Times are a changing. Trying to deal with it all can be quite overwhelming, especially if you were someone just coasting along, living on the sidelines and now are thrust onto the frontlines. Don’t burn yourself out. Listening to some relaxing neo-classical or ambient music can help with a reset and Irish composer Peter J, real name Peter Jones, has a new album out now that should allow you slip away from all of this for a little bit. The 8-track project Carrying Glass is lush and melancholic, often built around slowing strings with the occasional fluttering piano to accompany.
We chatted with Jones about the process of making this album, ambient music and the power it has in times like these.
1. Why do you think ambient music is having such a big moment right now?
I think ambient music can be a peaceful, sometimes hopeful, escape from the everyday sensationalism people are experiencing right now. Isolation seems to be bringing about a wave of reflection in many people and ambient music facilitates introspection more so than other genres.
2. What is a big challenge of making contemporary classical music that is both soothing, but also interesting for an entire project?
In my case the work needs to ebb and flow, moving from chordal textural clusters to a more melodic or rhythmic structure keeps the pieces from becoming stale or stagnant. Dynamic variance, instrument choice and a variety of instrumental techniques all contribute to a more compelling work.
3. What do you take from your own work on radio, podcasts etc into your own solo work?
To date I would say my solo work is often in contrast to any of my work appearing on radio etc, which often requires a more commercial touch. Releasing an independent solo album allows for much greater freedom of expression in structure and tonality. However, I’d like to see this album’s style make it’s way into more commercial endeavors in the future.
4. Why did you do a solo album now and what was the first idea behind it?
Carrying Glass is the amalgamation of over a year’s worth of compositional work. Originally intended as an EP, current circumstances led to its expansion and pushed it over the finish line. It was always the intention to portray themes of anxiety, isolation and hope in Carrying Glass. This feels even more apt in current times.
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