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 was never released.
The image above is a colour-altered, reverse-fish-eye version of a
of a tea tree tunnel at the Two Bays walking track at Cape
Schanck, Victoria, Australia (Google
is a raw camera image of the real thing.
Robin Whittle firstname.lastname@example.org 5 October 2018 ©
or follow these links to the pages there for individual tracks,
which we released as an album "ATW Starter Kit" in September 2018:
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.
Other pages at this site
|8 variations of Tanglefoot Approach.
|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
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
insights into the workings of that adjacent plane as well as our
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?
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 (
) and works with me on electronic musical instruments.
live in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia with our male ginger tabby cat
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
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/
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:
- What a World (1980 SoundCloud)
with Valek Sadov, on the Informatics EP Dezinformatsiya .
- Cloud 18 Edit
(1996) on the first CD of Green Ant Productions' double CD set "ambi-ant beatz a chill-out journey GA04" (discogs.com, psydb.net)
which was released in 2000. As far as I know, there's no copy of it on
the Net and the CDs themselves are totally obscure. Here it is a
256kbps MP3, but please note that it is not for the faint hearted: Cloud-18-Edit-Robin-Whittle-256.mp3. It is an excerpt from an earlier stage of what became Tanglefoot Approach
but I accidentally added an extra zero to a scaling factor and the
result was much wilder and weirder than what I had in mind.
gave a CD of this and the other Csound pieces to Felix of Green Ant for
their interest - I had no intention of them releasing any of
They took a 2:31 excerpt of Cloud 18 and put it on their CD, with some additional sounds in the last 6 seconds, just two
tracks after the awesome Atmosphere
145 by Dumb and The Ugly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumb_and_the_Ugly . I can't find "Atmosphere 145" on the Net, but it is on a 1992 CD (discogs.com) and was co-written by Ollie Olsen.
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
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
anything so different selling. So the tracks sit around for a few
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
Now, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to make music available via the Net. The geographical limits of AM and FM
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.
Making your music available on streaming media and retail sites other than BandCamp requires significant investment by a digital
distributor, or by a label, with long-term contractual
commitments. They need to believe in the music and its potential
for more than a few enthusiastic listeners, since their reputation and
ability to work with streaming and retail outlets depends on the
quality and overall popularity of the music they take under their wing.
There's a treasure trove of playlists, podcasts and appreciation of ambient music at: