveling and novel writing and trying to get my head around the general oddness of the world, I neglected to mention that the Zenapolæ netlabel released my Venus Vulture album Air and Eyes in May. I’m grateful to Arnd for curating this collection of five tracks – in this case effectively becoming producer as we whittled the number of tracks, and worked a couple into better shape.
I’ve always made music to listen to while I write. It usually turns out that I can’t listen to my own stuff more than, say, once, but that’s okay, there’s more out there, including lots from my labelmates on Zenapolæ.
Air and Eyes is a free download.
While for the most part I pursue writing as my main creative outlet, from time to time I also create ambient music.
With Kendall Keener of December Nightskies I make up one half of Shadows on the Snow. We exchange music back and forth, remixing snippets of each others work to create something new. Most of our combined music appears on archive.org, some on netlabels and occasional pieces appearing on compilations.
Solo I make music as Venus Vulture. My latest release is Muscari TZ.-1. The long, ambient tracks, with deep levels of repetition. I’m a fan of FM3’s Buddha Machine, so much of my recent music has reflected some of that repetition aesthetic.
I first started writing music because I liked having something in the background while I wrote stories. I couldn’t find enough, so Venus Vulture was born.
Musicari TZ.-1 is available on Bandcamp. You can stream it there. If you’ve read this and it sounds like you might like a listen, PM me/comment and I’ll send you a free download link sometime in late May.
Kendall-my Shadows on the Snow bandmate- has a solo adventure as December Nightskies. Prolific ambient musician that he is, he has numerous releases on various netlabels – Haze, Petroglyph, Zenapolae, etc.
His latest release, however, is a physical CD from This Winter Will Last Forever. Kendall’s CD is right at the edge of the label’s usual fare, which tends more toward the metal end of the music spectrum. I guess the dark-metal, dark-ambient collision makes for a good fit.
Anyway, after many years of collaborating with Kendall, and listening to numerous downloads of his, it was very cool to listen to a physical CD. Yes I do like CDs.
Rainbowdrone fits right there with my list of “music to write to”, or perhaps Eno’s “interesting enough to be engaging, discreet enough to be ignored” (I can’t find the exact quote). An hour of background drones, at times deep and dark, at other lighter. Perfect to put on to unwind, chill, relax. Or write to.
When I first began listening to ambient music it came from a love of that background soundscape that worked well with my writing. It’s cool to personally know someone who’s creating exactly that.
Rainbowdrone is available for €7 from This Winter Will Last Forever’s store.
Kendall’s been busy again, keeping up the releases from our band Shadows on the Snow. This one has sounds mostly by me, recrafted and textured brilliantly by Kendall. This is the kind of thing I like about our collaboration – how we each bring in something new.
You can download Ganymede for free from archive.org.
Check out Kendall’s new December Nightskies album Rainbowdrone from This Winter Will Last Forever records.
To check out the full catalogue of Shadows on the Snow releases, see archive.org – here.
With some upcoming writing news any day now, it’s cool to have some music news.
By day I’m a writer, by night I tinker with ambient music as Venus Vulture. There are a few Venus Vulture releases around, as well as numerous collaboration albums with Kendall of December Nightskies as Shadows on the Snow. I’m also grateful to Kendall for steering me toward some compilations (like this one).
The lastest Venus Vulture track, ‘Basalt Arches’, is out now on the Xernex compilation Into Hidden Visions – a free download from Bandcamp. My track’s a slight departure for me; less drone, more busy-ness. There are even some drums.
There’s quite a line up of artists there. I’m pleased to be able to discover some new people and new sounds.
Here’s the list, taken from discogs (link also includes more images).
