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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Gatenby

Who in their right mind would release an ambient Instrumental EP?

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

Well, it's a good question.

But there is method to the madness and luckily releasing "Quadrivium" has been a very positive experience for me in these uncertain times.

The seeds were planted early in 2021. If you recall from my earlier blog the year started with some personal and family challenges regarding the care of my dear Dad who is battling Parkinson's Disease.

Out of this period came "100 Pieces" and "100 Ghosts", two pieces I'm very proud of but following their release I was keen to move on to some slightly more positive and simpler compositions.

I'd also been listening to some different stuff, 70s ambient and electronica, two of the more uncool genres! but I wanted to experiment.

So from these experiments focusing on texture, simple form and melody, and electronica the four compositions that make up "Quadrivium" started to take shape and although each one was stylistically a little different I felt a commonality between them in their textures and simple structures.

And so this crazy thought of releasing an Instrumental EP started to form in my mind.

Of course hanging over all our heads for the past 18 months has been COVID. As someone who derives their whole income from performing I've had plenty of spare time, and writing music has been the best distraction from the uncertainty.

In truth the main impetus for me to share this music and release the EP was to have an everlasting reminder to myself that I hadn't wasted this period, that although it's been an incredibly tough time for me and my family and friends I can walk away with something to feel good about, something positive from a really shit time.

And I think that is kind of reflected in the music, it's calm and definitely has ambient qualities and I think the fact I was writing to comfort myself comes through. I hope people get that vibe when they listen to the songs.

As always thoughts and images of my home state Tasmania are always an inspiration and the titles such as "South West" and "Heartland" are a direct reflection of that.

"Magpie On The Gallows" is a little more minimalist and edgy than the others but the EP is better for the contrast.

And "Awakening" is exactly that, a positive piece, a step in a new direction and a realisation that maybe I've got more to offer than just belting out tunes at the pub.

So I decided to put it out there, all DIY except the mastering which Paul Fox form Indie Masters here in Melbourne has done an amazing job with.

As usual all the artistic self doubt creeps in, is it crap? will anyone listen? should I just not bother? No one gives a shit about Instrumental Music let alone Ambient music!

To offset these kind of thoughts I released "Heartland" as a single 2 weeks prior to the EP, totally prepared to call the whole thing off if people were indifferent or told me I was crap. Fortunately they didn't and I went through with the EP release.

And now, sitting here a week after releasing "Quadrivium" I am blown away by the response, that people have taken the time to listen, comment and purchase this music means so much to me and has made me feel a sense of optimism and pride in a period where these Covid lockdowns could've sapped the life out of me and destroyed my soul.

So thank you everyone.....and if you took the time to read this thank you again.

So to answer the question "who in their right mind would release an Ambient Instrumental EP?"

Me..... and I'm much better for the experience..... who knows what's next.

I should add that I still love Rock and Roll more than anything, It's just not much fun to make on your own, but I look forward to getting something happening again in that direction when the time is right and we can leave the house.


Listen to "Quadrivium" on Spotify

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