Ambient music has continued to be a stabilizing force within my day to day life. It breathes calm into moments of chaos and helps moments of joy feel transcendent. Among my favorite discoveries lately is the album La Niña Junco by Federico Durandreleased on the12kLabel.
The album has a purity to its concept that I greatly admire and appreciate. The whole of the release was created using one single synthesizer, and to great effect. It causes each song to pool into a collective whole as if each new exploration of the instrument is a single block building a home, a cozy, light filled home from open windows and warm summer breeze. While that may sound over the top, its my best attempt at describing how its left me feeling at times.
Hidden among the album is a song which has quickly become a quintessential piece of ambient music within my all time favorites called Navidad en el bosque. When I first heard it I must have left it on repeat for an hour, and continue to come back to it time and time again. It is both somber and hopeful, contemplative and full of subtle life with its waves of light hearted sound. Its the kind of music that makes the world around me feel empty without it playing within it.
While most 12k releases come out in physical form via CD, this one has a well suited vinyl edition that sounds beautiful. If you are curious about the toy bird in the photo above. It came in a pack of Japanese caramels and has lived around my turntable for a long while. When I started to share the process of playing vinyl records with my one year old daughter I placed the toy on the label so she could see that the disc was spinning around and around. Now, at 16 months old she loves to make attempts at helping me play records and because I included the bird as part of that initial learning experience, now she won’t let me play a record without the little wooden bird spinning round and round there on the record along with the music because, of course, thats just part of what makes it work. She sure loves music, which really brings me joy.
At any rate, if you are into ambient, contemplative music then be sure to have alisten to this fantastic releaseon 12k (which just happens to currently have asummer salegoing on through the end of the month so its a perfect time to pick up a copy if you end up enjoying it as much as I have.)
All the tracks from the new album La Niña Junco (released on the label 12k) by Federico Durand are real lullabies reminding us of the beautiful and tranquil time of our childhood. You won't find any radically innovative musical moves here; instead you'll see how using just sincere ingenuity and sound a musician can create a musical piece with ease and simplicity.
we can already feel the forest and the sound of the wind, listening to his track with a title that speaks for itself:Navidad en el Bosque. I'm also impressed by the harmony of the background noises and the lead melodies of the tracks. Far-away rustles, micro-sounds and keys of the track Rondel also perfectly fit the overall theme of the album. The mood of this work is pensive and melancholic.
In my opinion, the main «talking» piece of La Niña Junco is the track called Una plaza junto a las vias del tren; its light and marvellous melody sticks in your memory. It should be noted that the original cover for this release was created by Lola Goldstein, a famous artist from Argentina, the home country of the musican himself.
As listen to it again and again, I like to imagine how multiple generations of young people grow up listening to the sounds of Federico Durand's music; and let us not forget about the adults, they can be dreamers as well!