Ambient Music and Tension

I’m trying to finish up a 55 minute piece called ‘Rebirth’ that was ordered by my cousin for her child birth. That by itself was an interesting assignment. Anyway, with ambient music, there’s still a need for tension, long passages of reverb-saturated strings and so forth might make it all, let’s say, too sleepy.

So what I came up with was to introduce every 16 or eight bars an accentuation, something unexpected that happens. Mostly it’s a loop from my collection of athmosperic sounds I’ve collected along the way, but I only use a short bar, sometimes with a strong reverb, so it’s like an athmospheric cymbal that breaks up the song to some degree. Sometimes this is at the end of an eight-bar set, or in the beginning, this to avoid anything expected.

I need to mix it down and do critical listening, it might make the set too busy, so there’s always a place for middle ground. Anyway, it’s an interesting trick in case you are building ambient music, but it all sounds too much like a drone.

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