Ambient 🌫️ Birdbath

Do you have anxiety? If so, I’m sorry to hear that.

So dew eye, for what it’s worth. 👀

[Refer to the mockmarket of the soul and current value of a shitcoin]

2023 – could it be the year of beating anxiety?
I’d say ‘war on anxiety’ but that doesn’t sound much fun (or a change).
Pillow fight with mental health? Slightly sexy.
Passive aggressive standoff with your other half?

Hot.

My point is, Moby has just dropped an ambient album. (Do you ‘drop’ ambient albums or release them as one might release a mist?) He says it’s about helping tackle his anxiety. A donation to the cosmos. Cool. I dig it.

Anxiety, for the record, isn’t just a general state of feeling worried or uptight. It’s a physical thing. Like being softly electrocuted. A black magic chain of thoughts that hijacks your thinking, making you act irrationally. It lives under the skin, like an alien. An agitated immersion in a strange, stricken brew. A cauldron of caution. A maelstrom of malady.

Ambient music is a perfect antidote. It’s slow, for starters. Anxiety travels at the speed of unsound. It doesn’t help that the pace of the world has been increasing (along with the temperature) for the past thirty years. In 1990 we had grunge music with a bpm in double figures. Folks now listen to podcasts at double speed. Cramming data isn’t precisely what consciousness evolved for.  

Set your position to pause.
Mood quake serenade.

Ambient music (also known as new age) may be an acquired taste. It might not be your cup of herbal tea. ☕

Ambient is spacious. It doesn’t have beats or lyrics, much. It’s a space, man. It doesn’t ask much from your mind. You can slip on your life cancelling headphones and soak in the sound. Let your thoughts play host to singular, spaced notes. Slow honey for a blow up head.

It’s a gentle suggestion. I’m a fan of Brian Eno and Harold Budd and Radiohead. The latter had a crack at ambient with ‘Treefingers’ from Kid A. It was pretty (chime) ballsy of them. That album was popular. This is probably my first ever experience with ambient music. YouTube comments suggest ‘Treefingers’ is “the one everyone skips.” Honestly, I would be included in that. Young men are not famous for their patience – but it wouldn’t surprise me if it made a comeback. The world is much more electronic instrumental savvy than it was in 2000.

Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start (or end). The beauty of Spotify is you only need one song to connect with and then select the radio for that song. That’s all I’ve been doing for five years really – unboxing a pandora’s pantheon of timestretched permusations.

Stockpiling chillout I can access in the fraction of a migraine. 🧠

Heck, sometimes technology works in favour of mental health. Maybe this is the only time. Perhaps you find success with meditation apps? Personally I can’t stand someone lecturing me. Having said that, Lemon Jelly do have a song called ‘Nervous Tension’ which is basically a meditation routine set to music.

From my new years meanderings I see there’s a recently released The Art Of Meditation by Sigur Ros. Electronic dude Jon Hopkins put out a Meditations single in 2020 & Music For Psychedelic Therapy in 2021 (the latter is a bit rich for my blood). Meanwhile, my good friend Conrad Greenleaf released the ambient album Dreamtape last year – so it’s in the zeitgeist, surely.

There’s even Tasmanian based ambient artists such as Leven Canyon & All India Radio.

Chillout was huge in 2000, so it might be experiencing a twenty year ambiversary.  

If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air

Quaint little villages here and there

Groove Armada – At The River

There are other strategies to combat anxiety:

  • A sleep routine.
  • Talking to a psychologist.

  • Lying in a dark space with a weighted blanket.
  • Repetitive movements such as playing an instrument, walking, swimming or massage.

It’s worth trying everything. Make it your hobby – discovering pockets of air within your dark cloud. 🫧

Unrest is the best that life can offer, sometimes.

Make the most of finding a way to live with it.

The

brain

is

a

funny

alien.

Welcome

to

the

animal

that

chose

you.

Half the fun is remembering how to train it.

Finding the time to take it for walks.

Perhaps ambient music acts as a holodeck, allowing you to return to a home planet
green and purple and blue and grey – where the days stretch out like dreams and the atmosphere is so gentle you find it easier to float.

You don’t have to meditate to listen to ambient music. You don’t need ambient music to meditate. Both are notoriously niche and slippery to appreciate. I file them under exercises for exhausted people. Or, there are 200k worse things you can do on your phone.

Take care in there.

Justin, 2023.   *

  • please see my little playlist elbow, I mean below.

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