I don’t often have a itch to listen to Ambient music, but I have come across an artist that seems to have hit me in the right place at the right time. YouTube suggested one of his works, and gave it a shot.
It’s hard to say that I was blown away (that’s the thing about Ambient music, without rhythm and groove it must rely on the feeling it stirs) but I can say that I kept coming back and listening to it, and then listened to some of his other work, and then realized I had been listening to Blanket Swimming all week long. That’s how it gets you.
I’ve experimented with Ambient music before, but never really got into it. Perhaps I wasn’t in a place to appreciate it, or didn’t “get it”, or whatever. Further I am not saying that I am now into Ambient, but I have to admit, that the music created by Blanket Swimming got under my skin and I had to find out who this guy was.
First, his links.
From Bandcamp: Blanket Swimming is Nicholas Maloney, a sound artist from the American South. Since 2015, he has produced ambient music under the moniker Blanket Swimming, focusing on spontaneity, fluidity, texture, and presence.
From his own website: Nicholas Maloney is a sound artist currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds a MA in Experimental Sound Practice from University College Cork, Ireland and a BA in Recording Production from the University of Southern Mississippi. Working across a variety of aesthetics, Maloney’s work seeks to engage an expansion of perception through focused interaction and communion with medium. Maloney curates the labels Asonu, Warm Milk Recordings, and operates his self-publishing banner, Open Colour Imprint.
He has shorter pieces, and some longer, and some multiple hours long.
I started here. “Blanket Swimming – Precise Coordinates For An Endless Source Of Light”
I found it very soothing and hypnotic and with just enough of an ebb and flow to keep it from slipping out of consciousness. You hear it, you don’t have to concentrate, but you don’t forget it’s going on. The music reminds me of drifting or floating. Sometimes it seems like a bell that once rung keeps ringing and slowly decays and returns in slightly different waves. That’s the best I can describe it.
You can find enough of his work on his You Tube channel to check out and see for yourself if it moves you.
I found this interview with Nicholas Maloney that I think helps define his sound and goals. It helps give the sense that he is not just running loops and recording accidental sounds, that there is intention and purpose in what he does.
If you want to see an image of Nicholas performing and some folks listening that I think evokes the aesthetic of Blanket Swimming, it’s this video:
The lights and sounds all blend into the mood of the music. Not exactly a festival for the eyes, but I think it may give his work some context. Or, maybe you don’t want to see the sausage being made.
Either way, Blanket Swimming has become a favorite of mine.
Check him out on Bandcamp or his You Tube channel and see for yourself if it resonates with you.
I have been listening to “Blanket Swimming – Cloudland” over and over for a while. It’s a 10 hour piece.
Thanks for the music/sound/resonations Nicholas.