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Vector A
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2011
Location: U.S.
Ambient versus New Age

In another thread, Sykonee wrote:
quote:
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 18:35

Old Post Jul-03-2012 18:11  United States
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Sykonee
Supreme EMCritic



Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Vancouver, Canada

The distinction I found was New Age music has jazz-like elements to it; say, a lute diddling over running water. Though there's a calm, relaxing atmosphere, you still get a sense of an actual musician in that environment, whom you're watching.

Ambient music simply paints a canvas with sound. It makes the listener a part of that environment, rather than a spectator.

(and, gee man, you could'a linked to the thread )


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Old Post Jul-03-2012 18:22  Canada
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SYSTEM-J
Ambient Produce Unit



Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Leeds

I would say the difference is primarily in the attitudes and scene surrounding the music, as opposed to strictly musical attributes. New Age is a "spiritual movement" and New Age music is simply music that embodies or associates itself with New Age beliefs. There is no single musical characteristic you could definitively say all New Age music has that all ambient doesn't, and vice versa.


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Old Post Jul-03-2012 18:27  England
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zyklon-jay
The Real Henry Hill



Registered: Oct 2011
Location: Ici William Bumbray du service de police de la communauté urbaine de Montréal Esti.

I've always wanted to hit Yanni in the face with a shovel. Man that guy annoys the piss out of me.

Old Post Jul-03-2012 18:35 
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Vector A
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2011
Location: U.S.

New Age: music that makes you want to hit its creator in the face with a shovel?

Old Post Jul-03-2012 18:47  United States
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zyklon-jay
The Real Henry Hill



Registered: Oct 2011
Location: Ici William Bumbray du service de police de la communauté urbaine de Montréal Esti.

Nou makes Ambient no?

Old Post Jul-03-2012 18:50 
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Vector A
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2011
Location: U.S.

Yeah, he makes ambient, or used to at least.

Old Post Jul-03-2012 18:54  United States
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zyklon-jay
The Real Henry Hill



Registered: Oct 2011
Location: Ici William Bumbray du service de police de la communauté urbaine de Montréal Esti.

So the hit in the face with a shovel description remains ambiguous to both genres and therefore can not be used to differentiate one from the other. We are totally like scientists.

Old Post Jul-03-2012 19:43 
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Omar Little
Senior tranceaddict



Registered: Jun 2010
Location: baltimore

so good...


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Old Post Jul-03-2012 20:02  United States
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Titanium
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: May 2009
Location: Your Mom

I thought something like this is new Age well its new age piano.

Old Post Jul-03-2012 23:48 
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lostpsyte
tranceaddict



Registered: Jan 2012
Location: Melbourne

So does anyone have any new age albums they could recommend?

After listening to that mix, it seems like shpongle & the infinity project('s ambient stuff) etc seems to be quite a bit influenced by new age stuff as well as ambient/dub. Which I found interesting.

Old Post Jul-05-2012 11:45  Australia
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chode_breath
Junior tranceaddict



Registered: Aug 2011
Location: London

The difference between the two is like the difference between trance and euro trance/dance. The line is often thin but when it's crossed you'll probably know.

Old Post Jul-05-2012 12:48  United Kingdom
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