Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient
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Ambient / Downtempo Discussion of music similar to Brian Eno, Sigur Rós, FSOL, The Orb, Biosphere.

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Old 11-04-2017, 09:49 AM   #1
SifrShraddha
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Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

Hello to everyone,

I had an idea to start a topic that will consider an issue of a ritualistic element, or approach, within dark ambient music genre. Everyone who is dwelling in this sort of a musical expression is more then welcome to start a discussion here. Artists are more then welcome, in order to share their thoughts, experiences, ideas and goals.
What are your thoughts on this subject?
Do you think a ritual element fits well into dark ambient?
Are those who add some ritual elements into their music must have a religious background in order to justify their art?

If you find this topic interesting, let us make in even more interesting!

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Old 11-04-2017, 11:44 AM   #2
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

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Originally Posted by SifrShraddha View Post
Do you think a ritual element fits well into dark ambient?
I think ritualistic and dark ambient go hand in hand, look for example at how many dark ambient/death industrial acts call their live concerts Ritual or Rites.

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Originally Posted by SifrShraddha View Post
Are those who add some ritual elements into their music must have a religious background in order to justify their art?
It depends, it doesn't have to be a traditional religious ritual, you can mix n match in Chaos Magic style, make up your own ritual, follow the ritual of any type of cult, but you might as well make a song with a ritualistic feel to it and just write it as you go...

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Old 11-04-2017, 03:44 PM   #3
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

Yes. I too agree that dark ambient is closely connected to a ritualistic atmosphere.
It made me thing that there must me some sort of a religious background of an individual. An artist who is going for a real and deep ritualistic atmosphere must have a feeling for what he is doing. That means the person who is in his personal life devoted, to some expent, to the practice of some sort (magic, rites etc) will inevitably produce a deeper and more meaningful music. What is you oppinion?
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Old 11-04-2017, 07:22 PM   #4
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

I remember the last time I delved into ritual ambient I ended up listening to all sorts of weird neo-nazi stuff by accident. It seems like ritual ambient slowly bleeds into NSBM or something

It's all stupid, IMO. People are bored with their music, so they have to make something either shocking or esoteric out of it to conjure up a cult following

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Old 11-04-2017, 08:27 PM   #5
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

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I remember the last time I delved into ritual ambient I ended up listening to all sorts of weird neo-nazi stuff by accident. It seems like ritual ambient slowly bleeds into NSBM or something

It's all stupid, IMO. People are bored with their music, so they have to make something either shocking or esoteric out of it to conjure up a cult following
It makes sense that people are willing to do anything to get more fans or even followers. But there is another side to adding ritual elements in dark ambient music. If someone goes into that because it is a part of his everyday life, that is totally difirent story from the one where an artist add something to make his music more ''interesting'' or ''shociking''. It means that he creates for other, not for the sake of art.

About neo-nazi stuff, yes, it is true that there are a lot of projects/bands building their image around nazi occult stuff. That again is not their own creation, it is more a reflexion of the past.
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:04 PM   #6
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

I think that all goes back to Lustmord (arguably the beginning of dark ambient) in the early 80s and Williams' use of things like Tibetan chants and whatnot alongside the low field ambient drones as counterpoint and contrast. I can't argue that it's not evocative - ritual, esotery and mystery all tend to go hand in hand. There's a real element of Otherness at work in that the mysterious is seen as outside mainstream as well as a mirroring of traditional values while still set apart. I think it captivates the imagination in a parallel way to the abstraction of ambience and drone.

As for people that are really into their religion and making music based around it...yeah, sure, fine. I don't have to be Catholic to enjoy Bach's Mass in B minor or Mozart's Requiem. The question of whether music of that quality and depth could have been made outside the framework of their beliefs is mostly historical and academic - the answer is a resounding 'no', but mostly because of sociopolitical reasons. As to current dark ambient, I don't see any reason that you have to be involved with or believe in the ritual itself to make ritualistic music. If you do then that's fine, but I don't think being into Golden Dawn/OTO/Church of Satan/Southern Baptist/whatever mysticism stuff means you make better dark ambient.

That said, I personally find it all pretty goofy. The only ritual I adhere to is brushing my teeth twice a day. I have little time or interest in manufactured evil or mystery, especially when it's rooted in showmanship. Given that I don't care for or pay attention to the actual content of the ritualism, manufactured or otherwise, I don't think an artist (me, mostly) needs to believe in any of the content to make something meaningful or with context - in fact, I find that some of the most interesting juxtapositions happen when individual elements that are normally defined by their context (ie rituals) are taken out of it and used for other purposes.
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:25 PM   #7
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

I think a lot of things about electronic music already feel ritualistic despite the intention of the musician. It isn't a stretch to focus in on those things and enhance that notion. Whether it is repetitive rhythms and phrase, drones, chants call and response, focus on percussion. The DJ as shaman (as lame as that might sound to some). The tribal nature of a rave. The rituals of a rave. For myself I straddle a line between believing the realness (for lack of a better term) of these observations and thinking of them as academic analogies.

I also have at times felt like electronic music--sequenced synth, sampler, drum machine music--is a medium through which I'm able to express some kind of pre-cognative, lizard brain stuff that just doesn't work in words (writer by trade). But about half the time I call bull shit on that.

I know I'm not strictly speaking about Dark Ambient here, but there you have it.

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Old 13-04-2017, 10:38 AM   #8
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

Interesting oppinions I must say. Anyone can add whatever he thinks is fitting well into the music, but that was not a focus point upon I wished to bulid up the conversation. It was more around the question - should the one who is add something ritualistic into his/her work do it as a means to reflect his own life? If that would not be the case, then we have a situation that is pritty sad, by my oppinion, for those people who create music just for the sake of fun are really not those how do it fo ''from the bottom of their hearts'' so to speak. It would be unfitting and not appropriate that those who are into music just to feel good, or to have some ''nice weekend time'' being in a club etc. should be called ''artists''. Not that I am condemning anyone, of course, it is just my point of view.
That is one of the issues I would like to adress and discuss with you guys - should ritualistic elements in dark ambient (in this case) strive for something more then just ''well fitting elements''.
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Old 13-04-2017, 02:15 PM   #9
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

So music cant be art if there is no "ritual" involved on the part of the artist?

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Old 13-04-2017, 03:58 PM   #10
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

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So music cant be art if there is no "ritual" involved on the part of the artist?
Music can't be art if the end result is fun. An entertainment and artistic approach towards creating are not going hand in hand, at least by my opinion. Behind every great artistic deed (no need to mention great names of music from history) is not the one who was ''just playing'' or doing a hobby stuff. Ritual could be, or not - it depends on a person, a suitable form of expressing deeper meaning in music.
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Old 27-08-2017, 07:51 PM   #11
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

I still remember masked ball scene from the movie "eyes wide shut"! Jocelyn Pook did that score...I am making somethig similar! why not but not sure if someone hire me to make really music for someones ritual? would that be wise?
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Old 28-08-2017, 08:50 PM   #12
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

Hello,

Could you quote a few examples ?

Caithness ? Metatron Omega ? Halo Manash ? InLaKesh ? Byron Metcalf & Mark Seelig ?

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I still remember masked ball scene from the movie "eyes wide shut"! Jocelyn Pook did that score...
I like so much this scene and this tune (and all the album "Flood")

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I am making somethig similar!
Should like to hear it....
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Old 29-08-2017, 06:08 AM   #13
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

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Hello,

Could you quote a few examples ?

Caithness ? Metatron Omega ? Halo Manash ? InLaKesh ? Byron Metcalf & Mark Seelig ?


I like so much this scene and this tune (and all the album "Flood")


Should like to hear it....
I cannot post links,I am new user but type Ogor on youtube and type song called dark ritual it is made after magic the gathering trading card game! Ogor - Dark Ritual! my channel is Haron Ludetsky so feel free to "take an eye" on it! it is made in fruity loops,and I am still searching for good strings sample cos I cannot afford better vst at this moment!
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:57 PM   #14
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Re: Ritualistic approach in Dark Ambient

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Originally Posted by SifrShraddha View Post
Music can't be art if the end result is fun.
Fun and seriousness are intertwined. Even Shakespeare's darkest plays have a little comic relief here and there, just like the best comedians usually build from real personal pain.

One way isn't in itself better than the other in my opinion, humour and tragedy are just different ways of illuminating the same thing: the human experience. The quality of the art depends on the ability and effort of the artist, not on the style of his expression.

Now I'm not saying you should make dark ambient with fart jokes, although that might actually be fun, but I think that consciously including contrasts in your work often gives better results. If everything is dark all the time, the darkness somehow becomes less interesting.

Last edited by Iyashi Sound; 08-09-2017 at 02:18 PM..

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