Various – Into Hidden Visions, Label: Xernex – XE40
1 –December Nightskies – Then Darkness Covered The Land 05:29
2 –Badrich – Bog Corpse 06:15
3 –Grodock – Abgleiten 04:21
4 –Visqueen (2) – Downers 03:35
5 –ELMA – The bridge 03:35
6 –BERTHELOT Perturbateurs endocriniens 05:53
7 –Jimmy Watt – Caronte on the banks of the seventh sea 06:36
8 –ZUMAIA – Intense Drama 02:11
9 –Twilight Of Emptiness – Black Stars 03:24
10 –Paranoid Movement – The Hunt 05:12
11 –Venus Vulture – Basalt Arches 03:32
12 –Nebelwächter, Thomas Bannier – Birdtalker 05:24
13 –Thlaaflaa – The Gospel 04:46
14 –Goat tunnel – Last Sorrow Drained 06:29
15 –VAULT (6) – Eridamus Weeping 06:10
16 –[ówt krì] – Attention 04:33
17 –Krāllār – Faster 02:29
18 –L_Arsenne – Âme noire 05:19
19 –No-Joy – Sperma 05:11
20 –PKWST – Untitled 04:06
I’m pleased to have the Venus Vulture track “A Sidelong Glance Reminds Jeanne of the Time She Lost Her Keys” appearing on the ScriptSound Recordings “Environments” compilation. This is a new venture for me – into some darker and busier sound work – and I’m pleased to say I feel right at home with the other artists there. Some familiar names too – nobodisounz, December Nighskies (thanks Kendall for the pointer).
It’s a free download from archive.org.
1. La Horde Poliorcétique – Berthelot
2. A Sidelong Glance Reminds Jeanne Of The Time She Lost Her Keys – Venus Vulture
3. If I Were Invisible – Ricky Tesla & The Noise Generator
4. A Temporary Thing – Ricky Tesla & The Noise Generator
5. Spirits At The Crossroads – Ian Quiet
6. Consumed By Midnight – December Nightskies
7. Strangers In A Foreign Land – Ricky Tesla & The Noise Generator
8. Low Matter – nobodisoundz
9. Liberation – Dr. NoiseM
10. Abandoned Machinery Succumbing To Nature – Ricky Tesla & The Noise Generator
11. Esthetique Des Publicites Lumineuses – Painful Defecation
12. Matanza – 5ebuts
13. Sleepless Hysteria – Sir Edgar Carpenter
Kendall Keeler of December Nightskies has put together another compilation of ambient and dark ambient tracks.
Behemoth has 21 tracks by various artists, including my own Venus Vulture track “Components From Air Filter Residue, Daytona Speedway, February 2016”. One of my longer pieces – a little over 14 minutes – that I hope covers a lot of ground, while still being very unobtrusive.
I also sneak in with a Shadows on the Snow (my collaboration with Kendall) track “The Snake is on the Prowl”.
This follows Kendall’s Leviathan compilation from October/November last year. Many of the same artists return. This is shaping up to be a fine series of eclectic sounds. I’m honored to be a part of it.
Behemoth tracklisting – total time is almost 3 hours
1. BERTHELOT – La caverne du Behemoth
2. December Nightskies – Heaven Or Hell
3. Ari Porki – A Great And Mighty
4. Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt – Short Poem For Aretha Cooper
5. eisenlager – NCC-1701
6. Venus Vulture – Components From Air Filter Residue, Daytona Speedway, February 2016
7. Everything From Nothing And Head Joint – The Revolutioner’s Dream
8. Gun Urrainn – Discontact
9. Globoscuro – The Glowing Eye Of NGC 6751
10. Something Like Squids – Imaginary Fireflies (Excerpt)
11. Pixyblink – Observer J
12. nobodisoundz – blakk solarsolstice
13. Shadows On The Snow – The Snake Is On The Prowl
14. Hilyard – Exodus
15. Robert G. Rough- 42 Days (Part 3)
16. CNTV – Renace
17. December Nightskies With Scott Lawlor – The Judgement Of Satan (Excerpt)
18. Mach Feedback – A Fool For Illusions
19. Oystein Jorgensen – Cold Wave
20. VAULT – Presents for Katherine
21. Sir Edgar Carpenter – Perversis
So mostly I’m talking about writing here, but on occasion I have some of my music as Venus Vulture show up.
My ambient track “Night of Cerulean Sharks” has just come out on Petroglyph Music‘s Leviathan compilation from Kendall Keener of December Nightskies. I’m stoked to be included among such a cool group of ambient and experimental musicians.
It’s available to stream from Petroglyph Music’s Bandcamp site, and for free download through Archive.org.