Ambient versus New Age
In another thread, Sykonee wrote:
|Originally posted by Sykonee |
And yeah, ambient and New Age tended to go hand-in-hand in the early years, sharing the same synthy attributes and atmosphere. Then New Age got... well, corny, a bit too focused on actual musicianship than simple droning synth sweeps. Least that's the divide between ambient and New Age that I found.
What about everybody else? How would you draw the line between the two genres?
I don't think one can point to a difference in instrumentation, since both ambient and New Age have completely "synthy" forms and completely organic, acoustic ones. It has always seemed to me that ambient has a stronger tendency to warp recordings and samples in a more pronounced way (going all the way back to Brian Eno*) than New Age does, but I could be wrong about that. Perhaps New Age is also more melody-focused than a lot of ambient.
Of course, it's entirely possible that some New Age music belongs under the broad umbrella of "ambient," but I really don't think that all of it does. For an obvious example: Yanni.
* Eno himself had a pretty negative view of New Age music, saying in an interview: "...like any other category of music, eg. 'classical', 'jazz', 'pop' or whatever, of course there is good and bad. In the New Age case, however, there is more bad than good because of the mindless use of electronics that current technology has given birth to - it has become very easy for anyone to produce a tape of blurring noises mixed with 'pretty' sounds and call it New Age. I realise I am partly responsible for this and regret the misunderstanding."
Last edited by Vector A on Jul-03-2012 at 17:35