Ambient music for insomniacs like me ;-)
Lately, I’ve been having some trouble not only to get some sleep but especially to start sleeping. As mentionned by Edward Norton in Fight Club, nothing can be worse than never being completely awake nor completely asleep. I try to find music with birds but too often they were coming with an awful male voice that made laugh more than it made me relaxed. After digging for some new ambient records as I always do, I found a nice collaboration between dark ambient and music film artist Lustmord and Robert Rich entitled Stalker, released in 1995. Afterwards, I dug some of the stuff that Rich, a composer for the last 30 years had made and stumbled upon an amazing DVD release called : Somnium, a single continuous track separated into three parts, a 7-hour sleep concert recording. For the record: this is the longest piece of continuous music ever produced. Over 7 hours of Robert Rich’s best, beautiful ambient works. the music on this album was composed to influence the dreams and pre-REM hypnogogic visions of the listener. For this purpose it is suggested that the volume be kept down to the threshold of perceptibility, ideally with speakers surrounding the listener’s bed. Rich also recommends this album for conventional listening. For a brief period at the beginning of the album there is a slightly more active texture while the listener adjusts the volume and settles down to sleep. As the music progresses it slowly drifts through a variety of electronic drones as well as acoustic source material and nature recordings. The third and final track gradually fades into a morning atmosphere filled with bird songs.
Water effects drift in and out of heavenly chords. Birds sing and nature calls. This piece of music is wonderful, absorbing ambience. There is nothing decayed or dead here; everything is working in harmony. Changes in sound are so subtle that you find yourself in different landscapes without realising it. Part 1, a perfect countryside walk which lasts for days. You slowly venture into a mutating forest… Part 2: a visit to underground caverns filled with sparkling crystals and unknown wonders. Part 3, you are floating through space on an endless voyage to nowhere, occasionally being brought back down to Earth to enter calming forests with the alluring sound of birdcall brushing your conciousness.
In order to allow for the album’s seven-hour length it was released on the DVD-video format instead of DVD-Audio. For insomniacs or just ambient heads alike…Essential.
Robert Rich : Somnium / Hypnos : 2001 : Part 3 (Divided here in IV parts it is the part IV) 144:45 minutes