On the eve of the 4th anniversary of Calm Pills (this series began back in Nov 15, 2016), let’s take a trip back in time to the very first ambient mix I ever created. This is mix number one! I created it 8 years ago under my previous pseudonym DJ Seroton, and to this day it remains one of the best ones I have ever done. This is what I wrote in the release notes back in Jan 16, 2012:
What puts you to sleep?
I bet the answer to this question will vary from one person to the other. For me, I like total darkness, comfy pillow, and believe it or not, the constant sound of AC, which I’ve grown to appreciate as a way of eliminating little on-off noises from around the building. On top of that, when I’m in the mood, nothing beats a good playlist of pure and peaceful ambient music.
I first came to discover this wonderful style of music back in 2007, when I accidentally stumbled on a great site called Ambient Nights. Not knowing what this style of music was all about, I decided to give it a try and downloaded few of the mixes, created by Alex Hephaestion. I was in the middle of preparing a public speech at the time, my first one ever, and while researching my material, I would put these mixes on.
To my surprise, these mixes magically helped me focus and zone into my work in a weird but awesome way. I said weird because when you’re listening to ambient music, the idea is not to listen intently, but in a passive way. You just let it play in the background, and it’ll do its thing. This is best described by Brian Eno, one of the most influential artists in this genre and the one believed to have coined the term “ambient music“, who was quoted describing it as the kind of music that can be “actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener”, and that exists on the “cusp between melody and texture”.
Not all ambient music is created equal. Over the years since my discovery, I’ve been curating my collection of ambient music that’s truly relaxing and in no way disturbing or weighs too much on the dark side. I think all that boils down to what you’re going to listen to in this 1 hour mix.
But mixing this style of music has proved a little challenging for me. When I sat out to create this mix, I wanted a mix that’s perfect to sleep to. This is easier said than done, because when you’re trying to sleep to music, the slightest off beat or melody can wake you up. So the mix must flow seamlessly from start to finish, and not have any surprises in the middle since the person listening to it might, and most likely will, drift off in the middle.
Also while creating this mix, it’s not just enough to make sure tracks flow seamlessly into each other. You’ve got to listen over and over to the entire mix to make sure you’re setting and maintaining the right mood, in this case sleeping mode, throughout the mix.
Overall, I think I’ve done a pretty good job with this one. I’ve even took it for a spin and tried sleeping to it. After a few tweaks, I think I’ve managed to perfect it. Well, at least I hope you do think so.
Making it was a labor of love. If you feel like showing your appreciation, buy me a cup of a coffee (www.uppmixes.com/donate). You can also share this with your friends, rate it or leave a review. Thank you.
Danny Elfman ― Friendship
Brian Eno ― The Real
Christopher Short ― Twilight
Aeolian String Ensemble ― Eclipse
Sven Väth ― Ballet Dancer
David Brunn ― Crater Lake (Hephaestion Edit)
Chris Spheeris & Paul Voudouris ― Passage
ATB ― Under The Sky
David ― Ruhe
Harold Budd, Brian Eno ― Failing Light
Mind Over Matter ― Brahman
Byron Metcalf, Mark Seelig, Steve Roach ― Gone…Beyond
Transambient Communications ― Ocean Waves At Sunset
Moby ― Overland
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