Astral Truth Window


Stylized image of a tea-tree tunnel on the Two Bays walking Track, Cape Schanck, Victoria, Australia


My wife Tina and I make contemplative ambient music as Astral Truth Window. We also use this name for some tracks I made years ago which are being released now for the first time.

The image above is a colour-altered, reverse-fish-eye version of a photo of a tea tree tunnel at the Two Bays walking track at Cape Schanck, Victoria, Australia (Google Maps).  Here is a raw camera image of the real thing.

Robin Whittle rw@firstpr.com.au 6 November 2018  ©

BandCamp

https://astraltruthwindow.bandcamp.com


YouTube

We have four slow-moving videos at the Astral Truth Window YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOZ0AfEcx93zLrJeEjsGw8w


SoundCloud

https://soundcloud.com/atwindow

or follow these links to the pages there for individual tracks, which we released as an album The Vasty Deep in late October 2018:

In Any Millennium

Spare Luxury

Tanglefoot Approach

The Fountains of Xabulon 7



The SoundCloud app for Android (and presumably iOS) can also play these tracks - search for Astral Truth Window.  As far as we know, these apps do not show the text descriptions or any comments for each of the tracks.  Likewise viewing the web pages with a browser on a cellphone or tablet.  To view the SoundCloud pages properly, you will need a desktop computer.


Streaming services

These are via http://distrokid.com:

Spotify

Deezer

Tidal

Napster


Music retailers

These are via http://distrokid.com:

Amazon

Apple Music / iTunes
 


Other pages at this site

tav/
8 variations of Tanglefoot Approach.
hq/
256kbps MP3s of the above tracks. suitable for podcasters, DJs etc.


The meaning of "Truth Window"

A "truth window" is a special kind of window built into the interior wall of a straw-bale house, to show what the walls are constructed of. Google images link.

If the aspects of the Universe we most obviously connect with are a physical plane of existence, sharing the x, y, z and time coordinates with other things in a somewhat related "astral" plane, then it would be interesting to find such a window since it might gave us insights into the workings of that adjacent plane as well as our own. 

The workings of our physical world are a profound mystery.  For instance, how and why do particles of matter behave like waves when they are moving at a well defined velocity, including being diffracted by slits and gratings far larger than the particles themselves? What could give rise to time, three dimensions, electromagnetism, gravity, energy and matter? More broadly: how and why is there anything at all?

Background

Tina and I lack traditional skills with instruments, and we don't read Western music notation.  We like setting up systems, creating novel processes and playing.  Tina is a child of the 60s and I am a 1955 model.

Tina's background in the arts in Texas, publishing and bookselling in New York, and family therapy in Texas and Melbourne, Australia.  She writes as td Whittle (  http://www.liketellingthetruth.com & Goodreads ) and works with me on electronic musical instruments.

We live in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia with our male ginger tabby cat Ponyo.

I have worked in electronics since 1973 and studied for a year at the Music Department at La Trobe University in 1976 - including with Warren Burt as our dynamite lecturer and tutor.  I left the next year to build my own computer and make my own music.  Between 1977 and 1979, with the help of my Radio Club buddy David Furst, I built a Z80 computer which later had 8" floppy drives and ran Cromemco CDOS.  I wrote a sequencer program for control voltages, trigger pulses and four channels of 8 bit DAC audio for drum-like sounds, with the ability to edit the sequences in real-time on a 64 x 16 character display.  We used this in Equal Local, (discography, video) with Philip Jackson doing all the rhythm programming.  Originally it could trigger a TR-77 drum machine, and later a TR-808.

I have worked with electronic musical instruments since 1980 (Casio keyboards, Devil Fish).  I also work with C++ programming for mining optimisation - maintaining and extending the program my father Jeff developed: http://www.whittleconsulting.com.au/prober-e-2017/

My zak patching system was integrated into the sound synthesis language Csound in the late 1990s.  I used Csound in 1996 and am returning to it now in 2018, since current CPU chips can run it so well in real-time, and since I can use it with Rory Walsh's Cabbage real-time GUI and patching system.


Why so long . . . ?

For someone who has been keen to make music since the mid-70s, this has been a disjointed process with interludes including for telecommunications privacy advocacy, attempting to improve the Internet's architecture (Ivip) and the Devil Fish and other modifications.  Two other pieces I made or contributed to have been released on CD:

I didn't really contribute directly to the Equal Local compositions, though my minimal Korg 700 playing might be audible on the first EP, and my fluffed beginning to one of the songs was adopted by Dean Richards.  The Z80 computer, in the hands of Philip, certainly did contribute something to the band.


In past decades, to release music, someone had to pay a few thousand dollars to press records or CDs. Then they had to spend money on marketing and put a lot of effort into distribution, radio play etc.  Economically it only made sense if there was a reasonable chance of hundreds or thousands of people actively purchasing the discs for non-trivial sums of money.

But what if the music isn't like anything else?  Its hard to imagine anything so different selling.  So the tracks sit around for a few decades on tape or CD-R until the time is right.  Ollie Olsen did offer to release Spare Luxury and Tanglefoot Approach on Psy-Harmonics, but I didn't have any more such pieces and I couldn't see how these two would fit with this or any other record label's material.

Now, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to make music available via the Net.  The geographical limits of AM and FM radio propagation, the costs and delays of shipping discs around the world are no longer a concern.  Nor are the limited stock holding capacities of record stores, and the need to convince retailers that the music might be salable.

Possibly kindred spirits

Zen Zsigo (Hastings, UK) as Cremation Lily:

https://cremationlily.bandcamp.com

An extensive 2017 interview and article by Tim Wilson: https://www.theransomnote.com/music/interviews/simplicity-is-sincerity-cremation-lily-talks/

Albums:

In England Now, Underwater (tidal 91600516)

The Processes and Instruments of Normal People; Trying and Failing, Falling and Water Running (tidal 78611396)


Sam Rosenthal (Portland, Oregon) as As Lonely as Dave Bowman:

Albums:

Pod (tidal 55765601)

Monolith  (tidal 46469957)



Links

There's a treasure trove of playlists, podcasts and appreciation of ambient music at:

http://ambientmusicguide.com

A monthly roundup of ambient music on BandCamp:

https://daily.bandcamp.com/tag/best-ambient/
.